The Solar Industry
Most people don’t know that more people in the U.S. are employed in the solar industry than in steel. And according to a July 2011 Brookings study, the annual average increase in jobs from 2003 to 2010 in the solar thermal and solar PV industries was 18.4% and 10.7% respectively – far higher than the overall growth of the national jobs market.
The projected rapid growth in the solar industry will be accompanied by a correlating need for more workers. Aside from the economic benefit, jobs in solar energy are a great way to not only earn a living, but also to support a cleaner environment.
Photo Credit: EcoFilms.com.au
A misconception is that solar energy jobs are all technical. But like any other industry, firms working in solar need a variety of employees, like researchers, manufacturers, installers, as well as legal, sales and marketing, and finance experts. In many cases, skills from other industries are transferable, such as for individuals in construction work, or in finance.
Training and Accreditation
Extra training or certification may be required for some solar jobs. Knowledge of solar technology and an understanding of the industry are important, and can be attained through workshops or courses. But certification is only vital for installation and technical sales. For example, some states require North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners(NABCEP) certification in order to participate in state incentive programs. The NABCEP offers certification programs for both solar PV and solar thermal installation, as well as PV Technical Sales.Other certification programs and courses are offered by:
UL University at Underwriters Laboratories
Workshops on all aspects of solar can be found at: