Solar Jobs: Snag a Solar Job with Five Easy Steps

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Get that suntan lotion bottle open pronto. The sun today is more powerful that it has ever been – and while this might prove to be not-so-good for your skin, it couldn’t be better news for Mother Earth’s shell. The more you look around, solar panels are becoming more of a permanent fixture at homes and businesses – and don’t be surprised if you begin to see even more solar panels on electric cars, too. And where there are solar panels, there are solar jobs.

The push for greener ways to use energy and preserve the earth via Mr. Sun is spreading like wildfire throughout the business community, so it makes sense to consider pursuing a job in this growing, in-demand field. More attention is going to the sky and less to the earth’s crust – the area that contains non-renewable fossil fuels that are overused in the United States yet produce greenhouse gases and strongly contribute to global warming.

Here are several steps that shed some light on how you can break into the solar jobs industry.

1. Master your knowledge of the solar jobs industry. Go to solar conferences (such as Solar Power Generation USA) to learn about the industry from leading experts. Talk to local solar salespeople to find out more about how their companies’ products work, and shadow them on the job (these people easily can make anywhere from $30,000 to $100,000 a year with commission). Shadow a solar panel installer as well (these workers earned an average of $72,000 in 2012, according to SimplyHired.com). This will give you a good idea about what area of the solar jobs industry is most fitting for you and give you the knowledge you need to finally speak the language of the solar world.

2. Build your sales experience. Even with the solar panel industry already being flooded with job seekers who want installer jobs, the opportunity to do marketing and sales with major solar power companies constantly is growing as demand increases. Pursue a local sales job – particularly one in the green jobs industry, if possible – so that you get used to giving presentations and marketing a company’s products. Many companies require their job candidates to have sales experience under their belt.

3. Consider getting your solar degree. Some companies require that you have a bachelor’s degree in an area such as environmental studies or engineering. Obtaining a business degree or completing a minor in business further can help you to prove to companies that you are well-prepared for work in a professional business setting: You understand the solar world but you also understand the business world in terms of making profits, tracking money and hiring strong employees as a manager.

4. Talk to hiring managers in person. Don’t just resort to sending out your resume to companies when responding to postings for solar jobs. Actually take your resume to the hiring manager in person. This is an opportunity for you to sell yourself – and if you can sell yourself in a professional way, the hiring manager just may think you are qualified to sell the company’s solar products as well. Make yourself standout by researching the background of the company before you arrive, and while at the company, explain why you are passionate about working for the business and the strengths you can bring to it. Use solar industry terms – from “tax credits” to “net present value” – that further solidify your expertise in the field in the mind of your potential new boss.

5. Choose solid references. These references need to be people who not only can attest to your strong business and solar industry acumen but also attest to the quality of your character. When working in the solar business, specifically in the area of sales, you need to be trustworthy in order to have a strong base of clients and obtain solid referrals – which can the life or death of you in solar sales. Prove that you are an overall solid job candidate with great testimonials to back up your worth.

By YaShekia King

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