SEI SOLAR PROFESSIONALS CERTIFICATE PROGRAM TRACKS
The SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program is a selective admissions program to help ensure the success of our students and provide a quality workforce for the solar industry. To determine a candidate’s likelihood of program completion, alignment of career goals, and overall good fit for this professional training program, we require a certificate program application to be completed by every student candidate. This is required for any certificate path and acceptance into the overall program. Multiple Certificates can be earned by adding courses to your original Certificate Path.
Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic Systems Certificate
Program Tuition: $4,175 or $3,775 with tuition incentive.
This certificate path covers a comprehensive spectrum of grid-direct residential and commercial photovoltaic design and installation applications. Applying the National Electric Code and job-site safety considerations will be strongly emphasized in this certificate program. The technical concepts needed as a solar professional, whether you’re working on single family homes to commercial projects to utility scale systems, will be covered in this program. This Certificate Program will satisfy the training portion of the requirements for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam and the NABCEP PV Certification exams. (with PVOL203 as the chosen elective).
Battery-Based Photovoltaic Systems Certificate
Program Tuition: $5,550 or $5,070 with tuition incentive.
Even though the vast majority of solar photovoltaic applications are now grid-direct, there are homes and industries that need battery-based photovoltaic systems. Through this certificate program you will be trained on the technical application of solar photovoltaic battery-based systems to serve many different areas such as the telecommunications industry, agricultural applications, off-grid homes and other remote applications, and grid-connected battery back-up systems. This Certificate Program will satisfy the training portion of the requirements for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam and the NABCEP PV Certification exams.
Solar Business and Technical Sales Certificate
Program Tuition: $3,500 or $3,180 with tuition incentive.
This certificate path is perfect for an individual who is seeking a sales or product representative position in the solar industry or is considering starting their own business. A solid focus on the technical, economic, and financial aspects of the solar industry are covered in this program to prepare you for the fast paced and highly dynamic solar industry. In addition to understanding all the financial incentives and sales techniques, being technically competent in the application and installation of photovoltaic systems will make you a better sales professional. This certificate program will give you the confidence needed when talking with potential customers about this highly technical field. This Certificate Program will satisfy the training portion of the requirements for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam and the NABCEP PV Certification exams.
International and Developing World Applications Certificate
Program Tuition: $3,975 or $3,575 with tuition incentive.
Not all solar professionals are on a roof in the United States installing photovoltaic systems. Some of the most rewarding and meaningful work can be found in the developing world. Solar professionals can be found working for government aid agencies and other non-profit organizations who are training local communities to become self sustaining. This work is often accomplished through application of renewable energy technologies in some of the most remote areas of of the world. This certificate program will take you through the common battery-based photovoltaic technologies and other developing world topics to prepare you for a rewarding career in helping the world realize the hope provided by renewable energy. This Certificate Program will satisfy the training portion of the requirements for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam and the NABCEP PV Certification exams.
* In-person destination International training can be used in lieu of RD101, but a tuition difference may apply. Examples: Nicaragua and Costa Rica training locations.
Renewable Energy Applications Certificate
Program Tuition: $3,000 or $2,680 with tuition incentive.
This certificate program will expose you to other renewable energy technologies and is often a good “add-on” certificate path for a solar professional who has completed one of the other certificate programs. When talking with home or business owners you may be asked your professional opinion about all the options in the renewable energy sector and which technology will best suit their energy needs and location. In order to explain these technologies with utmost confidence, it is best to get hands-on experience in other renewable energy technologies in addition to photovoltaic systems.
* In-person destination International training can be used in lieu of RD101, but a tuition difference may apply. Examples: Nicaragua and Costa Rica training locations.
Solar Professionals Trainer Certificate**
Program Tuition: $7,100 or $6,460 with tuition incentive.
Hundreds of solar training programs are sprouting up all over, and gaining the knowledge of how to deliver a world class training program can be difficult and daunting. With over 20 years of hands-on and classroom instruction, the SEI curriculum and overall program is the gold standard for solar training and we want to share that knowledge with you. This certificate program will expose you to SEI’s best classroom curriculum and lab training experience for you and your instructional staff to get first hand experience in what it takes to put on a full solar training program at your school or training organization. This Certificate Program will satisfy the training portion of the requirements for the NABCEP Entry Level Exam and the NABCEP PV Certification exams.
