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Workforce Training & Continuing Education

Solar PV Installation

The Solar Photovoltaic Installation Certificate acknowledges an advanced understanding of and experience in overall system installation and maintenance. It is designed for the person responsible for installation such as contractor, foreman or supervisor. Successful completion of the series represents 135 total hours of formal education. Content was developed based on the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Job Task Analysis.

See more information and full list of NABCEP requirements.

Courses are approved for Utah DOPL re-licensing hours for both Contractors and Electricians. Check the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) web site for current licensing rules and regulations.

This program has been approved for STIT funding (50% discount for individuals)


Course WTSS 100
Title Electrical Principles for Alternative Energy

Designed to provide students with a basic understanding of electricity for the energy industry. Subjects include: electron theory; magnetism; electromagnetism; Ohm's Law; series, parallel and multi-wire circuits; protection devices; capacitance; inductance; motor, transformer and generator theory; NEC Code navigation; voltage drop; and wire sizing.

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Course WTSS 200
Title Basic PV Systems
Prerequisite WTSS 100 C grade or higher, or currently licensed Electrician or Engineer

This course introduces students to the principles of utility interactive PV system design. Through classroom and hands-on instruction, the course will prepare individuals to conduct site evaluations, prepare a basic electrical and mechanical design and select appropriate PV system components in accordance with the local municipality. Current NEC code updates will also be discussed.

This is a Hybrid course, meaning most of the work is done online and there are also in-class sessions every other Tuesday evening after start of class.  Specific dates will be provided with registration confirmation.

Required Textbook:

  • Photovoltaic Systems, 3rd Edition,  by James P. Dunlop, In partnership with NJATC, American Technical Publishers

Suggested Textbook:

  • NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) Handbook, 2020 Edition, National Fire Protection Association, ISBN-13: 978-1455922970
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Course WTSI 300
Title Advanced PV Systems
Prerequisite WTSS 200 C grade or higher

This 48-hour course builds upon the foundation of knowledge students acquire in the first two courses, Electrical Principles for Alternative Energy and Basic PV Systems. After successful completion of all course work, students will be able to: safely work with PV systems; conduct site assessments; adapt mechanical and electrical designs; perform system checkouts and inspections; design, install, maintain and troubleshoot commercial and off-grid PV, battery based and hybrid systems. This is a hybrid course, meaning most of the work is done online.  Students will also have hands-on experience in the Solar Training Yard with grid-tied and off-grid systems. All instruction and curriculum are based on the 2020 National Electric Code and NABCEP Job Task Analyses. These classes meet NABCEP education requirements and provide solid preparation for the NABCEP Exams.

Meets 16 hours core and 12 hours professional DOPL requirements for Electricians and 6 hours core for Contractors.

Required Textbooks:

  • Photovoltaic Systems, 3rd Edition, by James P. Dunlop, In partnership with NJATC, American Technical Publishers
  • NFPA 70: National Electrical Code (NEC) Handbook, 2020 Edition, National Fire Protection Association, ISBN-13: 978-1455922970
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There is no college degree or formal certification, such as electricial or journeyman, required to attend any of the courses. A solid background or understanding of electricity and current electrical principles and codes is needed. Because these are important components, the first course in the series is Electrical Principles for Alternative Energy and is the pre-requisite for the other two courses. Currently, licensed Electricians may waive this course with submission of their license.

There are three courses that comprise our Photovoltaic Systems Certificate offerings. The first course is Electrical Principles for Alternative Energy. This provides a solid introduction to electricity and the relevant National Electrical Codes applicable to solar installations. It is designed for individuals without a solid background in electricity and electrical theory. It is followed by the Basic PV Systems and the Advanced PV Systems courses.

Each course meets for 45 contact hours over 8-10 weeks. Completing all three courses takes approximately 6-7 months depending when the series starts.


