The number of solar sales jobs is growing rapidly and you should take advantage of this trend. But how do you become a solar sales consultant yourself?
Solar energy accounted for 2.8% of all electricity generated in the US in 2021. Currently, over 135 gigawatts (GW) of solar capacity are installed across the nation. This is enough to power 23 million homes.
255,000 Americans worked in the solar industry in 2021 in over 10,000 companies. 2021 also saw an increase of 9.2% in solar jobs compared to 2020. Solar jobs in demand include installation project development, wholesale trade, distribution, manufacturing, maintenance, and others.
But how do you find solar sales jobs? We’ve got you. Here’s everything to know about an estimated salary, qualifications needed, and necessary preparation. You’ll have all the necessary knowledge to get solar panel sales jobs.
A solar sales job is also called a solar sales consultant or a solar sales representative. You sell solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers. You’re the first point of contact customers have, and you provide them with information about solar-powered equipment, cost savings, and energy incentives they can get by investing in solar products.
These are the responsibilities of a solar sales consultant:
Some solar sales consultants reach out to try and find customers, while others only respond to customers who contact the company they work for to get an assessment.
A solar sales consultant should have great interpersonal skills, a passion for solar energy, and be able to build a rapport with customers.
Finally, a solar sales representative job has excellent room for growth and advancement. You can work your way up into an account executive role, become a sales manager, and get the regional sales manager position. These promotions come with higher salaries as well.
The average salary you can expect for solar power sales jobs is $97,035 per year. An average hourly rate is $47, which is the equivalent of $1,866 per week, or around $8,000 per month.
On the lower end, the salary for a solar sales job is around $20,000; on the high end, you can earn as much as $184,500. However, most solar sales consultants earn between $65,000 to $115,000, with the highest-paid ones earning $150,000 annually.
Overall, the average pay for solar sales consultants greatly varies, which shows there are chances for advancements and increased pay based on your skill level and years of experience.
Location plays a big role in determining how much solar panel sales jobs are paid. Wyoming and California are the two states with the highest solar sales job salaries. Santa Clara and San Francisco in California have higher salaries than the national average by 14%, and Green River, Wyoming, beats the n ational average by almost 23%.
Overall, California leads with the cities with the highest solar sales job salaries. Apart from SF and Santa Clara, other notable cities are Fremont, Bolinas, San Jose, and LA.
Washington, DC, and NY (state) are the only other two locations apart from CA and WY, with cities that have above-average salaries.
Qualifications for getting solar power sales jobs vary depending on the company and their specific position and requirements.
However, these are the most common skills and experience you need to have.
Solar energy sales consultants should have several years of sales experience. Most sales consultants have between two to four years of experience in a sales role, such as a sales manager, sales associate, or store manager.
Previous sales experience helps you have soft skills, such as customer service and self-confidence. You should appear knowledgeable and trustworthy to the customers.
Most solar energy sales representatives contact existing and potential customers to talk about their solar energy needs, so you need to be well-versed in sales and marketing methods. Luckily, many solar sales consultant jobs also have training that lasts several weeks, which can help you with sales experience.
As a solar sales consultant, you’ll spend a lot of time conversing with customers, so knowledge of solar technology is crucial.
Customers can contact you to discuss their solar energy needs, they may want to determine what kind of solar equipment and systems they need and more. You need to be knowledgeable about solar energy, the technology used in solar products, solar equipment and systems, and engineering science.
A solar sales representative needs interpersonal skills such as verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to handle conflict or dissatisfied customers, empathy, teamwork, the ability to listen, and a positive attitude.
Generally, you should be able to listen and communicate well with customers and other teams. You need to have the ability to work independently and collaborate with other solar energy professionals. You also need strong oral and written communication, for example, to send proposals to customers.
Finally, you should be able to take the initiative and be persistent to successfully close a job.
Technical aptitude goes hand-in-hand with solar knowledge. This means you should have the ability to reason with logic, have the problem-solving ability, and critical thinking. You should also have a love for technology and be able to explain complex technical terms.
For example, you should have extensive knowledge of PV equipment and installation, knowledge of wiring and equipment, the ability to read equipment manuals, explain how a residential solar system functions, and know what’s the solution if a client wants to buy a package but they have a lot of shade in their yard.
Business development is closely aligned with marketing. You should know the basic marketing principles and how to apply them in solar energy sales jobs.
