In most industries and career fields, one needs to stay on top of changes and developments to be able to stay competitive, whether it be keeping abreast of technological developments or staying updated with changes in regulatory controls and work environment standards. And this is particularly true for electricians, with respect to the changing landscape of energy sources and the burgeoning alternative energy sector. The gradual but steady integration of alternative energy sources has made it practically imperative for electricians to update their skills and training if they want to continue working within the parameters of the changing landscape of energy and electrical systems. Some 150,000 jobs are projected to open up for electricians within the next seven years, and all of them within the context of alternative energies.
An electrician has the option of entering several different fields of alternative energy courses and training, although it is probably a good idea to get a good general grasp of as much new alternative energies as one can. More specific training in particular energy sources and the nuances of each are also offered. Courses include small-scale Photovoltaic (PV) Systems, Solar PV for Roofers, Domestic Wind Turbine Course, including some of the more practical applications of shifting to renewable energy sources such as in the installation of Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment.
The good news is that a number of training institutes are offering precisely this: training, hands-on experience, and even a period of apprenticeship for certification courses in alternative energy sources. Numerous electrician associations such as local chapters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) throughout the country are also assisting its member electricians to stay competitive by offering selected training in particular renewable energy sources like solar energy, wind turbines, or more.
As of 2015, there were only about 500 renewable certified electricians throughout the United States, most of whom were in California. Certification is mainly given by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council and the North American Board of Solar Energy Practitioners (NABSEP).
These industry developments are exciting because there is growth in so many different directions all at once. The electrician who wishes to stay on top of things has the option of specializing in one or more particular alternative energy solution. Having a good general grasp of all alternative energies is simply not enough. This is a field in which one needs specialized training, education, and ideally, years of apprenticeship before one can be considered fully experienced with even just one particular energy resource. If the electrician wants the fluidity of being able to work across different alternative energies, then he needs to put in the respective training, education, and apprenticeship for all of them. That is why staying on top of the game in this rapidly changing field is so important.
But even if one only sticks with one particular renewable energy resource, the outlook is already particularly good. For instance, just the completion of a solar panel training course, where the course includes training in the installation of solar panels and wiring it up to a grid is substantial. Add to that sufficient background for the necessary foundation in construction work for the roofing installation, and all the other necessary work that goes on in PV installations already promises so much more for a green electrician’s career.