SolarCity PV Designer Reviews | Glassdoor.co.uk

Find jobs for PV Designer

SolarCity PV Designer Reviews

Updated Jan 5, 2018

To filter reviews, or .

2.9
30%
Recommend to a Friend
92%
Approve of CEO
SolarCity CEO & Co-Founder Lyndon Rive
Lyndon Rive
19 Ratings
  1. "PV Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PV Designer in Fresno, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at SolarCity full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Work from home, free snacks in the office.

    Cons

    No work/life balance, poor training.

    Advice to Management

    Hire experienced managers instead of just promoting top employees to management.

    SolarCity2018-01-05
  2. "PV Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PV Designer in Phoenix, AZ
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SolarCity full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Schedule is flexible. Great team and nice coworkers!

    Cons

    Could be a good "first job" out of school, but when it comes down to career, there are less possibilities.

    SolarCity2017-12-27
  3. Helpful (4)

    "Fun and flexible but pay is too low"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PV Designer in Salt Lake City, UT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    I have been working at SolarCity full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Flexible schedule Good culture with upbeat and passionate coworkers Green industry

    Cons

    $12/hr for many people with engineering degrees Bonus structure hasn't kept up with increased workload demands No real opportunities for advancement Software isn't updated to fix bugs and add new requirements Boom and bust solarcoaster

    Advice to Management

    Pay design department to meet demands of job Keep software updated to decrease time spent on projects due to bugs and new requirements

    SolarCity2016-10-23
  4. Helpful (7)

    "From Bad To Worse"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PV Designer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SolarCity full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Teammates that are friends for life. Casual work environment, you can wear jeans to work. Ability to make your own schedule. Work from home whenever you want. Good job for a recent grad that is looking for experience.

    Cons

    1. Pay is miserable. There are people that literally qualify for food stamps while working full time for SolarCity. When you're hired they say you can make up to 100K a year with their bonus structure but that is a complete lie. There is a "clawback" meaning they take money from your bonus every time one of your previous job is cancelled. Also, bonus is taxed at a different rate (40%). You'll end up making your... salary $40K plus some extra money that doesn't amount to anything significant. They don't even match your 401k. 2. Lack of vision/communication. Management will say they care about the customer and getting them the best designs available but then they will push you to complete 5 designs a day. Inconsistencies on what is said and what is done are seen everyday. Enormous disconnect among different departments create a toxic environment and have employees playing the blame game constantly. 3. Micromanagement/metrics. SolarCity tends to promote young high performers, regardless of their capacity to manage. This ends up with a management style that overly focuses on metrics, resulting in a tense work environment. You will literally be asked what you did every hour of every day, and questioned when you don't meet their unrealistic expectations. You'll find yourself working off the clock constantly to meet their fantastic demands. 4. Work environment. Truth is, nobody likes working for SolarCity anymore. The constant lay off threat and change of focus is burning out the best employees that are either leaving or just doing whatever is enough to get by, without going that extra mile. I haven't seen anyone that truly enjoys working for SolarCity for MONTHS. 5. Zero opportunity for growth. When I was hired, SolarCity was known for it's fast growth and opportunity to be promoted fast. This is completely GONE. There are no opportunities for promotion or to expand your skills/knowledge to move up. They don't even give you a yearly raise or performance review. 6. Work/life balance. Rotating schedule will have you working Saturdays for 4 weeks, every other month. They would have us working Sundays if they could. Management does not care about work/life balance. They will look at you weird for not wanting to work Friday nights since it's "the best time to work". You will be forced to split your schedule during slow times to meet the quota, resulting in you working on and off for 16 hours.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Stop focusing so much on non-important metrics and focus on improving communication among departments. Territory managers should not be reaching out to individual designers, you are losing the respect of your employees. Let Team Leads do their job. Truly focus on quality if you want to keep the customers. Stop pushing so hard for throughput if you want to see quality designs.

    SolarCity2016-09-13
  5. Helpful (7)

    "PV Designer II Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PV Designer in Deer Valley, AZ
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at SolarCity full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Able to work from home frequently, casual work atmopshere

