It is plain to see that the solar power market is booming across the country. Jobs in the industry have continued to bypass expected growth rates as more and more solar power companies are joining the race to provide residents and businesses with clean, renewable energy. In 2014, the solar industry added jobs to the market almost 20 times faster than the national average. A substantial 1.3 percent of all jobs created in the U.S. over the past year stemmed from the solar industry. With national concerns regarding climate change and the impact of relying on fossil fuels to power the country growing, the solar industry offers a non-carbon emitting alternative that is both environmentally and economically attractive to consumers across the country.
According to the Solar Foundation, the solar industry has grown by 86 percent in just the past five years. This has in turn created almost 80,000 individual domestic living-wage jobs. In the coming year, employers expect hiring to increase by another 20.9 percent. The industry expects there to be more than 210,000 solar workers employed by the end of 2015.
The Solar Industry At Large
Jobs in the solar industry are mostly dedicated exclusively to solar activities. Solar installation services account for the largest source of domestic employment growth in the country. Worker demographics are increasingly diverse as Hispanic, African American, Asian/Pacific Islander, women, and veterans constitute larger and larger portions of the solar workforce.
Compared to the economy as a whole, the solar industry grew at a rate 20 times faster, adding more than 30,000 jobs over 2014. Since 2010, roughly 80,000 solar jobs have been added to the market. Over a period of four years, solar jobs have grown by 86 percent.
The Value of a Solar Job
Solar power employees are experiencing competitive wages on par with similar industries. While solar installation jobs make up the majority of the market, the industry also accounts for manufacturing jobs, sales and distribution jobs, project development, and a variety of other positions related to solar power. Compared to oil, gas and coal industry jobs, the solar industry is forecast to grow at a rate eight times faster than these non-renewable industries combined.
That means that these jobs are likely to be around for a long time to come. As consumer interest and buying power is directed away from fossil fuel based energy sources, solar power is fast becoming the alternative energy source of choice in the U.S. With a wide variety of national, state, and even city-based tax rebates and financial incentives encouraging residential and commercial investment in solar power.
While it is obvious that the sunnier states (such as California and New Mexico) are likely to have more solar jobs than others, don’t think that all the solar jobs are down south. Northern states like New Jersey and Delaware are considered solar hot spots because of favorable laws and regulations designed to encourage investment in solar power.
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