This week on Bucket Talk, we’re learning about everything solar. Brian Buzbee, aka The Solar Slayer, has worked his way up through the solar industry over the past decade. From an apprentice installer to a Sr. Electrical Foreman, he has put in time and dedication on the field to become a seasoned veteran in the game, and has even written his own field guide for others in the trade. Dive in as Jeremy and Eric learn about his start as an electrician, the benefits of solar, the future of the industry, and much more.
Starting as an installer, Brian Buzbee has worked his way up through the ranks to become a fully trained electrician. Having obtained a degree at a four year university, working in solar was not in his career plan. However, seeing the opportunity in the growing industry, Brian made the switch to focus on solar.
“...I had a friend who was just like, ‘Hey, you know, solar is paying really well, hop over here.’ And I kind of just went for it. As soon as I got into it I was, you know, really enthralled with it. I loved it. I loved everything about it, sort of learning as much as I could. And then I just kind of built my knowledge base...”
Now 7 years into his career, Brian is now a Sr. Electrical Foreman for a large company and has worked in just about every electrical role within a solar company - from lead installer, to electrical helper electrician, to corpsman construction supervisor, and so on.
“You don't have to necessarily go to a solar trade school or... electrical trade school, you can work, you know, under an electrician at a solar company for a while... build up your hours, go to schooling in the evening, things like that... become an electrician that way. So there's multiple avenues to get into the solar trade.”
The solar industry has taken off over the past 10 years, with the past 3 years seeing an unprecedented boom in the industry. As a relatively new business, Brian and his team are continually working on past projects from when solar installations were less calculated.
“...it was kind of wild west back then. So I would say... people just need to, you know, make sure they're not looking for companies that just want to slap solar up as quickly as possible. Find a company that's... focused on their quality and their safety... make sure they're providing the right safety gear and all that, a lot of companies will try to skimp there.”
Looking forward to the next 10 years, Brian is expecting the solar industry to continue growing in and innovating. For example, in California all newly-built homes are required to have solar, which opens new business opportunities. The industry will also likely see new technologies such as solar shingles and other components that can absorb light.
“They have windows now that can generate electricity... maybe even siding one day, so just you know, any side of your house or portion, your house that get sunlight, probably power the house, I'm hoping that's what we can get to.”
In his free time, Brian enjoys DJing and skateboarding. He is also the author of a field handbook on solar installations which can be found on his website. With the sky as the limit, Brian has made his way to the top of the solar game.