How to Qualify for the NABCEP PV Exams

Created:
Tue, 2016-08-16 09:38

Last Updated: 2017-04-19 12:35

Professionals interested in earning a solar PV designation from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) have several options for testing.

If you'd like to have a career in solar energy, start with our Introduction to Solar series. Then you can work toward these nationally recognized solar certification exams.

NABCEP Entry Level Program*

This program is designed for individuals who want to get into the solar field. Passing this exam demonstrates one’s basic understanding of the application, design, installation, and operation of solar PV systems.

*As of 2016, NABCEP is rebranding this exam to be called the NABCEP PV Associate.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Completing coursework that covers the NABCEP Learning Objectives with a Registered Exam Provider, such as Everblue

A passing score on this exam does not result in a certification. While certification requires on-going continuing education, this certificate of knowledge merely illustrates a candidate’s proficiency and understanding of topics. Those who pass this exam can identify their achievement on their resume as receiving a NABCEP PV Associate Certificate of Knowledge.

 


 

NABCEP PV Installation Professional

Perhaps the most sought-after of the NABCEP certifications, the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Exam also features perhaps some of the most complicated eligibility requirements.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Education – Participate in a minimum of 58 hours of solar PV training
  • Experience – Documented experience on 3-5 solar installations
  • Have an OSHA 10 hour construction industry card or equivalent
  • Pay for and complete an application by the deadline
  • Accept the NABCEP Code of Ethics & Standards of Conduct

Education: 40 of the 58 hours must cover advanced solar PV installation and design principles AND be offered by an accredited education provider, like Everblue

Experience: The number of documented solar installations depends on a candidate’s educational background and field experience prior to taking the NABCEP exam. The candidate must have acted in the role of contractor, lead installer, foreman, supervisor, or journeyman. Candidates must provide system information, permits, and inspections for each project that he/she has installed.

 


 

NABCEP PV Technical Sales

The NABCEP PV Technical Sales Job Task Analysis defines a set of knowledge, skills, and abilities typically required of solar PV sales personnel who are responsible for site analysis, system design, ethical presentation, accurate analyses, and projections of electrical and financial performance of PV systems.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Complete an OSHA 10 hour construction training course
  • Satisfy at least 1 of the 8 qualifying certification eligibility categories identified in the NABCEP Certification Handbook
  • Pay for and complete an application by the deadline
  • Accept the NABCEP Code of Ethics & Standards of Conduct

Many of the qualifying categories require documented solar sales experience, a specified level of training, and/or a passing score on the NABCEP Entry Level Exam (NABCEP PV Associate Exam).

 


 

Real Talk - How to Qualify for the NABCEP PV Exams

The eligibility requirements listed above are those set by NABCEP. It can be very difficult to determine how exactly you will meet these pre-requisites, so here’s a cheat sheet for what classes we recommend that you take to qualify.

Please note – Everblue is a solar training provider only. We are not set up to provide the field experience needed to qualify for this exam. If you need field experience, we recommend that candidates volunteer with GRID Alternatives or Habitat for Humanity.

To take the NABCEP Entry Level Exam / NABCEP PV Associate Exam…

  • Enroll in Everblue’s 40-hour online Entry Level Solar Training for $599
  • Contact us to assist with exam registration. Application fee is $150

To take the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Exam…

There are two ways to pursue this exam. Interestingly, the requirements change depending on this one question: Did you take and pass the NABCEP Entry Level Exam?

1 - "Yes, I passed the NABCEP Entry Level Exam"

Ok, you need 58 hours of education + 10 hours of OSHA construction training. Remember that the 58 hours must contain 40 of advanced solar installation training, which leaves a remainder of 18 hours. Because you passed the NABCEP Entry Level Exam, NABCEP will let you count Entry Level Training toward this remaining 18 hours.

You can count the following Everblue training toward this requirement:

  • 18 hours of Entry Level Solar Training
  • 40 hours of Advanced Solar Training
  • 10 hours of OSHA construction safety training

All of these hours are available in Everblue’s Solar PV Mastery Combo – one training package for $1,899.

2 - "No, I did not take/pass the NABCEP Entry Level Exam"

Ok, you need 58 hours of education + 10 hours of OSHA construction training. Remember that the 58 hours must contain 40 of advanced solar installation training, which leaves a remainder of 18 hours. Because you did not take/pass the NABCEP Entry Level Exam, NABCEP will NOT count any Entry Level Training toward the remaining 18 hours.

You can count the following Everblue training toward this requirement:

  • 40 hours of Advanced Solar Training
  • 16 hours of Solar Design & Sales Training
  • 10 hours of OSHA construction safety training

All of these hours are available in Everblue’s Solar PV Mastery Combo – one training package for $1,899.

  • Find 2 hours of NABCEP-approved advanced solar training

To take the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Exam...

As you saw above and in the NABCEP Certification Handbook, there are a number of ways that you can qualify for the exam. Some of the qualifying categories rely more on training while others rely on field experience or previous NABCEP certifications held.

If you are interested in the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Exam and want to qualify with a specific category but you’re not sure how you can do it, call us at 800-460-2575, and we can assist you with choosing the right class or classes.