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How to Become a NABCEP PV Associate
Individuals wanting to get into the solar industry should seek to become a NABCEP PV Associate. Many solar companies recognize NABCEP as the most respected credentialing organization in the solar industry. In the search for a solar job, this credential can be a significant highlight on your resume. Here is some important information on how to qualify for and earn your first NABCEP credential.
What is a NABCEP PV Associate Credential?
Best described in NABCEP’s Associate Handbook, “A NABCEP Associate Credential offers industry professionals increased credibility and marketing value, providing them with a competitive advantage and greater career mobility, while improving industry quality and standards of practice.”
How will it help me?
Also explained in the Associate Handbook, “A PV Associate credential benefits individuals by informing employers, customers, and other stakeholders that an individual has knowledge of the fundamental principles of application, design, installation, and operation of photovoltaic energy systems.”
Plus, you will have a unique credential number and be listed on NABCEP’s website directory where employers can confirm your accomplishment.
How do I qualify?
There are two ways to qualify for the exam:
- Education Pathway: Complete a course that covers the full NABCEP PV Associate Job Task Analysis for photovoltaics with a Registered NABCEP Associate Provider (ImagineSolar)
- Experience Pathway: Document at least six months of full time equivalent work experience related to photovoltaic, solar heating, or small wind technologies
Steps to pass the NABCEP PV Associate Exam
Step 1: Start and complete solar training
In order to correctly answer the questions on the exam, you should participate in a solar training program. Our online course PV201e: Principles of Solar PV System Design & Installation is designed to take you from square one to an intermediate level of knowledge of solar technologies and their applications. The course is like two courses in one in that it covers battery-based PV systems as well as grid-tie PV systems without batteries.
Our course satisfies the NABCEP PV Associate Job Task Analysis and includes additional ImagineSolar learning objectives based on our years of experience as solar industry practitioners. Once you complete our course, you will not only be eligible to take the exam but will also be prepared to pass the exam.
Step 2: Register for the exam
You can register to take the exam after you complete our course. To register you fill out a form that states your name, email address and date of birth and you pay the exam fee. The exam fee is $150 ($125 of this fee goes to NABCEP and $25 is our processing fee). There are no other fees beyond the $150. You will find the registration link on our website. Once this fee is paid, ImagineSolar will submit your eligibility form to NABCEP.
After we submit your information, NABCEP will contact you through email about the process to schedule a time and place to take the exam. NABCEP has their PV associate exam proctored by Castle Worldwide which has locations all over the world. Therefore, the NABCEP PV Associate exam is available throughout the world as well as the USA.
Step 3: Review course material
ImagineSolar gives course participants 12 months of access to our courses. Therefore, you will have plenty of time after you complete the course to go back and review the course material as many times as you need. We encourage you to keep studying until the day of the exam.
Step 4: Take the exam
On your testing date, you will need your government issued photo I.D. and the admission ticket sent from NABCEP. You do not need to bring any other materials as the exam proctor will provide pencils, calculators, and scratch paper. If you take our Principles course and study hard, then you can expect a NABCEP PV Associate Credential in the mail four to six weeks after passing the exam. Our promise: we want to fully support you as you seek this NABCEP credential. If you do not pass the exam, we will extend your access time so that you can repeat the course in its entirety.
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