Solar installer education & training requirements + costs

To become a solar installer, you can attend trade school or community college and/or get on-the-job training. Costs vary by school and program.

Solar installer career snapshot

Median pay

$47,890 ($23.84/hr)

Required degrees


10-year job growth

52% (Much faster than average)

There are a couple of ways to gain the education and training that will help you begin a career as a solar installer, including trade school and community college. 

You can also typically start working for a solar installation company that will train you despite not having any formal education or work experience.

Solar installer education & training options

Solar installer certificate (trade school)

Attending a trade school is a good way to develop skills needed to become a solar technician. 

This is a good option for people who would rather skip courses like English and History and stick to learning what they are in school for—to become a solar installer.

Solar installer trade school can take from six weeks to one year and can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. 

Associate's degree for solar installer (community college)

Going to community college is a great option for people who would like a more classical college education while also learning the ins and outs of being a solar panel installer. 

Community college usually takes about two years to complete and the average cost is about $3,440 per year.

How much solar installer training & school cost

There are a couple of different options available to develop some of the skills needed to be a solar installer.

ProgramCostTime Required
Trade School$1,000 to $15,0006 weeks to 1 year
Associate's Degree (Community College)$5,000 to $40,0002 years

Solar installer trade school cost

Overview: You can get a solar installer certificate from a trade school to jumpstart your career as a solar panel installer. Some examples of solar trade schools are The Training Center, Midwest Renewable Energy Association, and Clinton Community College. 

Cost: The cost to attend trade school varies. For example, the average cost for The Training Center is $5,999. The average cost for Midwest Renewable Energy Association is $1,899. The average cost to attend Clinton Community College is $12,800.

Time Required: The time it takes to get a solar installer certificate ranges from six weeks to one year.

Work Opportunities: Once obtaining your solar certificate, you will have the option to work for solar companies around the country.

Community college to become a solar installer cost

Overview: The second option to develop skills to be a solar installer is to get an Associate's Degree from a Community College. Some solar Associate Degree programs include Indian River State College, Crowder College, and Salt Lake Community College.

Cost: The cost to get an Associate's Degree varies by school. The average cost for Indian River State College is $26,553 for Non-Florida Residents and $7,060 for Florida residents. The average cost for Crowder College is $7,410 for in-district students and $11,960 for out-of-district students. The average cost for Salt Lake Community College is $15,996 for residents and $44,873 for non-residents.

Time Required: It typically takes around two years to complete community college. 

Work Opportunities: Once obtaining your Associate's Degree, you will have opportunities to work for solar companies around the country.

Learn more about a career in solar: