PV Installation Professional Requirements

PV Installation Professional Requirements Changed on January 3rd, 2018

To qualify to sit for the NABCEP PV Installation Professional (PVIP) Certification Examination, every Applicant, regardless of background, education or experience, will need to document:

  • Completion of a minimum of ten (10) hours of OSHA Outreach Training Program for the Construction Industry training (or provincial equivalent); AND
  • Completion of at least 58 hours of PV training, which includes:
    1. At least forty (40) hours of advanced PV-specific training covering the NABCEP PVIP Job Task Analysis
    2. A maximum of eighteen (18) may be obtained from non-accredited, non-certified sources; AND
  • Completion of installations equaling at least 6 Project Credits:

Projects Credits are as follows:

  • System size of 1 – 999kW = 2 Project Credits
  • System size of 1MW and up = 3 Project Credits

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PV Installation Professional Certification Information

The NABCEP PV Installation Professional certification is a voluntary certification that provides a set of national standards by which PV Installation Professionals with skills and experience can distinguish themselves from their competition. Certification provides a measure of protection to the public by giving them a credential for judging the competency of practitioners. It is not intended to prevent qualified individuals from installing PV systems or to replace state license requirements. The target candidate for this NABCEP certification is a range of installation personnel including but not limited to: installers; project managers; installation, foreman/supervisor, and designers. The NABCEP PV Installation Professional certification has been developed in accordance with the best practices of the certification field. NABCEP is a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (I.C.E.) and has endeavored to follow the requirements of ISO/IEC Standard 17024: General Requirements for Bodies Operating Certification Systems of Persons. 0702 NABCEP Solar PV Installation Professional Certification is North America’s only renewable energy personnel certification that has been ANSI accredited to the internationally recognized ISO/IEC 17024 standard.

PV Installation Professional Practice Exams

Online practice exams are now available for the NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certification Exam. As an exam candidate, you now have the opportunity to become comfortable with the format of the exam. It also allows test-takers to become more comfortable with the timing of the exam and knowing how long to spend on a given question. From the time of initial access, test-takers will have a 48-hour window to complete the exam. They consist of 35 sample questions similar in type to those found on the actual examination. Those who purchase the practice exams will have twice the amount of time as they would during the official examination. Once the exam is submitted, a full score report will be immediately available. This report will inform the test-taker of how many questions they answered correctly in each area of the practice exam. Click Here for more information and to purchase a practice exam.


All candidates for the Solar PV Installation Professional Certification must have experience in the field acting as the person responsible for installing PV systems, a minimum of 58 hours of advanced PV training and an OSHA 10 hour construction industry card or equivalent. All candidates must pay for and complete an application by the exam deadline. Specific requirements for each candidate vary by category according to your experience and background. It is important to review the NABCEP Certification Handbook for this exam thoroughly in order to choose a category under which you will apply. In order to qualify for this exam you must meet all of the requirements for your chosen category. All Solar PV Installation Professional exam candidates must meet all training and installation requirements that are outlined in section three (3) of the NABCEP Certification Handbook.


In order to qualify for the Solar PV Installer Exam, a candidate must successfully complete a minimum of 58 hours of advanced PV training before the application deadline. A minimum of forty(40) of the fifty-eight (58) prescribed hours must cover advanced solar PV installation and design principles and practices addressed in the NABCEP PV Installer Job Task Analysis. All advanced PV training must be offered by one of the following education providers: NOTE: Courses offered by private training organizations or businesses that are not accredited or taught by instructors certified by a recognized third-party will not be accepted for the minimum of 40 hours of advanced solar PV installation and design training.  CLICK HERE TO FIND A CLASS A maximum of eighteen (18) of the fifty-eight (58) prescribed hours may be obtained from non-accredited, non-certified sources such as:
  1. Courses covering building and electrical codes relevant to the installation of solar PV systems
  2. PV Associate coursework through a NABCEP Registered PV Associate Exam Provider, provided that a passing score was obtained on the NABCEP PV Associate Exam. NOTE: Courses leading to the NABCEP Associate Exam do not qualify for the minimum 40 hours of advanced PV installation and design.
  3. Additional OSHA or equivalent workplace safety courses above and beyond the required OSHA 10 hour course
  4. Training programs and courses that are registered with NABCEP for Continuing Education Credits for the PV Installer Certification
  5. Any other coursework that addresses topics included in the NABCEP PV Installer Job Task Analysis (NOTE: the applicant will need to submit a course outline and signed letter from the training provider detailing how many hours were spent covering the NABCEP Solar PV Installer Job Task Analysis in the course.)
Completing a minimum of 10 Hours of OSHA Construction Industry training is also required. Click Here to Find an OSHA 10 Hour In-Person or Online Class Near You.


