For those of you feeling confident in your level of knowledge in your current solar job, don’t succumb to a growing trend: being a solar know-it-all. Don’t worry, we have a solution.
SEI has developed a free assessment tool for solar professionals to gauge their “solar smarts.” Solar installation teams and others in the industry can use this tool to pinpoint where additional formal training may be needed. Find this tool at solarenergy.org/test-your-solar-smarts.
The U.S. solar industry has grown to more than 250,000 workers. This rapid growth brought a need for expedited hiring approaches. At our nonprofit school, we’ve noticed a common hiring theme over the last decade: Hire for attitude; train for skill.
Based on this concept, solar companies look for employees with good attitudes and some transferable skills from previous work and expect there will be a lot of on-the-job training for new hires. On-the-job training is an authentic way to get experience with the tools and components the company uses on a daily basis. But those of us in the solar industry know we call it the “solarcoaster” for a reason.
It is very common for solar professionals to move from one company to the next as new opportunities appear. Solar workers may have huge gaps in their solar knowledge from relying solely on on-the-job training or brief vendor-based product orientations.
Where do you sit on the spectrum of solar smarts? How well would your team perform on basic entry-level solar tasks?
Since 1991, SEI has trained more than 75,000 people worldwide, and we have found an interesting phenomenon: When solar employees finally focus on professional development and enroll in formal coursework-based training in addition to on-the-job training, they realize there is still a lot to learn and that this industry is constantly changing.
We see it constantly, when solar professionals take SEI training in what they thought they were quite proficient. Industry veterans often walk away with new knowledge gained and gaps filled in their solar expertise.
So, try out SEI’s Solar Smarts Assessment. Our student services team is available to discuss your results and your broader professional development goals. If you envision a world powered by renewable energy, take the assessment and test your solar smarts to ensure we can successfully build our sustainable future together.
Solar Energy International will be contributing training columns to Solar Power World throughout the year.