This is the career you're looking for in the sustainable tech industry

Aug 13 2018, 6:52 pm

Deciding what you want to do after graduation can be a tough call.

And if you’re the kind of person who thrives working in a more technical field, there’s a career you may not have considered yet. It’s part of the sustainable tech industry, and one of the most in-demand careers in BC.

We’re talking about the role of an electrician, specializing in solar power.

Provincial government statistics estimate that there will be 6,540 job openings for construction and industrial electricians between 2015 to 2025 in BC. And the development of new technology makes this respected career even more efficient and innovative, opening up a whole new realm of opportunities for you.

How solar energy works

By now, you’ve probably seen buildings or vehicles with solar panels in Vancouver. These panels capture energy from the sun, converting it into electricity. The energy collected is then transmitted to an inverter which converts it from direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) – the form of electrical energy used to power homes and businesses.

All electricians who install and maintain photovoltaic installations need to be properly trained and intimately familiar with DC electrical theory. And you could be one of them by studying for your qualification and starting an apprenticeship with the help of the Industry Training Authority (ITA).

Theory in practice

There’s no denying it – technology creates cost-effective, sustainable energy solutions. And if you’re working for an electrical contractor, it’s going to be your responsibility to help ensure the safe installation and management of solar panels.

Electrical contractor Terratek Energy specializes in the installation of photovoltaic panels for homeowners, schools, commercial, and municipal clients. Their team is made up of electrical journeymen and apprentices, some of who are also LEED accredited professionals, certified energy managers, and members of the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians group of British Columbia.

Tradespeople at Terratek help clients design and build a photovoltaic system to collect energy during the day which enables real-time energy usage within the building. In times when energy production is greater than usage, these systems can send energy back to the grid and the client receives a credit from the utility.

Since Terratek launched in 2005, it has seen changes in the industry and has kept up with them through on-the-job training.

“The technology is out there. It’s becoming more and more mainstream. It’s an ever-changing industry with new products and technology every year. You can learn the basics, but as far as keeping up on it, that’s where the companies that specialize in it come in,” says Landon Aldridge of Terratek Energy.

Luckily for you, sustainable energy is covered in an increasing number of electrical apprenticeship programs. Visit ITA now to find out if this could be the career for you.

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