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Hourly Rates For A Solar Contractor

Solar panels are the green alternative to electricity that more people are now choosing in response to the deteriorating environmental conditions. A solar panel harvests solar energy and converts it into electrical and mechanical energy to be used instead of electricity.


The benefits to installing a solar panel system in your home are limitless; it saves you money on electricity bills, uses renewable energy, helps the environment, and is an excellent investment if you want to put your house on the market. With benefits like these, who wouldn’t want to opt for solar?


If you are someone looking for a contractor to install solar panels at your residence or place of work, you must be wondering: what is the hourly rate for a solar contractor? and how to choose the right one for the job? In this article, we will walk you through the average rate of solar contractors, what they do, and what are the factors that determine the hourly rate for a solar contractor.

Solar contractor on roof installing Solar electric system in Orlando

What do Solar Energy System Installers Do?

 

Before we can find out what the hourly rate for a solar contractor is, we must know what a solar contractor is and what tasks are they responsible for.

 

A solar contractor or installer is someone who installs solar panels at a commercial or residential location for businesses and homes to switch to solar energy. A solar contractor must have all the knowledge about solar panels, how to put them in, the installation process, new techniques, and the equipment and products needed for the job. They must also have proper licensure and documentation from the state for them to carry out the job.

 

Here is a list of things that your solar contractor is responsible for:

  • Inspecting the location before they go in to install the solar panels
  • Assessing the area for any possible hazards
  • Mapping out the location and the best placement for solar panels for maximum efficiency
  • Protecting and sealing the panels from the external environment
  • Labeling and installing all the electrical wiring while putting in the panels
  • Adhering to all the regulations, safety codes, and manufacturer specifications

How Much Does an Independent Contractor Solar Installer Make in Orlando?

The one question people tend to ask the most while hiring a solar installer is: What is the hourly rate for a solar contractor? While the question may seem simple, the answer is often not. The hourly rate can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, and the number of years you have spent in your profession.


According to statistics, as of 26th September 2021, the average hourly rate for a solar contractor is about $26.89 in the United States. The hourly rates for the solar contractors are not exactly fixed. They can go as high as $58.41 to as low as $8.17, but most of the rates range somewhere between $16.35 to $29.09. The difference in this pay range dictates that there may be room for increment due to further advancements in the field and that the pay is generally based on skill level, location, and the years of experience one has.


What is the Pay by Experience Level for Solar Energy System Installer?

A solar energy system contractor who is just starting and has less than a year of experience can expect the average hourly rate (including tips, bonus, and overtime) to be about $16.65 according to our statistics. A solar energy contractor who has 1-4 years of experience under their belt can earn an average pay of about $18.04, and a mid-career contractor of a solar energy system with 5-9 years of experience has the chance to earn an average pay of about $21.88.

While these are the people who have just stepped into the business of installing solar energy systems, those who have worked in this business for around 10-19 years have a chance to get a higher hourly rate. This rate can go as high as $23.50 per hour and even $29 if they are competent and renowned.


How Much Do Solar Panel Installers Get Paid?

The average salary of a solar panel installer in the United States falls between $13 to $15 but the range of the salary usually falls between $13 to $17. There are a lot of factors that can change the hourly rate of a solar contractor like license, certification, education, and the number of years of expertise.


Skills That Affect Solar Energy System Installer Salaries

The job of a solar energy system installer is to install solar panels on residential and commercial buildings. They usually work full-time with construction managers to make sure the solar panels are installed correctly, work properly, and meet the requirements of the clients.


Solar energy system installers tend to work outdoors, often during extreme weather conditions, have to lift equipment and tools weighing up to 70 pounds, and have to work at heights.


The documentation required for you to be a successful solar energy system installer is usually a high school diploma or an equivalent of that. Other employers may also want to see a Bachelor's degree, along with multiple certifications from organizations such as the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).


The skills required for a solar contractor include: having a general knowledge of solar energy/technology, at least one year of working experience in the field, excellent attention to detail, and good communication skills to facilitate business between the client and the company.

Solor contractor installing solar electric system in Orlando

What are the Top 10 Highest Paying Cities for Independent Contractor Solar Installer Jobs?

We are aware of the average salary of a solar contractor in the United States ($13 to $15 approximately), we are here to identify the top 10 highest paying cities for independent solar contractors. Lakes and AK are at the top of the list with an hourly rate of $32.88, with San Francisco, CA, and Santa Clara following closely behind with the hourly rate of $32.32, $32.27 respectively.

The national average rate of solar contractors is beaten by Lakes, AK by $12,460 (22.3%) and second in tow by Santa Clara with $11,192 (20.0%). Unfortunately, the jobs for solar panel contractors in Lakes, AK are underperforming, which will make it extremely hard to land a position there.

 

However, with these 10 cities that have a higher than the national average, the opportunities for solar contractors to succeed economically by changing locations seem to be extremely fruitful. These are the top ten cities offering a higher overlay rate than the national average rate to independent solar contractors:

  • Lakes, AK: Offers an hourly rate of $32.88 with an annual salary of $68,395
  • San Francisco, CA: Offers an hourly rate of $32.32 with an annual salary of $67,225
  • Santa Clara, CA: Offers an hourly rate of $32.27 with an annual salary of $67,128
  • Fremont, CA: Offers an hourly rate of $31.05 with an annual salary of $64,590
  • San Buenaventura, CA: Offers an hourly rate of $31.02 with an annual salary of $64,522
  • Centennial, CO: Offers an hourly rate of $30.48 with an annual salary of $63,392
  • San Jose, CA: Offers an hourly rate of $30.40 with an annual salary of $63,235
  • Alexandria, VA: Offers an hourly rate of $30.10 with an annual salary of $62,599
  • Oakland, CA: Offers an hourly rate of $30.07 with an annual salary of $62,554
  • Tanaina, AK: Offers an hourly rate of $30 with an annual salary of $62,408Text...

What are the Top 5 Best Paying Related Independent Contractor Solar Installer Jobs in the U.S?

Since the average hourly rate for a solar contractor in the US falls between $13 to $15, we were able to find five jobs for independent solar contractors that pay considerably more than the national average solar contractor salaries.

 

These positions include Solar sales manager, solar engineer, solar advisor, and work from home solar spectrum. It is important to note that all of these jobs pay more (between $28,353 and $78,920) than the average salary which rounds up to $55,935 per year. If you have the skills and are qualified for these jobs, you can make a comfortably larger living.

These jobs include:

  • Solar Sales Manager: The hourly rate is $64.83 while the annual salary is around $134,855
  • Solar Engineer: The hourly rate is $51.38 while the annual salary is around $106,879
  • Work from Home Solar Consultant: The hourly rate is $40.76 while the annual salary is around $84,783
  • Work from Home Solar States: The hourly rate is $40.53 while the annual salary is around $84,312
  • Work from Home Solar Spectrum: The hourly rate is $40.52 while the annual income is around $84,288

 

The good thing about these alternative jobs is that not only do they offer you better pay, but they also offer better working environments. As a solar energy system installer, you are expected to work at odd hours of the day, for many hours, during extremely hot and cold weather conditions, and are expected to work at heights. Most of these jobs will require you to work from an office, or from the comfort of your home.

 

Where Can You Get the Training to Become a Licensed Solar Contractor?

One of the most important things in determining what the average hourly rate of a solar contractor is the skill level of the solar contractor. If you are someone looking for ways to get a license or a certificate to become a solar contractor, here are some areas for you to explore: The NABCEP (this is the best program for you to get started on your education and you can expand outward further to whatever suits you best), Training centers, Certification programs, Licensing education, Trade schools, and In-house training.