How to become a NABCEP Entry Level PV Technician?

1. Take a NABCEP (North America Board of Certified Energy Practitioners) approved solar class.

2.Take the NABCEP test, 60 questions, 2 hours.  The exam fee is $75.00.

3.The technician installing solar equipment may encounter a variety of physical and environmental challenges. The following Technical Standards are provided to help students understand some of the physical requirements required to be successful in this industry.

Technical Standards

  • Ability in the following: use of formulas, problem solving, use of calculator, electricity concepts, solar resources principles, solar electric system components.
  • Ability to lift 40 pounds
  • ability to tolerate heights of 20 feet or more.
  • Ability to tolerate adverse weather conditions (i.e. extremes in temperatures)

UPDATE: The Certificate of Knowledge is no longer offered, but you can pass the Entry Level Exam/Program

from NABCEP’s website

The NABCEP PV Entry Level Program is designed for those individuals wanting to get into the solar field; achievement of the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam is a way for candidates to demonstrate that they have achieved a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of the application, design, installation and operation of grid-tied and stand-alone PV Systems.

Upon successful completion of  coursework offered by a registered NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam Provider, a student is eligible to sit for the PV Entry Level Exam. Prior to taking the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam, students should have demonstrated a basic understanding of the principles outlined in the Learning Objectives.

The knowledge demonstrated by passing this test does not replace the knowledge, skills or abilities of the electrical or other construction trades, or those of other professions or degree programs that require considerably more academic and/or practical experience.

Individuals passing the NABCEP PV Entry Level Exam should not be confused with NABCEP Certified PV Installers. The latter can only be achieved by highly experienced individuals who have passed a much more rigorous examination and have demonstrated the capability to supervise complete PV system installations, and who have a detailed working knowledge of the electrical codes, standards and accepted
industry practice associated with PV installations.

As the market grows for photovoltaics, students achieving this industry-sponsored Entry Level Exam may find that their employment opportunities are enhanced by starting the job with an understanding of the basic terms and operational aspects of a PV system. However, completing coursework and passing the exam does not qualify an individual to install PV systems.

{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Garland, TX January 24, 2010, 6:54 pm

    Totally incorrect information. The NABCEP PV Installer test costs $300 with a $100 application fee. And you can’t just take a test to qualify for the test.

  • admin January 25, 2010, 2:05 am

    Yeah, thanks, I have corrected the article to be more specific toward the PV Entry Level exam only, good catch. The Certified PV Installer or Professional NABCEP exam is $300 with a $100 app fee, and you need to have some 2kW previously installed. It is important to specify the difference between the PV installer certification and the PV Entry Level exams.

  • First of all, please note that achieving the NABCEP Entry Level Exam does not give anyone the title of “Entry Level Technician” or authorize the recipient to install renewable energy systems.

    To be eligible to take the NABCEP Entry Level Exam, a person must first complete a course offered by a Registered provider of the Entry Level Exam. These courses are not approved, reviewed or offered by NABCEP but are based on the NABCEP 10 Learning Objectives. Not all courses are created equal so please visit for information on how to select a renewable energy training program.

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