A number of contractors have approached Dale Gulden about how to enter the solar business. Whether it’s the derth of activity in other construction fields or the allure of a burgeoning technology, interest is definitely growing, according to the CEO of Solar Direct in Bradenton, Fla.
However, it’s not all that simple to just hop into the field. In addition to capital, many states with a large stake in solar require licensing.
“It’s not that easy to get your contractor’s license in Florida,” says Brian Goldberg, owner of Advance Solar in Ft. Myers, Fla. “You’re dealing with a lot of different trades.”
Not only are contractors working with hydraulics (for solar hot water and solar pool heaters) and electricity, but they also must have some roofing knowledge. Florida requires two years of work with solar technology before getting licensed. A more experienced contractor then must vouch for your work and character. California has similar requirements, although the licenses do not distinguish between commercial and residential.