SunPeak’s Systems Integration Leader Talks about Traditional, Advanced & Critical New Skill Sets for Solar Technicians

Technician working on a laptop
Photo Courtesy of SunPeak

By Madeline Patton

John Schwarzmeier, group leader of Systems Integration at SunPeak in Madison, Wisconsin, sees two  sets of skills for solar technicians and the emergence of a third set of critical IT skills.

First, this is what he considers the “traditional” attributes for all solar technicians:

  • knowledge of electricity, circuits, solar energy, and the national electrical code;
  • understanding of  the means and methods for installing solar energy systems;
  • fluency with construction terminology and tools;
  • experience with construction and job-site safety; and
  • a good work ethic.

The second set of skills is for forward-thinking individuals who want more advanced solar technician roles. They need to be able to use specialized tools such as global positioning systems (GPS), unmanned aircraft systems or drones, or special test equipment that is specific to the solar industry.

“Experience in some of these special tools and equipment would definitely give them a leg up,” he said.

He expects that the most sought-after technicians in the future will be individuals who understand computer networking, internet protocol addresses, and the principles involved in devices communicating with each other—essentially the Internet of Things (IoT).

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