Licensure and Certification for Solar Professionals
The Solar Program promotes licensure and voluntary certification of solar professionals throughout the United States. Licensing and certification are important credentials to consider when choosing a qualified installation contractor, so it is important to understand the difference between the two.
A qualified contractor should be a licensed professional. Licensing is a legal requirement to practice a trade or profession and is conferred by a government agency. Approximately 10 states have defined a specialized solar contractor's license, and in most cases, these are specialties within the electrical and plumbing classifications and are required for contractors who do not hold a plumbing or electrical license.
For licensing requirements, professionals need to contact their state regulatory agencies.
Certification is a voluntary credential, often awarded by industry stakeholder groups or associations. While licensing is mandatory in most jurisdictions, certification is not. However, certification typically adds a layer of distinction to existing licensure and sets a baseline level of quality and experience in locations where solar contractors' licenses are not required to install solar systems. Proof of certification is often preferred by consumers and can be linked to obtaining local licensure or participating in incentive programs.
Information on certification for experienced solar professionals is also available.