Today’s employer advice is from Megan Brannen at SUNTEX.
Q: Tell us about your organization.
SUNTEX LLC is a family-owned company based out of North Texas. With an emphasis on high-quality solar power with the highest level of customer service. We’re dedicated to providing the best energy solution and experience to our customers.
Jose and Ally Mendoza founded the company a few years ago. Jose, who worked for another solar company, was frustrated with the discrepancies in the sales and service areas of the industry and decided he could reinvent how things were handled to provide superior awareness and service. He wanted to enhance education for homeowners to make important decisions about switching to solar power and he wanted his employees to be invested in the homeowner’s understanding of solar and the service being provided.
Thus, SUNTEX was founded, offering the best education in solar power available.
Q: What advice would you give to people in midlife who want to transition to a green job?
There are TONS of opportunities out there, with varying levels of training needed. For example, if you want to work in solar and have a sales background, you could receive on-the-job training to learn about solar while you grow your book of business and see if solar is right for homeowners in your area. If you have experience with construction work or installation, there are plenty of companies hiring green laborers to start installing solar systems—and while you will have to climb up on roofs, the panels are much lighter and the install process is much simpler than it may look. If you’re interested in a job in wind energy you may have to do a little more research, but the good news in either field is that this technology is here to stay, so you will have job security for at least the next 30-40 years. My advice to you is to get a quote for solar today, ask them about the process, and see if there’s any part of the solar pipeline that you might be interested in.
Q: What are the skills that you believe will be required most in the short-medium term in your industry?
Because the energy industry is vast there is a wide array of skills needed—from the front end, like sales, marketing, and customer service, to the backend, such as product development, web and integrated systems design, and operations, as well as installations and the on-the-ground work required to install energy projects. If you like math and you’re looking for longevity in your career, you might look into getting your electrician certification—since this is a good paying job, is highly flexible (in both the jobs you’re hired for and the hours you’ll need to work), and while it does take time to get your full Master’s electricians license (~8 years), you can start working with very little experience while going to classes to fulfill your hourly requirements, and there are lots of folks who started doing this later in life so your classes likely won’t be filled with a bunch of 19-year-olds.