A report from the Solar Foundation, which includes a census of American solar workers, states that over the next twelve months there will be an increase of almost 24,000 solar jobs. It also states the number of solar workers as of August 2010 was about 93,000. This number was reported to be almost double last year’s count of solar workers. Over half of the solar firms they surveyed for their report said they plan to hire new workers during the next year. Only two percent said they planned to cut existing workers.
The majority of the current total of approximately 93,000 solar workers operate in the installation phase of solar projects. The Solar Foundation estimated just under 44,000 make up that group. The next largest population works in manufacturing, and they are about 25,000. Installation is predicted to add about 9,800 workers, and manufacturing could gain about 9,000. The remainder of the new jobs will be related to wholesale trade and other industry-related functions. The following five job roles are expected to grow the most: photovoltaic installers, electricians with solar experience, salespersons at wholesale trade firms, salespersons at installation firms, and roofers with solar experience. There is also demand for other roles such as energy auditors, HVAC technicians, and solar designers or engineers.
California contains about thirty percent of all America’s solar companies. Arizona, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Michigan also have large numbers of solar workers. Michigan has an estimated 6,300 solar workers.
If you are wanting to get into the solar field, search online for nearby solar firms and visit their careers web page. Also a quick scan of greenjobsearch.com shows many solar job announcements for Arizona. Some states like Arizona, have a local solar energy association and they sometimes post jobs on their sites.
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