SEI Alumni Highlight: Derek Mast – Commitment to Continuing Education

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 6.14.55 AMDerek Mast, a foreman for a large, multi-state solar company. Derek has been in the solar industry for a year and a half and before joining the solar industry, Derek was an electrician for six years. He is one of several dozen employees his company has sent to SEI for training. They put all new hires through SEI’s introductory class and some employees, through more advanced solar training. Derek joined SEI for PV 351L, a hands-on lab class covering tools and techniques for operation and maintenance of PV systems. The course is advanced training designed for solar professionals like Derek, who are already working in the PV industry who want to take their technical skills to the next level ­and gain hands-­on experience with a wide range of advanced analytical tools and meters.

While Derek is an experienced electrician, he speaks to the need for training for everyone getting into the field. For himself, though he came from a strong technical background, he emphasizes the amount of knowledge and experience he needed to assimilate in order to fully understand the DC side of systems. And for anyone new to the field, he said “There’s a lot of stuff you don’t know that you don’t know you don’t know. Just getting some base level education is important. There’s a lot that can go wrong when you’re wiring up a solar system. And knowing how to install things well, figuring out what best practices and why they’re best practices is important as you’re learning your field.“

And why did his company send people to SEI for solar Installer training:  “My company really values bringing their students a lot of education through SEI”. He added that training really adds to the company’s overall effectiveness, increasing their reliability and diagnostic ability. While he definitely believes in on the job training Derek said “I can teach people on the job but I’m going to miss stuff that the course will take them through.”He added that he really appreciated the shared experience of instructors who have been in the field for such a long time who can speak to scenarios and systems that you encounter much but will eventually need to in your career. But even for his co-workers that are not directly involved installs, Derek emphasized that “my company puts everyone through PV101 online. It just gives so much context to everyone, even if they’re in accounting… It really helps communication within the company.”

Derek is enjoying his transition into solar, intrigued by all he is learning and the quickly advancing technology in the industry. He is quick to share his knowledge with his crew and excited to encourage everyone in the field to continue to learn and evolve with industry.

The post SEI Alumni Highlight: Derek Mast – Commitment to Continuing Education appeared first on Solar Training – Solar Installer Training – Solar PV Installation Training – Solar Energy Courses – Renewable Energy Education – NABCEP – Solar Energy International (SEI).


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