    Cons

    If you're a degreed engineer do not take this position. Pay is not competitive and you won't be treated professionally. Unfortunately, the low base pay and lack of respect between employees is only the beginning of the problems with this position: 1)Training - Initial training consists of a series of fifteen minute videos followed by quizzes. Once you're done with these (~1-2 days) you will be under the gun... to produce designs. This was an immediate red flag for me. Also, these brief initial videos are about as in-depth as your training will ever get. You'll spend drastically more time learning how to adapt to the latest software update than advancing your knowledge of PV solar design. 2)Compensation - The base salary and bonus structure are fairly straightforward. HOWEVER, what they don't tell you is that once you start bonusing, Solarcity begins to deduct money out of your bonus for every project that gets cancelled, regardless of whether you were in the bonus at the time of initial design (this amounts to a significant number of your designs, by the way). This practice was not discussed in any part of the recruitment process or in my employment contract. Very dishonest way to 'reward' your employees for their hard work. If you are considering taking this position make them explain this policy to you. 3)High Stress/Hostile Work Environment - Solarcity incentivises everyone's pay (read: paid by commission). This results in an extreme pressure to complete your tasks as fast as possible and an overall poor quality of work from the ground up. Be prepared to deal with incomplete site surveys and preliminary sales proposals that aren't remotely realistic. This time pressure combined with the constant threat of firings/layoffs creates an environment where employees being uncivil and rude to each other is the norm rather than the exception. 4)No Career Advancement - Even apart from the current financial status of the company, the PV Designer position at Solarcity is dead-end. There are no annual incentive raises or bonuses with this company and a set advancement structure simply doesn't exist. Meaning you will never get a raise or promotion, the only way to move up is to compete with all 150 other designers and apply for any internal postings that come up. I would not recommend this position to anyone who expects competitive pay and opportunity for advancement.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Stop focusing on unrealistic growth goals and prioritizing quantity over quality. The current state of affairs shows that the goal of being 'the walmart of solar' is not a profitable business model.

    SolarCity2016-08-17
  6. Helpful (6)

    "PV Designer II"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    PV Designer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at SolarCity

    Pros

    Laid-back, young co-workers and boss. Ability to work remotely depending on immediate supervisor. Free coffee and tea. Great work events.

    Cons

    Design department is overly focusing on metrics. Low base salary - with a slow season, you may only be able to earn base salary. During busy times, you will be pushed to design very high numbers of PV systems, leading often for you to work evenings and weekends. Design Team Leads (your immediate supervisors) were usually promoted because they were good PV designers, but were not required to have good management... skills - this will be apparent when you'll work. This unfortunately can hurt your team and you eventually if not properly guided. My experience is based on the Red Team - the SoCal/Hawaii territory. Other Territorial managers seem to possibly operate differently.

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    Please improve the training to avoid the quality issues that SolarCity is associated with. Too many employees are being held accountable for some issues that came from poor training. Please have better oversight over your team leads and possibly territorial managers.

    SolarCity2016-06-16
  7. Helpful (3)

    "PV Designer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    PV Designer in Las Vegas, NV
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at SolarCity for more than a year

    Pros

    company gives away free things

    Cons

    management not ready to lead

    SolarCity2016-03-04
  8. "Get paid per job"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PV Design Engineer in Chatsworth, CA
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I worked at SolarCity full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Excellent system to make more if you work harder. The pay structure was per job pay or base salary. If you are quick and accurate you could easily double your salary. Very excellent people to work with and great company atmosphere.

    Cons

    Slow periods were common and the company tended to over higher employees creating a shortage of work.

    Advice to Management

    Doing very well in every aspect. Quality talent would be better retained if the company didn't tend to over higher and create a shortage of work available.

    SolarCity2016-03-04
  9. Helpful (6)

    "from an old timer - company a bureaucracy & deaf to employees"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - PV Designer 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I have been working at SolarCity full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    still have a great company vision and the executive team care about what the company does

    Cons

    What's been lost in the last 5.5 years since i've worked there is the company has become a bureaucracy, management caring only about policy and not the individual employees. the culture has really changed from people caring about what we do and for each other to one of people just care about getting ahead and many layers in between people's positions. things move slowly, people are not as responsive, and ultimately... people don't care for each other because we bigger now and what is one employee's grievances?

    Show More

    Advice to Management

    listen to your employees! take frustrations and complaints seriously and not hide behind policies and words from a handbook. inconsistencies with your own policies and letting your employees take the consequences is not fair and not how to treat your employees especially those that have served for you for a long time. disappointed and saddened that this company that i regarded so highly has become what it is today... because of internal issues and management.

    Show More
    SolarCity2016-02-29
  10. Helpful (7)

    "PV Design Engineer"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - PV Design Engineer in San Mateo, CA
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at SolarCity full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    the company is very young, it's easy to make friends, a lot of people value life outside of work

    Cons

    the competitive environment fostered by management is corrosive, the employees are underpaid

    Advice to Management

    pay your employees a respectable base salary

    SolarCity2016-01-13
Found 34 reviews