The courses are hybrids and combines traditional classroom instruction with online learning.  Students will find the syllabus, course module and assignments, PowerPoint presentations, videos and quizzes through CANVAS, Salt Lake Community College's online learning management system.  In addition to online learning, each class will meet in-person every other Tuesday from 6:00pm - 9:00pm at our Meadowbrook Campus located at 3900 South 250 West. The Advanced PV Systems course also includes two Saturday hands-on sessions that are more intensive and usually run 4-6 hours.  Students will work in the Solar Training Yard to complete an 'install' of various types of systems.  

Lab activities include module testing, shading characteristics and analysis, working with equipment going through PV array components, inverters, battery bank wiring, sizing, and installation. System monitoring and troubleshooting are also covered.

Salt Lake Community College issues a Certificate of Achievement at the completion of the appropriate courses - CEAE 0100 and 0200 for the Solar Sales Certificate.  CEAE 0100, 0200 and 0300 for the Solar PV Installation program.   These courses are non-credit and do not lead to a degree.  

CEAE 0100 is a required course for students completing their Energy Management A.A.S. degree program, designated as EGMT 1700.  CEAE 0200 and CEAE 0300 (EGMT 1710 and 1720 respectively) are technical electives for students enrolled in the EGMT degree program. 

Yes, they ALL do.  Each course has been reviewed and approved through Utah Department of Occupational and Professional Licensing as follows:

Electrical Principles for Alternative Energy

  • Contractors - 9 hours Code
  • Electricians - 9 hours Code and  18 hours Professional

Basic PV Systems

  • Contractors - 6 hours Code 
  • Electricians - 6 hours Code and 11 hours Professional

Advanced PV Systems

  • Contractors - 6 hours Code
  • Electricians - 16 hours Code and 12 hours Professional

Each course is offered at least twice per year. Additional courses may be added to meet student and/or industry needs.

Electrical Principles for Alternative Energy requires the textbook "Mike Holt's Illustrated Guide to Basic Electrical Theory", 3rd Edition.  Basic PV Systems and Advanced PV Systems courses both use the textbook "Photovoltaic Systems", 2nd Edition. Advanced PV Systems course also requires the most current NEC Handbook. These can all be purchased at the SLCC Taylorsville Redwood Campus Bookstore. 

You will also need "Ugly's Reference Guide" - YES, that is the name of the book.  You can purchase this through numerous sources online or at most any local store that sells electrical equipment.

Non-credit courses are not eligible for traditional federal financial aid such as student loans or Pell grants.

There may be other agencies, such as Vocational Rehab or Division of Workforce Services, who may provide financial assistance. You may contact them directly to determine what is available.

Short Term Intensive Training (STIT) funds may be available through the State of Utah for students taking non-credit courses. If funds are available and students meet eligibility requirements, 50% of tuition for the non-credit course is covered.  Please contact the program coordinator for more details.

The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) is a nationally recognized and well respected certification organization for the solar professionals.  NABCEP's mission is to support, and work with, the renewable energy and energy efficiency industries, professionals, and stakeholders to develop and implement quality credentialing and certification programs for practitioners.

NABCEP offers entry level knowledge assessment and professional certifications and is considered by many to be the 'gold standard' for PV installation and sales certifications. 

NABCEP offers an Entry Level Exam, which confirms basic knowledge about the solar installation process, fundamental principles of the application, design and operation of Solar PV systems.  This is not the same as being a Certified installer, but it says to a potential employer that you're getting into the industry and have learned enough to pass a still rigorous exam.

NABCEP also offers two certifications that are applicable to our program - PV Installation Professional and PV Technical Sales.  Both of these certifications require submission of an application with demonstration of additional experience before being accepted to sit for the exam. 

At the completion of the Solar Photovoltaic program at SLCC, including all three courses, students will have surpassed the minimum number of education hours required to take either the Exam or Certifications. 

You can find additional details about each of these on the NABCEP website. In the lefthand column, click Entry Level or Get Certified to find more info, including candidate handbooks, application deadline updates and application process and forms. 

When students can put on a resume or tell potential employers that they have passed the Entry Level Exam or achieved a NABCEP certification, they gain a valuable edge over others vying for the same position. This shows potential employers the students have the knowledge and experience necessary for the job and that they are ready to get to work without rigorous in-house training.