The Photovoltaic (Solar) Installation Assistant program has been suspended due to low enrollment. Students should consider looking at other educational institutions to seek a similar program. If you have any questions, please contact the Program Coordinator, Vince Bennici, by phone 416.491.5050 x22499 or email Vince.Bennici@senecacollege.ca

This program provides graduates a basic understanding of photovoltaic (PV) systems for both commercial and residential settings in order that they may assist in the installation of a given PV design. Students are provided basic instruction on the principles of electricity in order to work safely. As work involves going on roofs and handling potentially hazardous materials, students are also instructed on fall protection and WHMIS. Successful students obtain certification in WHMIS and fall protection from the Construction Safety Association of Ontario (CSAO).

Only an electrician is eligible, by law, to perform certain tasks related to the installation and maintenance of a PV system. There is a need, however, for assistants who can work safely and be respectful of the limitations of their role. No such training program exists currently. According to a study by the US consulting company IMS Research, the world market for photovoltaic production and installation will increase by approximately 80% from 2008 to 2013.

Career Opportunities

Graduates find employment with contractors, consultants, engineers and electricians.

For more details on related occupations, job market information and career opportunities, please visit the Government of Canada website.

National Occupational Classification (NOC) - Government of Canada

The National Occupational Classification (NOC) provides a standardized language for describing the work performed by Canadians in the labor market. It gives statisticians, labor market analysts, career counselors, employers and individual job seekers a consistent way to collect data and describe and understand the nature of work.

Entry Requirements

Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or mature student status. Mathematics for College Technology at the grade 12 level an asset.


It is your responsibility to ensure that program requirements and course prerequisites as outlined are met. Prerequisites are included for your academic protection. Knowledge of the prerequisite material is assumed by your instructor and instruction will proceed accordingly. Students lacking prerequisites not only jeopardize their own ability to succeed but present unnecessary interruption. If you lack appropriate prerequisites (or Transfer Credit for the prerequisite course) you may be asked to withdraw or transfer to a more appropriate course with the risk of academic/financial penalty.

Filter Classes: In Class     Online     Correspondence     Hybrid     Availability   


PV Fundamentals

This 42-hour course provides students a basic understanding of photovoltaic (PV) technology and the use of solar energy in a variety of contexts. Topics include the major components of a PV installation and factors which must be considered when a PV installation is designed for a given location and requirement. Labs and hands-on experience are included.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Basic Electricity for PV


PVD101 PV Fundamentals.

This course provides a basic understanding of the essential concepts of electricity and its role and behaviour in PV systems. Topics include basic units of electrical measurement, resistors, conductors/insulators and their properties, voltage drips and power loss. Students learn how these principles apply to a PV installation.

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Safety for PV

Students explore the potential and actual dangers associated with PV installations. Considerable attention is paid to the importance of fall protection and learning how to effectively use a fall-arrest system, as well as to inspect and ensure certification of system components. Hazardous materials are covered, as are the requirements of the Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS).

Loading availability...
If the availability does not load please click here.

Program Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the PVI program the student will be able to:

  • Apply an in-depth knowledge of photovoltaic terminology and components
  • Demonstrate knowledge of manufacturers' specifications, installation requirements and procedures
  • Apply knowledge of mounting options and interconnection requirements
  • Reduce the threat of shock and hazards associated with electricity
  • Work safely and be respectful of the limitations of the role of assistant
  • Perform installation tasks in a way which maximizes system performance
  • Identify ways to maintain knowledge of current provincial regulations and incentives
  • Use fall protection equipment effectively
  • Achieve certification for fall protection (CSAO) and for WHMIS

Credit for Prior Learning

Prior Learning Assessment

Earn college credits for what you already know!
Prior Learning Assessment is a method of assessing and recognizing learning that is equal to college level learning, but has been gained outside a traditional classroom (through work experience, volunteering, outside study, etc.). If you can prove that the knowledge you have gained meets the outcomes of a Seneca course, then credit will be awarded.

How does the PLA process work?
Prior Learning is demonstrated through a "challenge" process. The process measures learning through a variety of methods which may include tests, portfolio assessment, interviews, demonstrations, essays, and work samples. The method used will be determined in consultation with a Program Coordinator.
For more information and to determine if you are eligible for PLA, please call the Program Coordinator.

The process may take from 6 to 8 weeks.

Note: Not all courses can be challenged. For more information go to PLA website or contact your Program Coordinator.

Transfer Credit (Advanced Standing)

Many students who enter Seneca College will have earned academic credits in post-secondary educational institutions which they may be able to apply toward completion of a Seneca College program.

Requests for Transfer Credit must be for a specific course and must be accompanied by an official transcript and course outline. A minimum grade of "C" (60 percent) is generally required for a course to be considered for Transfer Credit.

Download a Transfer Credit Request form. An official copy of your transcript and applicable detailed course outlines should be attached and submitted. Please note it may take 4 to 6 weeks for a Transfer Credit decision.

More Information

Please visit the Degree and Credit Transfer Office.


Recognition of Achievement

Upon successful completion of the program requirements, please submit a Request for Recognition of Achievement Form to the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training. There is no cost for this and your Recognition of Achievement will be mailed to you.

Program Contacts

Cherry Langlois
Program Assistant
416-491-5050 ext.22523

Vince Bennici
Program Coordinator
416-491-5050 ext.22499