Whether you are new to solar or an experienced solar-industry worker, there are specific eligibility requirements that all NABCEP exam candidates must meet. That said, it is possible to qualify for NABCEP Certification in as little as 3 months.
Who is NABCEP?
NABCEP stands for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners, and this is a nonprofit organization that develops professional certification programs for solar energy professionals.
NABCEP writes and manages the technical standards and eligibility requirements for several certification exams. The two most popular exams are:
The NABCEP Associate program recognizes individuals who have demonstrated knowledge of the fundamental principles of the application, design, installation, and operation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
The NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certification enables solar installation professionals to stand out from their competition using a designation that denotes quality and expertise.
How to Qualify for NABCEP PV Associate
There are two pathways to qualifying for the NABCEP PV Associate exam:
At Everblue, we offer a 40-hour online program called NABCEP PV Associate Exam. This self-paced webinar program aligns perfectly with the NABCEP PV Associate Learning Objectives and has yielded a 90% pass rate for exam candidates since its debut in 2010.
Expected Prep Time: 18 hours
Expected Fees: $749
How to Qualify for NABCEP PV Installation Professional
According to the NABCEP Certification Handbook, there are several ways that an individual can qualify to sit for the NABCEP PV Installation Professional exam.
Boiled down to the lowest common denominator, the most straightforward pathway includes the following requirements:
As you can see, there are eligibility requirements that fall under a Training umbrella and eligibility requirements that fall under a Work Experience umbrella.
At Everblue, we offer NABCEP-approved solar training that satisfies the Training requirements. To get started on these requirements, the best training package to consider is the NABCEP PV Installation Prep Course. This program offers 100+ hours of solar training that will instantly qualify candidates for the NABCEP PV Associate exam and provide advanced solar installation/design training and OSHA 10 online training.
To satisfy the Work Experience requirements, we recommend that candidates volunteer with GRID Alternatives or seek apprenticeship opportunities.
Expected Prep Time: 468 hours (equal to approx. 12 weeks or 3 months)
Again, the time it takes someone to work on a solar installation project will vary and will be dependent upon whether the individual is already employed in the solar industry. 2-3 months is an optimistic estimate.
It may be quicker for solar installers already working in this industry to satisfy the Work Experience requirement, compared to an individual transitioning into this industry.
The GRID Alternatives Team Leader program is specifically designed to help NABCEP exam candidates satisfy the Work Experience requirement and would offer one of the best opportunities to gain this experience.
Given that many individuals prepare for and take the NABCEP PV Associate exam first, in order to qualify later for the NABCEP PV Installation Professional exam, we must factor those 40 hours into our overall expected prep time.
For someone new to the solar industry, then, you should anticipate spending at least 3 months preparing for the first-tier and second-tier NABCEP Certification exams.
Start Now: Register for Everblue’s NABCEP PV Installer package, which contains pre-approved Training hours for the PV Associate and PV Installation Professional exams.