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NABCEP Entry Level Exam and Certifications
Entry Level Exam: For people who are new to the solar industry, the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) Entry Level Program is a way for candidates to demonstrate that they have achieved a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of the application, design, installation and operation of PV and Solar Heating systems. As business and mainstream awareness grow in both PV and Solar Heating, candidates who pass the Entry-Level Exam corresponding to their field may have a leg up when applying for entry-level positions. Individuals passing one of the NABCEP Entry Level Exams should not be confused with NABCEP Certified Installers.
Certifications: NABCEP Certifications demonstrate that an individual has proven their competence in the field and their commitment to upholding high standards of ethical and professional practice. Certification standards and eligibility requirements have been developed and designed carefully following professional credentialing guidelines. Requirements of experience and education are specific to each different certification that NABCEP provides, so it is paramount that you plan and verify your eligibility standing directly with NABCEP's guidelines.
PV Entry Level Program - Where to Start
1. To be eligible to sit for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam, students must successfully complete:
- PV101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) or PVOL101: Solar Electric Design and Installation (Grid-Direct) - Online
- and PVOL203 Solar Electric Design (Battery-Based) - Online or PV203 PREP Battery-Based PV System Fundamentals
2. The NABCEP Entry Level Exam includes questions on grid-direct and battery-based PV systems.
3. To learn more about NABCEP and the requirements and recommendations for sitting for exams, visit www.nabcep.org.
SEI's Training Path for Taking the PV Entry Level Exam
- Required path:
SEI's Training Path for Taking the Solar Heating Entry Level Exam
- Recommended path:
Registering for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam
There are two options available:
- Paper and Pencil Exams are conducted at our Paonia, CO classroom. For offerings of the NABCEP ELE, please see Paper and Pencil Exam for PV or the Paper and Pencil Exam for Solar Heating links for the most current scheduling and details for registering to take the exam at SEI's Paonia, CO campus. The fee for the Paper and Pencil Exam is $170/person, which includes SEI's administrative fee. You must call to register and the fees for all test registrations are non-refundable.
- Computer-Based Testing (CBT) is facilitated at testing sites around the country. For the CBT, NABCEP has contracted with Castle World Wide to facilitate your exam. You may want to contact Castle World Wide directly to find out first if a test center is near you at 1.919.657.6965. The fee for the Computer-Based Exam is $120/person, which includes SEI's administrative fee and is non-refundable. If computer-based testing is the option for you, follow these steps:
1. Verify that you have completed the necessary training by calling or emailing Student Services at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (970) 963-8855. You will then be provided with the form: NABCEP ELE - CANDIDATE ELIGIBILITY FORM.
2. Complete the form and email it as a pdf attachment to email@example.com (or fax to 970-963-8866, if necessary).
3. Call Solar Energy International at (970) 963-8855 to register and pay for your testing fees by phone.
4. Your information is then submitted to NABCEP, and Castle World Wide will contact you with a "no-reply email" to schedule time and location for testing.
NABCEP certification is based on training and experience. To learn more about NABCEP and the requirements and recommendations for sitting for exams, visit www.nabcep.org. Solar Energy International offers training that qualifies people to sit for the following exams.
NABCEP CERTIFICATION: NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional
NABCEP offers a Certified PV Installation Professional Program based on a set of Job Task Analysis. “The Solar PV Job Task Analysis (JTA) contains a detailed listing of the skills and abilities that an installer of PV systems should have. The JTA guides the development of an exam by which candidates for certification can demonstrate that they truly posses the skills and knowledge that their peers and experts have deemed necessary to do the job well. It is the core document of the NABCEP Solar PV Installer Certification.”
Solar Energy International’s training path for the taking the NABCEP Certified PV Installation Professional Exam:
- Recommended path: PV 101, PV 202, PV 203 (online or in-person; PV203 only offered online at this time)
- Optional: PV 201L & 301L- Lab classes fulfill education hours, but do not count towards the NABCEP installation requirement.
- See www.nabcep.org for more information on additional eligibility requirements and study materials for the PV Installer Certification
NABCEP CERTIFICATION: Solar Heating
NABCEP offers Solar Heating Installer Certification based on a set of Task Analysis. "The NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Job Task Analysis (JTA) defines a general set of knowledge, skills and abilities typically required of practitioners who install and maintain solar hot water or pool heating systems. The JTA guides the development of an exam by which candidates for certification can demonstrate that they truly posses the skills and knowledge that their peers and experts have deemed necessary to do the job well. Created by solar thermal industry experts, it is the core document for the development of the NABCEP Solar Heating Installer Certification. Subject Matter Experts (SME's) are used to research and develop examination questions for each of the content areas on the exam. All of the questions undergo extensive review and editing." (www.nabcep.org)
Solar Energy International’s training path for taking the Solar Heating Installer
• Recommended path: ST101
• See www.nabcep.org for more information on additional eligibility requirements and study materials for the Solar Heating Installer Certification.
NABCEP CERTIFICATION: PV Technical Sales
NABCEP offers a PV Technical Sales Certification. “The NABCEP PV Technical Sales Job Task Analysis defines a general set of knowledge, skills and abilities typically required of Solar PV Salespersons who are responsible for site analysis, system design, ethical presentation, and accurate analyses and projections of electrical, environmental, and financial performance of PV systems.”
Solar Energy International’s training path for taking the PV Technical Sales Exam:
• Recommended path: PV 101, PV 202, PV 203, and PV 206 (online or in-person; PV203 only offered online at this time)
• Optional: PV 201L & 301L
• See www.nabcep.org for more information on additional eligibility requirements and study materials for the PV Installer Certification.
NABCEP CERTIFICATION: Small Wind Installer
NABCEP offers a Small Wind Installer Certification based on a set of Job Task Analysis. The Wind Job Task Analysis contains a detailed listing of the skills and abilities that an installer of small wind systems should have. The JTA guides the development of an exam by which candidates for certification can demonstrate that they truly posses the skills and knowledge that their peers and experts have deemed necessary to do the job well. It is the core document of the NABCEP Small Wind Installer Certification.
Solar Energy International’s training path for the taking the Small Wind Installer Certification Exam:
* Recommended path: WP101, WP201
* See www.nabcep.org for more information on additional eligibility requirements and study materials for the Small Wind Installer Certification.
Continuing Education Requirements for NABCEP Certified PV Installers
To maintain certification, the certified installer must document the completion of:1) At least 6 hours on the latest version of the National Electrical Code, including Article 690 and other sections relevant to the installation of PV systems;2) At least 6 hours of technical PV related to the most recent version of the NABCEP PV Installer Task Analysis or complementary to photovoltaic technology; 3) “Other” - Up to an additional 6 hours of instruction related to PV or renewable energy that may be technical or non-technical. In addition to attendance at qualified educational and training events, NABCEP grants up to 12 continuing education contact hours to certificants who: instruct and teach qualifying courses; author qualifying articles or publications; and/or, present qualifying lectures, seminars or workshops.