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Over the last 10 years, the solar industry has grown by almost 50% and accounts for 43% of all new electricity- generating devices in the United States.
Semiconductors are unique substances, which act as either conductors or insulators of electricity, depending on the conditions. Semiconductor processors turn semiconductors into photovoltaic cells. The process begins with the production of cylinders of silicon or other semiconducting materials, which are called ingots. The ingots are sliced into thin wafers using automated equipment and are sometimes polished. The wafers are then connected to metal strips and placed into the cells. These cells are then arranged into larger solar panels. Credentials : The level and type of training necessary for occupations in the solar power manufacturing process varies. Most production workers are trained on the job and gain expertise with experience. Workers in more skilled positions, such as computer-controlled machine tool operators, may attend formal training programs or apprenticeships. Experience working with electronics or semiconductors may be helpful for some of these occupations. Industrial production managers are typically required to have college degrees in business administration, management, industrial technology or engineering. Annual Median Salary : $45,660
Glaziers are responsible for selecting, cutting, installing, replacing and removing glass or glass-like materials. Photovoltaic panels are placed in an aluminum frame and are typically encased in glass or laminates to protect them from the elements. The glaziers are responsible for measuring and cutting the glass or laminate to cover the panel, securing it in place and sealing it using rubber, vinyl or silicone compounds. It is important to prevent the cover from cracking or scratching, thereby reducing the efficiency of the solar panel. Credentials : Glaziers typically learn their trade through a three- or four-year apprenticeship or on-the-job training. On the job, they learn to use the tools and equipment of the trade; handle, measure, cut and install glass and metal framing; cut and fit moldings and install and balance glass doors. Typically, they also need to have a high school diploma. Annual Median Salary : $47,180
Power Plant Operators
Power plant operators monitor power generation and distribution from control rooms at power plants. They monitor the solar arrays and generators and regulate output from the generators. They also monitor instruments to maintain voltage to regulate electricity flows from the plant. Power plant operators communicate with distribution centers to ensure that the proper amount of electricity is being generated based on demand. They also go on rounds through the plant to check that everything is operating correctly, keeping records of switching operationsPrevious Page