Your task is to grow a business, and you may be asked to create strategic plans for sales areas or customized energy packages for large-scale installations.
You need basic marketing knowledge to know how to present these to the customer, you need to know your target audience, and you need computer skills to create plans, packages, and estimates.
Your goal is to sell a solar energy package to the customer, which means you need to be good at negotiating. This entails having good communication skills, emotional intelligence, active listening, and problem-solving.
Around 60% of solar sales jobs have a bachelor’s degree. 6.5% of solar sales consultants have a master’s degree. However, it’s possible to get a job working in solar sales with a high school diploma (8% of solar sales jobs).
You should choose the right major for working in solar sales. Most representatives have a degree in business, finance, or computer science. You can get a job in solar sales with other degrees as well, as long as you have sales experience and strong communication skills.
There are several things you should do to prepare for a solar sales job.
The first contact a potential employer will have with you is through a resume. You should dedicate time to writing this, as this is your chance to stand out among hundreds of other applicants.
There are endless resources online on how to write a resume, but here are some of the most important points:
Pro Tip: Don’t make it too long. Hiring managers don’t want to wade through a three pages long resume, so there’s no need to include that you were part of a high school debate team. Stick to the most important points about your previous jobs, and make it as short as possible, ideally one page long.
Always write a cover letter. Even when you’re applying online, and the application doesn’t ask for it, write a cover letter. This is the best chance you have of getting HR’s attention. It’s also the best way to distinguish yourself from other applicants. A cover letter may be the difference between being invaded to the interview or getting your resume ignored.
Your resume focuses on your previous jobs and accomplishments. But a cover letter is a link between what the solar company needs and what you can offer.
Start with researching the company you’re applying to. Learn everything about the solar sales job you want. Read the description carefully, and check the company’s website and LinkedIn. This will help you customize the cover letter and set the right tone.
Your resume is a way to look into the past with your past jobs. But, a cover letter should focus on the future. Explain why a solar sales job is exciting for you and what you can bring to the position.
Talk about your previous sales experience. You can even include an example of how you solved a tricky situation with a customer to show your communication skills.
Overall, try not to rehash your resume, but show an understanding of the solar industry and explain why they should invite you to an interview.
The goal of networking is to develop long-term relationships and build a good reputation in the solar industry. This can result in solar sales representative jobs.
Here are a few reasons why you should network and build connections in the solar industry:
This is why you should attend industry events and network with professionals. For example, RE+ is the biggest renewable energy event in the USA. Intersolar North America is another huge solar energy event with over 4,000 attendees.
Finally, you should join industry groups and associations. For example, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) is working with over 1,000 companies to build jobs in the solar industry.
Solar Energy International (SEI) is a non-profit educational organization. They provide technical training and expertise in renewable energy. You can apply to their Renewable Energy Education Program (REEP) to learn more about solar energy and network with other like-minded people.
There are several ways you can find solar sales job opportunities.
One of the best ways to find solar sales jobs is to use job search engines. Moreover, use industry databases.
Here are some top places to look for solar sales jobs:
Note: You can tailor your search for solar jobs by setting up filters for specific companies and locations on many sites. You can also set job alerts for solar sales positions. This way, you’ll be among the first to see and apply to a positing, which improves your chances.
This is where networking comes in handy. You can ask for referrals and recommendations from industry contacts.
Moreover, use professional networking sites such as LinkedIn. There are currently 53,000 solar sales jobs posted on LinkedIn. You can filter these by company, salary, location, and more. Treat LinkedIn as your resume and make sure it’s optimized, then apply for solar sales jobs you’re interested in.
Finally, you can use our own job board. We’ve worked hard to provide a place for green professionals to find employment.
Our job board allows you to filter jobs by entering the keyword. You can choose the location you want and choose between several dozen categories. We even made it possible to search for full-time, part-time, internship, or contract jobs.
You can click on the solar sales rep job you’re interested in to find out more about the company and apply directly on our website.
The first step to finding a job in solar sales is to get acquainted with what are solar sales. If you’re already familiar with the solar industry, that’s half the work done.
The solar industry is among the fastest-growing industries in the US, with thousands of solar sales jobs available across all states. Make sure to prepare your resume and cover letter before you start applying.
Then, check out our GreenCitizen Job Board, choose a position that best fits your interests, and apply directly on our website.