Solar Certification and Licensing Requirements By State

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According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, there were more than 42,000 new solar energy installations in the U.S. in the second quarter of 2014 alone. Along with the rise in desire for solar panels comes a need for more technicians who are qualified to install solar panels. While the job at first glance may not seem very different from other types of jobs in the electrical wiring industry, it does require specialized solar technician training. Certifications or licenses demonstrate that you possess the necessary knowledge and experience to work with solar technology. However, requirements differ by state. If you are thinking of adding solar panel installation to your skill set, learn what type of training you need in order to obtain the required credentials.

States That Require Dedicated Solar Certification

NABCEP, or the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, is one of the leading certifiers for solar panel installation. The Solar Rating Certification Corporation or SRCC is another. The following states require a dedicated certification by these or other agencies:

  • Alabama – Requires NABCEP or SRCC licensing
  • Arizona – Requires anyone installing or repairing a solar device be certified as a solar contractor, but does not specify a particular certifying agency
  • California – Requires a California solar contractors’ license OR an A/B General Building Contractors’ License plus education requirements
  • Connecticut – Requires that at least one employee have NABCEP certification and that a licensed contractor hold PV-1 or E-1 license
  • Delaware – NABCEP license preferred to be eligible for rebates
  • Florida – Requires a certified solar contractor license
  • Hawaii – Requires a solar energy systems contractor license, which is already granted to a licensed general contractor in Hawaii
  • Idaho – Requires NABCEP or similar licensing plus an Idaho solar photovoltaic license
  • Louisiana – Requires contractors hold licensing from an approved body
  • Missouri – While there is no state requirement, Frontenac and Clarkson Valley require NABCEP certification
  • New York – NABCEP certification or IBEW-NECA training required
  • Pennsylvania – NABCEP, IBEW, NECA, ISPQ, or IREC certification required
  • Vermont – Requires certified solar partnership
  • Virginia – Requires state alternative energy systems specialization

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States That Require No Certification

At present, there are still states that do not have dedicated solar licensing requirements. These states may have other requirements, which are listed below:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado – While some counties, including El Paso, have solar licensing requirements, the state as a whole does not
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky – While a licensed electrician needs to be involved with aspects of solar installation, there are no requirements as to who can perform the installation
  • Maine – Requires electricians install solar panels
  • Maryland – While a licensed electrician needs to be involved with aspects of solar installation, there are no requirements as to who can perform the installation
  • Massachusetts – Requires electricians install solar panels
  • Michigan – Requires state-specific licensing
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada – Requires state contractor license
  • New Hampshire – Requires an electrician license
  • New Jersey – Requires a home improvement registration
  • New Mexico – State contractor license covers solar installation
  • North Carolina – Requires an electrician license
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio – State contractor electrician or HVAC license required
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island – Requires state licensing
  • South Carolina – Requires electricians install solar panels
  • South Dakota – Requires electrician license
  • Tennessee – Requires electrician license
  • Texas – Requires electrician license
  • Utah – Requires contractor license
  • Washington – Requires electrician license
  • West Virginia – Requires electrician license
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming – Requires electrician license

Since the solar power industry is fairly new, these regulations can change anytime. Before you prepare for a certification or licensing exam, check the IREC database, which updates solar credential requirements on a weekly basis. The Refrigeration School’s electro-mechanical technologies program helps prepare students for the exams they need to pass in order to become a solar technician. If you are interested in pursuing a career in solar technology, contact RSI today.

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