Installation Basics Training Program

GRID Alternatives seeks to provide an effective, efficient, and equitable pathway into the solar industry.

Our Installation Basics Training (IBT) program awards trainees with certificates for industry-relevant skills learned and demonstrated in GRID’s unique, hands-on training environment under the supervision of our professional solar installation staff. 


Benefits of the IBT Program

  • Invaluable hands-on training and access to potential employment opportunities
  • Earning skill certificates by demonstrating competency in real-world installations  
  • Priority volunteer slots on most installations
  • Access to trainee-only events and workshops
  • Entry into the Team Leader Program

Earning IBT Certificates

IBT trainees can obtain GRID certificates in any of the following array and electrical skills*:

IBT Array Certificates IBT Electrical Certificates
  • Job site safety
  • Fall protection
  • Array layout
  • Racking installations
  • Microinverter installation
  • Module installation
  • Job site safety
  • Electrical safety
  • Electrical layout and mounting
  • Conduit bending and installation
  • Electrical wiring
  • Monitoring and communication

To learn all (11) Skills Certificates, IBTs typically need to dedicate 130-300 hours in the field (8-20 complete installations). Track your fulfillment of certificates using this personal tracking sheet and verify progress in the My Profile tab of the volunteer portal.

*Availability of some certificates may depend on the designs of the solar installations in your regional office’s installation pipeline.  Speak with your regional contact to learn more.


Start Training with GRID

To become a GRID Trainee you must:

  • Sign up for an installation
  • Participate in at least one full GRID Alternatives installation
  • Attend Installation Basics Training Orientation at your regional office  
  • Demonstrate competency of IBT skills under the evaluation of GRID staff members to earn your skill certificates

Trainees who complete either all the electrical or all the array skills in the IBT program can then move on to the Team Leader program.  Access to the program is based on training slot availability and individual assessment.      


Employment Opportunities for Trainees

Trainees have access to various potential paths to employment, including

  • on-site networking opportunities with other volunteers and corporate sponsors
  • referrals to companies who are hiring for installation and other positions in the solar industry
  • access to the GRID Alternatives Resume Bank
  • referrals through GRID's Sub-contractor Partnership Program (SPP) for paid short-term work as an SPP job trainee.  
  • access to solar jobs guides compiled by GRID workforce development staff

Are you a solar employer or job training organization?

If you are interested in group training programs or hiring a GRID trainee, please visit our Job Training Organization and Employer pages.

Sign up for your first installation!

ex. (510) 123-4567