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Thread: Industry Certifications

  1. #1
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    Default Industry Certifications

    I was hoping we could get a list going of Industry Certifications.

    The biggest, of course, is NABCEP.
    Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has a Certified PV System Installer.

    Those are the only two independent certifications that I know of (though I thought there was a third). Then there are two other categories of training: manufacturer and technical schools/colleges. I don't really want to get into the latter. Most manufacturers provide some sort of webinar or basic training to some extent, but the companies that I know of having more extensive training/certification programs are Sunpower University and SMA Solar Academy. Also, Multi-Contact has a simple, free online certification for connector assembly (i.e. MC-4). What else is out there?

  2. #2
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    You do not need any of those certifications to do the work. You cannot pull a permit and pass inspection. The equipment needs to be UL. To do contract work you have to be trained and licensed for electrical. NABCEP does not qualify you do do any electrical work.
    MSEE, PE

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    Default

    I'm not exactly sure how to reply to that, except that it seems entirely off topic.

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    Andrew how is it off-topic? Vendor training of NABCEP does not qualify you to do any work.

    To be a contractor with an electrical license starts with a 2-year technical school, followed by a 2 to 5 year apprenticeship program. Once you have the required degree and number of billable hours you then qualify to take the electrical exam. Once yu pass the exam you can then pull the permits, do the work, and pass electrical inspections. A NABCEP or Vendor training does not qualify you to do any of that.

    I am not trying to be nasty, but that is a fact and the law. If you were to go to an Electrical Contractor to find a job and only had either or both NABCEP or Vendor Certification, you would be turned down because you do not have the skills or license to do any work.

    Same in my profession a engineering student right out of college is not qualified to stamp any drawings or designs. In fact they do not have much of any practical applicable skills. It takes another 5 years of training under direct supervision of a PE before they can take the test to be a licensed Professional Engineer.
    MSEE, PE

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    I'm not asking about law. I'm not asking about how to start a business. I'm trying to gather a list of solar industry certifications. I understand you think they are completely worthless or something like that. Ok, good. You have presented your point of view. Either we can continue with the original topic, or the topic isn't appropriate for a solar forum.

    Also, the way you describe how to become a licensed contractor is extremely inaccurate (for me) as it varies significantly from state to state. But like I said, that conversation is off topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewc View Post
    I'm not asking about law. I'm not asking about how to start a business. I'm trying to gather a list of solar industry certifications. I understand you think they are completely worthless or something like that. Ok, good. You have presented your point of view. Either we can continue with the original topic, or the topic isn't appropriate for a solar forum.

    Also, the way you describe how to become a licensed contractor is extremely inaccurate (for me) as it varies significantly from state to state. But like I said, that conversation is off topic.
    To become a licensed electrician in PA for example in most parts of the state means paying the fee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewc View Post
    I understand you think they are completely worthless or something like that.
    I never said it was worthless, I said it does not qualify you to do contract work.

    Quote Originally Posted by andrewc View Post
    Also, the way you describe how to become a licensed contractor is extremely inaccurate (for me) as it varies significantly from state to state.
    That is true, state requirements do vary, but most require an apprenticeship program and proof of bailable hours.
    MSEE, PE

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    Default solar cert

    There is a certification in the works for electrical contractors something like NABCEP. I am hearing rumors of it here in Colorado. It will be geared towards the items that a electrician might not necessarily know. Like how to make roof penetrations or basic system design. Also we are seeing current requirments for electrical contractors to have a NABCEP installer on the roof.

    Electrician = license NABCEP = Certification HUGE difference

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    Quote Originally Posted by surfboat View Post
    There is a certification in the works for electrical contractors something like NABCEP. I am hearing rumors of it here in Colorado.
    Many states have limited electrical license for solar Thermal and PV. For example in California there is what is called a C46 Solar Contractor license. It is very limited liscense and those holding it cannot perform the same work as say a C10 electrical contractor. A C10 can do anything a C46 can do and a whole lot more including residential, commercial, and industrial.

    Other states like Colorado are following suite with issuing limited electrical license. But IMHO and other professionals it is kind of a trap as it is very restrictive and a niche application. When and if state and federal governments pull the subsidies on RE systems those with limited license are pretty much out of biz over night and cannot perform regular electrical work like a Journeyman or Master EC can do.
    MSEE, PE

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