People engaged in skilled trades seek certifications to show the public that they are vetted as competent persons in their craft. For example, air conditioning has NATE, auto mechanics have ASE, and electricians can become Journeyman. In the solar energy industry, NABCEP is the de facto standard for certifications. But they offer a wide array of certifications and it’s important to know the difference.
There are certificates for solar energy salespeople, designers, associates, and maintenance personnel. However, the pinnacle of NABCEP certification is the PVIP, or Photovoltaic Installation Professional. It is by far the most challenging and rigorous certification to obtain. It requires training, coursework, and a very difficult test. The PVIP certification lasts 3 years, during which professionals must obtain continuing education credits and prove involvement in the industry to be recertified. The certification is not easy to achieve nor maintain.
In fact, as of January 2023, the NABCEP directory only lists 61 certified PVIP in Florida. And there is only one PVIP in Southwest Florida. Guess who that is – it’s our own Jason Szumlanski, co-owner, Principal Solar Designer, and our state licensed solar contractor.
There is only one PVIP in Southwest Florida. It’s our own Jason Szumlanski
Jason was recently recertified through January 2026. Since originally being certified he has been one of very few PVIP based in Southwest Florida. And at this time he is the only one.
Don’t let others fool you. Local companies will say they are certified, which they may be, but they do not have a PVIP on staff. They may have an associate or a salesperson who is certified. That is not the same thing as a PVIP.
This important NABCEP certification shows that you can be confident that the person responsible for your installation has the highest standards and has a deep understanding of the industry.