Solar Energy Systems Engineers

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About the Job

Perform site-specific engineering analysis or evaluation of energy efficiency and solar projects involving residential, commercial, or industrial customers. Design solar domestic hot water and space heating systems for new and existing structures, applying knowledge of structural energy requirements, local climates, solar technology, and thermodynamics.

It is also Called

  • Solar Systems Designer
  • Solar Project Engineer
  • Solar Process Engineer
  • Solar Photovoltaic Systems Engineer
  • Solar Photovoltaic Product Development Engineer
  • Solar Photovoltaic Designer
  • Solar Mechanical Engineer
  • Solar Engineer
  • Solar Energy Systems Engineer
  • Solar Energy Systems Designer
View All

What They Do

  • Design or develop vacuum tube collector systems for solar applications.
  • Perform thermal, stress, or cost reduction analyses for solar systems.
  • Test or evaluate photovoltaic (PV) cells or modules.
  • Create checklists for review or inspection of completed solar installation projects.
  • Develop standard operation procedures and quality or safety standards for solar installation work.
  • Perform computer simulation of solar photovoltaic (PV) generation system performance or energy production to optimize efficiency.
  • Provide technical direction or support to installation teams during installation, start-up, testing, system commissioning, or performance monitoring.
  • Develop design specifications and functional requirements for residential, commercial, or industrial solar energy systems or components.
  • Review specifications and recommend engineering or manufacturing changes to achieve solar design objectives.
  • Create electrical single-line diagrams, panel schedules, or connection diagrams for solar electric systems, using computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RI.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Investigative environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Working Conditions and Recognition in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Building and Construction - Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $94,710 with most people making between $50,660 and $147,040

Outlook

0.36%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 2,790 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 2,890 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 10 openings due to growth and about 60 replacement openings for approximately 70 total annual openings.



Pennsylvania Department of Education