To cover the main contributions and developments in solar thermal collectors through focusing on materials, heat transfer characteristics and manufacturing challenges. A range of published papers and internet research including research work on various solar thermal collectors (flat plate, evacuated tubes, and heat pipe tube) were used. Evaluation of solar collectors performance is critiqued to aid solar technologies make the transition into a specific dominant solar collector. The sources are sorted into sections: finding an academic job, general advice, teaching, research and publishing, tenure and organizations. Provides information about types of solar thermal collectors, indicating what can be added by using evacuated tube collectors instead of flat plate collectors and what can be added by using heat pipe collectors instead of evacuated tubes. Focusing only on three types of solar thermal collectors (flat plate, evacuated tubes, and heat pipe tube). Useful source of information for consultancy and impartial advice for graduate students planning to do research in solar thermal technologies. This paper fulfils identified information about materials and heat transfer properties of materials and manufacturing challenges of these three solar thermal collectors.