Some help on solar schooling?

Ok I plan on going to school at Solar School Internatinal for PV Design and installation, what other courses does everyone recommend?:confused: I am pretty confused on what I would need and what not!


  • niel
    niel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Some help on solar schooling?

    if you plan on doing that in maryland, then try looking it up to see just what they require from you to do the installs. i can't say specifically for your state and it will require some research on your part to find this out. this varies from state to state and even city to city sometimes. though solar has been around for about a half century, it is just now coming into the light (pun intended) with being commonplace for the public to have. this means that regulating bodies for all levels of government are not uniform or set concerning the subject. as a wiring project for a home, it may encompass the knowledge and certification of an electrician with added training to allow for this specialized area with some requiring specialty certification and/or licensing worst case. some may require absolutely nothing and most are somewhere inbetween those extremes. even the nec is trying to come up with some standards and practices as they have not truly even begun to address renewables until about 10 years ago. at the rate they are going they will have it correctly down by about the midcentury mark. ok maybe sooner, but you can see my confidence in their wisdom is showing.
  • System2
    System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Some help on solar schooling?

    I am still young, Like I said I am going to go to the school solar international, I was also thinking about getting a associates degree in something, What would be my best bet? Such as a associates in Associate of Engineering; or, in some cases, Associate in Electronics Engineering Technology, or would it be better to get one in buisness? Does anyone know where I could possiably get a associates in renewable energy with online class's? Thanks :confused:
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,476 admin
    Re: Some help on solar schooling?

    My first suggestion to anyone, is get your degree in what interests you (and your talents)... If it is business, get a business degree. If it is in Engineering (electrical, mechanical, whatever) get your degree in that.

    And don't over specialize if you don't want to--I got a "general" engineering degree because my school did not offer and "electrical" or "mechanical" or "civil" degree--so I could take classes in various disciplines that have served me well through the years.

    Sort of like trying to get a degree in renewable energy--what would that degree be? Engineering, business, economics, chemistry, construction, or what...

    However, what ever degree you get, also get a minor (or take some classes) in computer programming / computer sciences... Just about any thing you do anymore will some how involve computers. I have known quite a few people that have taken their "day job" (mechanical design, soils engineering, etc.) and got good jobs or became experts in their field because they were able to computerize their original tasks.

    Also look at what jobs are around the area where you will live 2-6 years from now... I know that it is difficult to predict the future--but look at university statistic about new grad hires and salaries.

    And watch how much your spend--avoid student loans if you can (work summers, live at home, or in the least expensive place you can). Getting a degree at a "name brand school" may help you with finding a good paying first job--but if you end up with $100+k in debt paying for it (vs going to a local JC or state college) can lock you in a job you don't like because you cannot afford to change (or start at a lower salary to learn/gain experience in your dream field).

    And don't get/use a credit card unless you use it like a checking account (i.e., can pay the bill off every month--no carrying a balance).

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset