Solar Thermal Installers and Technicians
SOC: 47-4099.02


Install or repair solar energy systems designed to collect, store, and circulate solar-heated water for residential, commercial or industrial use.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
35,400 employed

Projected (2024):
37,800 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Installer
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Service Technician
  • Solar Energy Technician
  • Solar Hot Water Installer (SHW Installer)
  • Solar Installation Technician
  • Solar Installer
  • Solar Maintenance Technician
  • Solar Pool Heating Installer
  • Solar Power Installer
  • Solar System Installer
  • Solar Technician
  • Solar Thermal Installer
  • Solar Thermal Technician
  • Solar Water Heater Installer
  • Thermal Technician

  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed


    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.


    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation

  • Tasks:

  • Design active direct or indirect, passive direct or indirect, or pool solar systems.
  • Perform routine maintenance or repairs to restore solar thermal systems to baseline operating conditions.
  • Apply operation or identification tags or labels to system components, as required.
  • Assess collector sites to ensure structural integrity of potential mounting surfaces or the best orientation and tilt for solar collectors.
  • Connect water heaters and storage tanks to power and water sources.
  • Determine locations for installing solar subsystem components, including piping, water heaters, valves, and ancillary equipment.
  • Fill water tanks and check tanks, pipes, and fittings for leaks.
  • Identify plumbing, electrical, environmental, or safety hazards associated with solar thermal installations.
  • Install circulating pumps using pipe, fittings, soldering equipment, electrical supplies, and hand tools.
  • Install copper or plastic plumbing using pipes, fittings, pipe cutters, acetylene torches, solder, wire brushes, sand cloths, flux, plastic pipe cleaners, or plastic glue.
  • Install flat-plat, evacuated glass, or concentrating solar collectors on mounting devices, using brackets or struts.
  • Install heat exchangers and heat exchanger fluids according to installation manuals and schematics.
  • Install monitoring system components, such as flow meters, temperature gauges, and pressure gauges, according to system design and manufacturer specifications.
  • Install plumbing, such as dip tubes, port fittings, drain tank valves, pressure temperature relief valves, or tanks, according to manufacturer specifications and building codes.
  • Install solar collector mounting devices on tile, asphalt, shingle, or built-up gravel roofs, using appropriate materials and penetration methods.
  • Install solar thermal system controllers and sensors.
  • Test operation or functionality of mechanical, plumbing, electrical, and control systems.
  • Apply ultraviolet radiation protection to prevent degradation of plumbing.
  • Apply weather seal, such as pipe flashings and sealants, to roof penetrations and structural devices.
  • Cut, miter, and glue piping insulation to insulate plumbing pipes and fittings.
  • Demonstrate start-up, shut-down, maintenance, diagnostic, and safety procedures to thermal system owners.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Acetylene torches
  • Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Adjustable widemouth pliers
  • Caulking equipment
  • Channel lock pliers
  • Charging pumps
  • Claw hammers
  • Cordless drills
  • Crimping lugs
  • Desktop computers
  • Diagonal cutting pliers
  • Digital multimeters
  • Digital refractometers
  • Directional compasses
  • Drill bit sets
  • Extension ladders
  • Fall arrest harnesses
  • Fiberglass extension ladders
  • Filter masks
  • Forklifts
  • Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Hacksaws
  • Handheld calculators
  • Hole cutters
  • Impact drills
  • Inclinometers
  • Jig saws
  • Laptop computers
  • Large pipe wrenches
  • Medium pipe wrenches
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Pair of dykes
  • Personal computers
  • Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Pipe taps
  • Protective gloves
  • Protractors
  • Putty knives
  • Rat tail files
  • Reciprocating saws
  • Right-angle drills
  • Safety glasses
  • Small pry bars
  • Socket wrench sets
  • Solar analysis systems
  • Solarimeters
  • Soldering equipment
  • Steel measuring tapes
  • Straight screwdrivers
  • Stud locators
  • Tin snips
  • Torpedo levels
  • Transfer pumps
  • Trenchers
  • Tubing benders
  • Tubing cutters
  • Utility knives
  • Utility work machines
  • Video probe systems
  • Vise grip pliers
  • Volt-ohm meters VOM
  • Water hoses
  • Wire cutters
  • Work vans
  • Cost estimating software
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft Word
  • Project management software
  • Work scheduling software

  • construction and extraction

    industry stats

    SOC: 47-0000

    Total Employed: 5,477,820

    Average Annual Salary: $47,580