Depending on the qualify category selected, all candidates for the Solar PV Installation Professional exam must provide documentation for three (3) or five (5) installations where they have acted in the role of contractor, lead installer, foreman, supervisor, or journeyman. Candidates must provide system information, permits and inspections for each project that he/she has installed. Additionally, if the name listed on the permit or inspection does not match that of the candidate, a letter to verify the role of the candidate is required. Please read sections 3.4 and 3.7 of the Certification Handbook for more details. If you are ready to start an application, please click here.

PV Installation Professional Job Task Analysis (JTA)

The foundation document for all of the NABCEP Certification Exams is a detailed description of the job and subject matter involved. This is referred to as a “Task Analysis, “Job Task Analysis,” or “JTA.” The JTA is updated every 3 years to incorporate changes made to the National Electrical Code. The NABCEP PV Installation Professional JTA (2017) defines a set of knowledge, skills, and abilities typically required of solar PV Installation Professional. The JTA guides the development of an exam by which candidates for certification can demonstrate that they possess 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 Installation Certification. The new NABCEP PV Installation Professional JTA (2017) will form the blueprint for all PV Installation Professional Certification exams starting on January 3rd, 2018. At that point, the PVIP Certification exam will be available via computer-based testing (CBT) as well as in pencil-and-paper format. For test dates offered in pencil-and-paper format, please see NABCEP’s calendar.  

National Electric Codebook Requirements for Computer-Based Exam

The National Electrical Code (NEC) is the ONLY reference approved for use during the NABCEP PV Installation Professional, PV Design Specialist, PV Installer Specialist, and PV Commissioning & Maintenance Specialist Certification exams. All candidates’ Codebooks will be checked by the test proctor/administrator for adherence to the guidelines in this document before candidates are permitted access to the testing room. Codebooks from any year may be used. However, candidates are advised that exams are updated regularly to align with the newest Codebook. Only softbound and spiral-bound versions of the Codebook are permitted. Highlighting within the Codebook is the ONLY permissible method of preparing or manipulating the Codebook prior to the exam. Codebooks that fail to meet the following guidelines will not be allowed in the testing room. These guidelines are in place to ensure that every candidate is tested fairly and that no candidate has access to unapproved resources.
  • Handwritten notes are NOT allowed in any portion of the Codebook.
  • Movable or permanent tabs are NEVER permitted in the Codebook.
  • Codebooks CANNOT contain sticky notes, loose papers, or any added materials.
  • Additional keyword indexes CANNOT be used with or added to any Codebook.
  • Photocopied documents CANNOT be added to a Codebook.
  • Photocopied versions of a Codebook are NEVER permitted.
  • Formula sticks CANNOT be used with or added to any Codebook.
  • Test preparation study guides are NOT approved references and are NOT permitted in testing centers.
During the testing process, candidates are NOT permitted to do the following:
  • Share Codebooks with other candidates.
  • Highlight, underline, mark, or write any information in their Codebooks.
Castle Worldwide, Inc. asks that candidates leave all unauthorized materials outside of testing centers. If candidates are caught using unauthorized materials during testing or making marks in their Codebooks, their materials will be confiscated, their testing will be terminated with fees forfeited, and NABCEP will be notified of their actions. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]