Believe it or not, the solar economy is beating out the larger US economy in creating jobs. That’s good news for people looking for good employment, and good news for the country, too.
The Solar Foundation published a National Solar Job Census report that showed a doubling of the number of people employed in the solar sector with a total of about 100,000 people working in some capacity for the solar industry in 2010, up from 50,000 people in 2009. And the growth isn’t set to slow down anytime soon. According to the report, there will be a further 26% growth during 2011 in the solar industry, despite the slow economy.
The residential solar industry contributes greatly to the growth of the solar industry, with residential solar installations doubling from 2009 to 2010 which helped to create an additional 3,000 jobs in the home solar sector in just one year. The high growth rate of jobs in the residential solar sector is due in large part to the residential solar multiplier effect. Every homeowner that decides to install a solar system triggers a demand in the solar industry, which in turn create jobs in the solar sector throughout the supply chain – there is an increased need for solar installers, sales staff, administrative personnel, solar manufacturers, and solar energy research personnel. In fact, one job is created for every six home solar systems installed in America!
The keepin’ up with the Jones’ adds an additional multiplier effect in that as one homeowner installs solar, his neighbors are more likely to ask questions and express curiosity about how the system works and the potential savings. Inevitably, as individuals see the advantages of owning a solar system, more and more choose to install a system themselves. This further increases solar installations in the community and spurs even more growth in the sector.
The outlook for solar jobs is very bright, providing many opportunities for the unemployed and underemployed to find an exciting career in the cleantech field. The jobs available in the solar industry are diverse and numerous. For instance, a person looking for a solar career could procure a job in any one of these points along the solar value chain:
● Scientific research and development for designing solar cells and other photovoltaic components
● Photovoltaic manufacturing of solar cells, mounting equipment, battery systems, inverters, and so on
● Solar sales representatives for both corporate and residential clients
● Solar system design engineers for large-scale utility installations
● Solar installers and roofing experts
● Electricians specializing in solar installations
● Solar maintenance experts and monitoring technicians
With such significant and increasing growth in the solar jobs sector, now is the time for people seeking green careers to get training and begin their quest for a fulfilling job in the renewable energy sector.