Your Questions About Solar Energy Jobs

Jenny asks…

Careers in Solar energy and Photovoltaics?

I am really interested in solar energy(currently in high school).I wanted to take up a career in this field.I would like to know the available choice of careers in the area and the academic requirements for the same.

admin answers:

You can do research on making and fitting solar cells. This would require engineering, chemistry or physics… At school you’d have to stay on top of maths & sciences.

You could work for a company that fits solar cells, in which case you could get on an apprenticeship or similar. A bit of maths and practical subjects like electronics (if you can) wouldn’t go amiss.

Alternatively, you could try getting work for a power company that deals with solar power. They will need people with skills in marketing and business. For other things they would need people with problem solving skills, the sort of things you pick up from maths, physics etc. I’m not sure how competitive these are…

I did a physics degree and I’m now writing up my Masters thesis in solar cell research. The other people in my research group either had degrees in physics, although one guy did electronics engineering.

I could have got a job with a power company, solar cell company or a PhD in solar cell research from here. Whatever path to solar you take, it’s safest to make sure you stay on top of maths and science at school IMO.

Chris asks…

I’m interested in a career in Solar Energy. What kind of College Major is required?

I’m going to be a senior in high school this year and I need to find a major to accomodate my goals. I believe a degree in engineering is the way to go. I hope go to to the University of Texas at Austin because they have courses in Solar, but it is not indicated what major it is associated with. Even if I do carreer in solar energy, what can I expect to be doing as part of my job?

admin answers:

If you want to stay on the “practical side” of solar energy, take a degree in Mechanical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering Technology for your undergraduate degree.

If you want to go to the Research side, take Engineering Physics or Engineering Mechanics, or perhaps Electrical Engineering, then follow up with a Master’s degree.

One interesting non-Engineering degree is offered by James Madison University:

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