Solar Photovoltaic Installation
SMC students performing a public installation.

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Certificate Course Requirements

Departmental Certificate (8 Units)

  • PV 11, Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics (3 units)
    An accelerated lab class that prepares the student on the many aspects and job skills needed for work in the solar industry, whether as an installer, a crew lead, a designer, or even as an owner<.

  • PV 12: Photovoltaic Installation Exam Preparation (2 units)
    Examine the theoretical and technical dimensions of PV systems in detail, learn advanced principles of electricity, sizing and design, components and equipment, as well as local and national codes for PV. Qualified participants (those who have taken PV11 or have industry experience) will be qualified to take the North America Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry Level exam.

  • EE 1, Introduction to Energy Efficiency (3 units)
    Learn basic energy concepts, lighting fundamentals and identification of opportunities for building efficiency. Topics include scientific principles of energy, heat transfer, light measurement, and applying them to comply with energy codes and standards, to meter and monitor results, and to discuss economic, regulatory, and infrastructure issues.

State-Approved, Certificate of Achievement (14 units)

  • PV 11: Introduction to Solar Photovoltaics (3 units)

  • PV 12: Photovoltaic Installation Exam Preparation (2 units)

  • EE 1: Introduction to Energy Efficiency (3 units)

One of these four (3 units each)

  • BIOL 9: Environmental Biology

  • BUS 63: Principles of Entrepreneurship

  • GEO 7 / ENVIRO 7: Introduction to Environmental Studies

  • POLSC 22 / ENV 22: Environmental Politics

  • PSYCH 40 / ENV 40: Environmental Psychology

  • PHILOS 20 / ENV 20: Environmental Ethics

And one of these two (3 units each)

  • INTARC 35: Computer-Aided Design and Drafting

  • GIS 20 / CIS 20 / GEO 20: Intro to GIS

Solar Industry Job Options

  • Entry-level solar installer

  • Solar design positions

  • Solar sales professionals *

  • Entrepreneurial opportunities

* Those with an interest in PV Sales are also encouraged to consider enrolling in:

  • PV 4, PV Technical Sales (3 units)
    This course is designed for students interested in a sales or marketing career in the photovoltaics (PV) industry. The fundamental principles of selling PV systems will be covered as well as the activities that support sales such as PV system design and engineering, marketing, customer relations, technical and cost proposals.

Goals of the Program

The Solar Photovoltaic Installation Certificate is designed to provide students the skills necessary to place and advance in the solar energy industry. It is also designed to provide students with a holistic perspective on the role of solar power in a changing global economy and climate.

  1. Students will demonstrate a basic understanding of the introductory scientific and environmental concepts by applying alternative energy solutions, focusing on solar photovoltaic systems.

  2. Students will be able to solve photovoltaic installation and design challenges, using their understanding of solar photovoltaic systems.

  3. Students will describe environmental, economic, and social benefits of solar photovoltaic systems as well as political and regulatory infrastructure that affect photovoltaic system installation.

  4. Students will remain current on advanced concepts in solar photovoltaic installation, troubleshooting, net metering laws, local codes, and National Electrical Code (NEC) PV requirements. Successful participants will be qualified to take the North America Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Photovoltaic Installer Entry Level exam.​​

How to Get Started on ​Your Certificate

  1. Apply as a New or Returning Student. You will need information such as social security number or a valid Tax Identification Number, educational history, residence information and more.

    Note: Remember to fill out the FAFSA if you need financial assistance.

  2. Fill out the application. Under Major Field of Study, choose: Solar Photovoltaic Installation.

  3. You will need to take the Online Orientation using your new student ID # and password (date of birth: mmddyy). You do not need to take assessment tests.

  4. Plan your classes in MyEdPlan or see a counselor to discuss your academic plans.

  5. Enroll in classes on Corsair Connect you received by email from finishing the application.

    1. ​Click on Enrollment Services.

    2. Select the semester you wish to take classe​s.

    3. Click Add a Class in the left navigation.

    4. Find your class by clicking Search ​for Classes​, select the Enrollment Semester, and choose PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS as the Field of Study. You can also browse classes in the Schedule of Classes.

    5. Input the section #​s

    6. Pay fees under ​Fees Online in the left navigation or visit the Bursar's Office to pay in person. View Fee information for details.​​​

  6. ​Attend an orientation to get ready for your certificate program. You will receive an invitation email after you've enrolled in class on orientation details.

Apply Today!


Please contact Professor Stuart Cooley with questions:
(310) 434-8721