*This certificate program only introduces best teaching practices through the actual experience of taking these courses from SEI Instructors. It is designed for current instructors in a related field or people with a strong background in the PV industry who are seeking an instructional role. SEI recommends that an individual receive additional classroom instruction and classroom management training, if not currently an instructor.
**For the Trainer Certificate you must currently be a college or vocational school instructor in a related field.
Why Create a Professional Training Certificate Program?
There is a growing number of available workers in this industry who have taken solar training from organizations with varying degrees of training duration, quality of instruction, and industry recognition. It is becoming harder and harder for an individual to distinguish themselves as many of these training offerings are similar in that they are very introductory and are taught by newcomers to the industry.
Additionally, it is becoming critically important for solar professionals and the employers who hire them to consider WHERE employee candidates received their training and not just WHAT certifications they hold. These two indicators of professional achievement of training certificates and certification should be presented separately by individuals on resumes, during interviews, talking with peers, and talking with potential clients. Both are equally important, but are not the same.
What is Certification?
Solar Energy International recognizes NABCEP as the leading certifying authority in the solar industry. At the same time, many employers recognize SEI as the leading training provider in the industry.
Passing a certification exam from a certifying authority like NABCEP is totally different than a training certificate program. Certification often includes a minimum required amount of training and/or real world experience to sit for a one time examination with required continuing education to maintain one’s certification.
Most individuals don’t have the required real world installation or sales experience to sit for an exam immediately after training. This makes the SEI Certificate Program that much more powerful in that it will prove to employers that you have at least received the most comprehensive and rigorous training in the industry as you work towards the experience you will need in order to sit for a certification exam.
What is a Training Certificate Program?
A quality training certificate program should be based on industry-reviewed curriculum that introduces students to current technologies and best practices. A quality training certificate program should also have a strong focus on safety and real world job-site conditions. Additionally, a quality training certificate program should be long enough in both training hours and number of courses to fully expose you to all the topics and conditions that exist in the industry.
During the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program you will exceed the baseline required number of training hours for industry certification exams. One thing to keep in mind when selecting a training program is that a quality training certificate program should offer you rigorous preparation for an industry and a career. It should NOT solely prepare you to pass a test. This explains why SEI’s certificate paths are at least 120 contact training hours in length.
Certificate Program Application and Admissions
The SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program is a selective admissions program to help ensure the success of our students and provide a quality workforce for the solar industry. To determine a candidate’s likelihood of program completion, alignment of career goals, and overall good fit for this professional training program, we require a certificate program application to be completed by every student candidate. This is required for any certificate path and acceptance into the overall program.
Tuition Incentives – Payment Plan Programs
Investing in your career and your future is one of the best uses of personal resources. With that said, a professional training program can be costly. Solar Energy International offers financial assistance for your certificate program through EITHER a tuition payment plan OR a tuition incentive.
Receive tuition incentive pricing (see above) when paying for the entire certificate program in full on the day of registration for the entire certificate path. This incentive is not available for students who are transferring in a PV101-equivalent training from another institution towards their certificate program completion. If you have previously taken courses with SEI, please refer to the Alumni Loyalty Tuition Incentive section below. If you fail to complete your entire program of study within a year of the start date of your program you will be charged the full price difference for the course or courses you have completed or started.
Alumni Loyalty Tuition Incentive
You may have already taken courses from SEI that you would like to apply towards completion of one of the defined certificate paths. SEI will give you a $100 tuition incentive towards each of the courses you need to complete your program of study. You must commit to completing the full certificate program of study within one year. This incentive is reserved for past students who want to return to complete an entire certificate program. Alumni who only want to take SEI courses for continuing education or general education do not qualify for this incentive. You will need to complete the certificate program application in order to be accepted into the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program. *Please also carefully read ‘Transfer of Previous Training or Experience’ section below.
Tuition Payment Plan Details
You can choose to apply for a payment plan with SEI to cover the cost of your Certificate Program. If you are approved for a payment plan, you will be required to pay $500 at the time of registration. Monthly payments of $500 (suggested) will begin on an agreed upon day or the month. Our Student Services team will work with you to determine payment amounts, method and withdrawal dates. You will have up to 6 months after the end date of your last course in your certificate path to pay your tuition in full. You do not qualify for the tuition incentive if you opt for the tuition payment plan.
