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Solar Thermal Installers and Technicians
SOC Code: 47-4099.02

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

Sample of reported job titles: Installer, Maintenance Technician, Service Technician, Solar Energy Technician, Solar Hot Water Installer (SHW Installer), Solar Installer, Solar Maintenance Technician, Solar System Installer, Solar Technician, Solar Thermal Installer

Tasks

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

Technology Skills

  • Calendar and scheduling software - Work scheduling software
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Project management software - Cost estimating software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers
  • Adjustable wrenches - Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Blow torch - Acetylene torches
  • Caulking guns - Caulking equipment
  • Claw hammer - Claw hammers
  • Desktop computers
  • Diagonal cut pliers - Diagonal cutting pliers
  • Digital camcorders or video cameras - Video probe systems
  • Drill bit set - Drill bit sets
  • Forklifts
  • Front end loaders - Utility work machines
  • Geological compasses - Directional compasses
  • Global positioning system GPS receiver - Global positioning system GPS receivers
  • Hacksaw - Hacksaws
  • Handheld refractometers or polarimeters - Digital refractometers
  • Hole saws - Hole cutters
  • Hydraulic pumps - Transfer pumps
  • Ladders - Extension ladders; Fiberglass extension ladders
  • Levels - Torpedo levels
  • Locking pliers - Channel lock pliers; Vise grip pliers
  • Masks or accessories - Filter masks
  • Minivans or vans - Work vans
  • Multimeters - Digital multimeters
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Ohmmeters - Volt-ohm meters VOM
  • Personal computers
  • Pipe or tube cutter - Tubing cutters
  • Pipe wrenches - Large pipe wrenches; Medium pipe wrenches
  • Pitch measuring instruments - Inclinometers
  • Pocket calculator - Handheld calculators
  • Portable data input terminals - Solar analysis systems
  • Positive displacement pumps - Charging pumps
  • Power drills - Cordless drills; Impact drills; Right-angle drills
  • Power saws - Jig saws; Reciprocating saws
  • Protective gloves
  • Protractors
  • Pry bars - Small pry bars
  • Putty knives
  • Round file - Rat tail files
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety harnesses or belts - Fall arrest harnesses
  • Screwdrivers - Phillips head screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
  • Socket sets - Socket wrench sets
  • Solar radiation surface observing apparatus - Solarimeters
  • Soldering iron - Soldering equipment
  • Stud finders - Stud locators
  • Tape measures - Steel measuring tapes
  • Threading taps - Pipe taps
  • Tinners snips - Tin snips
  • Trenching machines - Trenchers
  • Tube bending machine - Tubing benders
  • Utility knives
  • Water hoses
  • Wire cutters - Pair of dykes
  • Wire lug crimping tool - Crimping lugs

Knowledge

  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • 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.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills

  • Installation - Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • 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.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
  • Instructing - Teaching others how to do something.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.

Interests

  • Interest code: RC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 77% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Time Pressure - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 46% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 51% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 41% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 43% responded “Very important results.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 65% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 57% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 55% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 44% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 37% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Exposed to High Places - 49% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 41% responded “Every day.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 37% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 52% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 33% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 51% responded “40 hours.”
  • Electronic Mail - 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 56% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Consequence of Error - 26% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Physical Proximity - 48% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 41% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 31% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 30% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Level of Competition - 43% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling - 28% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 42% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles - 51% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 18% responded “Never.”
  • Letters and Memos - 35% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover - 28% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Spend Time Keeping or Regaining Balance - 31% responded “Less than half the time.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
43%High school diploma or equivalent
25%Some college, no degree
11%Bachelor's degree

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $18.29 hourly, $38,040 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 43,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 5,100

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