America’s solar capacity has continued to grow over the years, although the number of jobs in solar energy has slightly declined in since 2016. New Jersey remains one of the best states to find employment in solar, although the number of jobs available in the State has also declined.
In 2018 the number of solar jobs in the United States was down to 242,000 from a high in 2016 of 260,077. The good news however, is that SolarFoundation.org predicts the jobs to rise once again in 2019 with an expected employment number of 259,400.
The reason for the decline has been a direct result of the uncertainty around the solar tariff and then finally the tariff increasing the prices of equipment. Overall, the industry will continue to rally and is generally still in its infancy. The solar industry employees people of all races, genders, and backgrounds. Women make up 27% of the workforce and Veterans make up 9% of solar’s workforce. Most of those employed in solar, 78%, are employed in what is considered “demand side” jobs. These are jobs like installer, engineer, and sales person. The remaining portion are mostly employed in manufacturer and the selling of equipment or finance programs to installers.
Demand side jobs vary quite a bit. People of all different backgrounds can find employment in a “demand side” job. At Green Power Energy, a New Jersey solar installer, over 50 people are employed in demand side jobs.
Everyone has their speciality in the workplace that has led them to solar in particular. Some demand side jobs at Green Power Energy include, solar energy consultants, sales manager, solar marketers, project coordinators, installers, electricians, an office manager, a President and Director of Operations. A solar installer will spend their time in the field, generally on the roof installing solar panels. A solar installer in New Jersey will work all year round, the only thing stopping them from getting on the roof being ice and snow. A solar electrician will generally spend a few hours at each job site. They are scheduled to make the final connection. A solar sales person will do a lot of traveling and experience a lot “windshield time” as they say in HVAC sales. A solar sales career can be an exciting option for anyone with an interest in solar and business. In certain markets there are opportunities to make a lot of money doing solar sales. Inside the office of a solar installation company are plenty of jobs as well. Most of the time is spent scheduling, finalizing designs, layouts, permit packages, and approvals. In general, these positions are considered “Project Coordinators.”
If you are interested in a solar career in New Jersey, reach out to Green Power Energy at https://greenpowerenergy.com/solar-careers/.