Solar energy makes sense for more than homes and businesses. It’s beneficial for the American economy as a whole. As more residential and commercial customers make the switch to solar power, high-quality jobs are created. In fact, a new report shows that the solar and wind industries are opening up new job opportunities 12 times faster than the rest of the American economy.
Recent Statistics Supporting Solar Job Growth
Below are a few statistics that shed light on the growth of solar energy within the U.S. economy.
- The Environmental Defense Fund’s (EDF) Climate Corps program reports that solar and wind jobs have grown at a rate of 20% per year for the past four years. The same program says that four to four-and-a-half million jobs are made available from sustainability efforts alone.
- According to The Solar Foundation’s Solar Job Census 2016, solar jobs have increased in 44 out of 50 states. The same report says that for every 50 jobs added in the United States, one job is created by the solar industry.
- In 2016, the solar industry added $84 billion to the United States gross domestic product (GDP). In other words, the solar industry is contributing billions of dollars to the health of our economy.
- Renewable and energy efficiency jobs are considered high in quality because they cannot be outsourced and they pay higher than average salaries. Also, nearly 10% of solar jobs in the U.S. are held by veterans, which is much higher than the overall economy.
Not Just Any Ordinary Jobs but Quality Ones
It’s exciting to think that something good for our communities is also good for our economy, which has struggled over the last decade. It seems that every time we watch or read the news, we’re hearing of more jobs that are being sent overseas or outsourced to other countries. Even our most sophisticated technology is handled out of the United States. Solar energy is different.
The American jobs being created have many benefits. First, 67% of solar jobs do not require a bachelor’s degree. This means that there are opportunities available for all education levels. Second, the solar industry is diverse. An impressive 28% of solar jobs are held by women, 17% go to Latinos/Hispanics, and 7% are African American.
Veterans in the overall workforce make up about 7%; however, veterans make up over 9% of workers in the solar industry. Lastly, solar jobs pay an average of $26 per hour, higher than the median wage across the entire workforce.
Types of Positions Available
A wide range of careers are available in the solar industry. They are growing at rates of 14-55% and include:
- Sales and distribution
- Project development
- Other (R&D, finance)
Here at AllSeason Solar, we are certainly grateful for the direction our economy is moving in. We appreciate our jobs, our customers and the growth of clean energy and sustainability. The American future looks bright!