Why the Popularity of Solar Energy Is Great for Licensed Electricians
THE SOLAR INDUSTRY IS BOOMING. AS RENEWABLES ARE BECOMING LESS EXPENSIVE AND MORE POPULAR, THERE IS A GROWING NEED FOR SOLAR INSTALLERS, INCLUDING LICENSED ELECTRICIANS.
November 18, 2020
If you’ve glanced at the news any time in the last couple years, chances are you’ve seen a newspaper article or two discussing how California residents are getting hit with massive energy bills:
- Mercury News, 10/2/2020: PG&E bills hop higher, utility seeks further increases
- California Globe, 9/6/2020: California Energy Prices Continue to Rise Higher Than Other States
- Sacramento Bee, 12/20/2019: PG&E on track for $575 million rate hike, increasing your bills
- Sacramento Business Journal, 3/25/2019: SMUD seeks biggest rate hikes in 8 years
You might be asking, “What do rising energy rates have to do with working as an electrician?”
Well, as utility-sourced energy rates climb, renewable energy costs—specifically residential and commercial solar—are trending down. And that’s a good thing for everyone! More and more consumers are purchasing solar as a way to eliminate or reduce their rising energy bills.
Businesses in particular have a major incentive to go solar: it’s a way to keep costs low and profits high. But solar buyers can’t just buy a solar power system off the shelf and plug it in. They need commercial electricians to install these systems.
As demand for solar soars, demand for commercial electricians should soar as well.
Businesses are investing in solar at a record pace, driving up demand for solar installers.
Commercial solar system installations are steadily increasing. In 2013, commercial solar installations totalled 3,300 megawatts (MW). Now, just seven years later, commercial solar installations are expected to top 15,000 total MW—a five-fold increase in less than a decade, with much of this growth being fueled by a 70% decrease in cost over the last decade.
Unsurprisingly, the number of people that work in the solar industry is also increasing year over year. As of 2019, more than 250,000 people worked in solar in the United States. Go back just one decade and fewer than half of that number were employed in the solar industry. As of 2020, in California alone, there are 80,000 people employed in solar, by far the most of any state.
Okay, the numbers are great, but who can actually install commercial solar systems?
If you live in California, and you are thinking about becoming an electrician, then you might already know that the only way to do so is by becoming a licensed electrician, which requires fulfilling training required by the state.
Here at I-TAP, you can begin your journey to becoming a licensed journeyperson electrician by taking our 26-week electrical trainee program. The course is designed to give you the knowledge and practical experience you need to become a certified electrician.
Once you complete the course, you will earn the California Electrical Trainee Card and be eligible to take the state certification test. After you complete 8,000 hours of on the job work, you’ll be licensed as a journeyperson electrician, and can install and wire solar systems while working under a contractor with a C-10 license. This includes the installation of battery storage systems, which are often added to systems to store the power that panels generate.
Solar is a booming industry. As a licensed electrician, you may be able to benefit from this boom, especially here in the Golden State. If you want to become an electrician, your first step is enrolling in the electrical trainee or electrician apprenticeship program at I-TAP! Contact us today if you have any questions.
Ready to learn a skilled trade and work on some of the most exciting commercial construction projects in California and beyond?
I-TAP is an electrical apprenticeship program that helps you find your passion, grow your skills, and place you in the perfect electrician job.