Workforce, Grant, or Scholarship Funding towards Certificate Paths
Many of our current students pay for their full program tuition with different tuition assistance programs through their local workforce offices, grants, or other scholarship sources. This is a great way to get your professional training paid for and get you on your way to starting a new career. If you think you might qualify for workforce funding, you can go to SEI’s Alumni and Career Center and visit ‘Workforce Funding’ on the top left of the screen for more information. In the case of tuition payment through any of these funding sources, the total program cost will be assessed and charged. Due to the additional operational overhead and reporting requirements for these types of programs, SEI will not be able to apply the tuition incentive or payment plan.
Online or In-person Classroom Training
Some of the best training experiences found in this program is through our hands-on labs, but in order to qualify to take these lab sessions you will need to complete the required classroom prerequisites. Through this certificate training program you have the option of completing the classroom portion of your training online or in-person.* The PV101, PV202 and PV203 courses can be taken online or in-person to satisfy that part of your certificate path.
*Based on online or in-person course availability
Records of Completion and Required Assessment
At the end of each training course and upon receiving a passing grade of 70% you will receive a formal SEI Record of Completion for each individual course. Upon completion of the entire program of training with a passing grade in all courses, you will have earned your SEI Solar Professionals Certificate.
A passing grade of 70% will be required to be considered as a passing grade for any given course. You will be required to take an online final exam that covers each lesson area covered for any in-person portion of your training. This includes PV101, PV202, PV203, PV206, and RD101.
The final exam format will be identical to the quizzes found in our online courses, but will be delivered in a hybrid online format for in-person students. Online students will be given 6 weeks to complete the online version of the classroom courses and in-person students will be given 6 weeks after the last day of their in-person courses to complete their final exam online. Both student populations will be afforded the same level of access to supporting resources to complete the required assessments.
Lab trainings do not require assessments through quizzes, but do require that you successfully complete the installation and hands-on portion successfully with 100% attendance.
Transfer of Previous Training or Experience*
In recognition to all of our past students in our 20 years of existence, you will be able to transfer in any SEI training you have taken in the past towards any certificate path. This training will be honored as long as the training contact hours duration and learning outcomes are consistent with current course offerings for which you are transferring in to satisfy your chosen certificate path requirements.
You will be required to take the online quiz portions of the in-person classroom training in order to qualify for this transfer of past SEI training towards a SEI Solar Professionals Certificate path.
For many of our past students this will mean that they have already satisfied all the required training for a given certificate path or may be only one or two courses away from completion. If you are an SEI alumni and feel that you have completed the required training for any of the Solar Professional Certificate paths, please fill out the certificate program application to join. You can also call the Student Services Team for an SEI transcript review. If you have indeed taken all courses that you need for any particular certificate program path and are accepted into the program, we require a $150 transcript review fee.
SEI will allow the application of previous training credit from another training organization, but only for a PV101 equivalent training or comparable current solar industry work experience. This can only be used for a PV101 level of training and does not apply to any other training experience you may have acquired elsewhere. The SEI Student Services Team will be able to determine if you qualify for this transfer of training credit upon reviewing your application. You will be required to take the online quiz for PV101 in order to qualify for this transfer of past training towards an SEI Solar Professionals Certificate path.
Certificate Program Cancellation and Refund Policy
If you cancel out of the program you will be charged according to our cancellation policy. For cancellations made more than 30 days prior to the start of any course or workshop, 50% of the tuition will be refunded for that session. Cancellations made within 30 days prior to the start of the individual course or workshop result in forfeiture of your tuition for that session. Workshop transfers are allowed, but must be made 30 days prior to the start date of that session, and a $100 transfer fee will apply.
If you fail to complete your entire program of study within a year of the start date of your program you will be charged the full price difference for the course or courses you have completed or started. For all other courses, the cancellation policy will apply.
If you are unable to complete the workshops and courses in your Certificate Program, or need to transfer sessions, due to illness or natural disaster, please contact Breccia in the administration office at 970-963-8855 extension 107.
If you have completed the application online, we have received your application for the SEI Solar Professionals Certificate Program electronically.
This is a selective process based on preferred applicant criteria. Our selection phase is ongoing throughout the year and we will be informing recipients as they are accepted into the program. It can take up to 4 to 5 business days to hear back from our Student Services department. Individual training plans, payment plans if applicable, and the registration process will be explained to each recipient upon acceptance into the program. Once accepted, you will be notified directly.