Census report claims that the solar energy industry is employing many along the solar value chain, including installation, wholesale trade, manufacturing, utilities, and all other fields.
Solar industry employers plan to increase their workforce by an estimated 26 percent over the next year. According to the report "National Solar Jobs Census 2010: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce," the solar energy industry is on the rapid rise. The collaborative report compiled by The Solar Foundation, a non-profit research organization, Green LMI Consulting and Cornell University all realized the rapid increase in the solar energy industry and examined its current and potential growth by surveying more than 2,400 solar companies.
In our current recession many industries are at a stagnant growth rate, but the Census report claims that the solar energy industry is employing many along the solar value chain, including installation, wholesale trade, manufacturing, utilities, and all other fields. The solar value chain is represented by over 30 separate occupations, thus there are many different fields to get into if one chooses a career in the solar energy industry.
The surveys conducted concluded that many solar energy industry companies will grow by an estimated 26 percent over the next year, representing nearly 24,000 new jobs. The increasing demand in solar technology requires many solar companies to increase their workforce. Currently there are 16,700 solar employment sites and 93,000 solar energy-related jobs in the United States, as of August 2010. The report showed that over the next twelve months, more than 50 percent of solar companies expect to add jobs. The jobs will be added at a much faster pace in comparison to the general economy. The general job growth rate for other industries is at 2 percent, while the solar energy industry is expected to grow at a rate of 26 percent.
California, the leader in the renewable energy field, is home to about 30 percent of all solar companies in the United States, but many other states are also making an effort to create and expand their solar companies. The average solar installation firm employs 14 solar workers. The average solar manufacturing firm employs 24 solar workers. The average solar wholesale trade company employs 4 solar workers. The average utility that generates solar electric power employs four solar
New innovations such as GoSolarUSA's PREEcharge, a protective skin that utilizes solar cells and wireless radio-frequency antennas to charge smart phones and tablet computers using renewable energy sources, are making solar energy part of everyday power usage. Innovations such as this are driving the solar industry's growth.
By August 2011, there should be almost 120,000 solar energy-related jobs, and in order to get into the workforce, on-site solar training is required. With the anticipated growth rate in the solar energy industry, many should take advantage of the courses the American Institute of Renewable Energy, a solar training school, has to offer. AIRE offers certificated courses in areas such as solar sales force training, on-site solar panel installation training, solar photovoltaic (PV) training, and solar marketing training. AIRE also offers free renewable energy seminars that give insightful information to those entering the solar energy industry.