(Also known as Solar Photovoltaic Installers)
Main Topic: Environment and Society
Secondary Topic: Physical Geography
Overview: As solar energy becomes more and more important, there will be jobs for geographers at several levels. First, one must understand climate, weather, and the nature of solar energy, who gets it and how much. Then there is the question of installation, both at the residential and industrial levels. Local, state, and federal agencies will be concerned, and, for the most part, supportive offering tax credits as citizens move away from fossil fuels that appear to be aggravating recent climate change. We will need mapping specialists and technicians. Jobs will be available in private businesses and in the government where permits and guidelines will need to be applied. We know how to develop solar energy; we just need geographers and others to tell us where and how.
Solar photovoltaic installers assemble, set up, and maintain systems that convert sunlight into energy. Installation work is done outdoors but can involve small spaces to connect panels to the electric grid. Installers can be employed by private companies or contract with government agencies. Solar photovoltaic installers typically plan configurations based on customer need and the site, maintain building codes, activate, and test systems, along with performing routine maintenance. They also need experience with power tools in to install panels. Due to the increase interests in solar energy and renewable resources, this is a growing field of work especially in the next decade as technology improves.
Geographers at Work: Human and Physical Geographers, Environmental Geographers, Climatologist
Recommended College Courses: Physical Geography, Environmental Management, Human Geography, Regional Geography, World Geography, Climatology, Weather and Climate, Energy Resource Management, Cities and Urban Design
Skills: Understanding of the nature and extent of climatic and weather factors. Climate change and fossil fuels – the need for change, for a cleaner energy packet. Geospatial mapping and analysis. Municipal, state, and federal guidelines on alternative energy source and methods. Climate and weather forecasting, human resource management, Environmental mapping and modeling, location analysis
Occupation Group: Construction and Extraction
Learn more about Solar Photovoltaic Installers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor:
Written by Dr. Richard G. Boehm