According to an annual survey released by the nonprofit organization The Solar Foundation, jobs within the U.S. solar energy sector have increased by 19.9%, which represents a whopping 23,682 additional solar workers. “Seventy-seven percent of the nearly 24,000 additional solar workers are in newly-created positions, rather than existing jobs that have added solar responsibilities,” the report said.
Released on January 27, 2014, The National Solar Jobs Census 2013 indicated that there are currently 142,000 Americans working in the U.S. solar industry. The study found that solar employment increased 10 times faster than the national average employment rate, which is around 1.9%. The findings showed that the solar industry not only demonstrated remarkable growth, but it exceeded growth projections make in the prior year’s report.
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement of support that this is an “exciting time for the solar industry in the United States, made even more clear by the latest industry job figures.”
Moniz further applauded the success of the solar industry:
“President Obama has set an ambitious goal to double electricity generation from renewable sources once again by 2020, and a vibrant U.S. workforce is vital to achieving this. To support a growing workforce and a new generation of clean energy leaders, the Energy Department is providing training and education opportunities for engineers, utility workers and students, as well as supporting projects across the country to ensure America’s continued leadership in clean energy innovation.”
The study also revealed that most workers in the solar industry are enjoying healthy wages, with the average solar installer earning between $20-$23 per hour. According to the study, veterans of the U.S. Armed Services constitute 9.24% of all solar workers, compared with 7.57% in the national economy. In addition, the solar industry employs a slightly larger amount of Latino/Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander workers than the overall economy in the U.S.
Looking forward, the study projects that solar employment is expected to grow by 15.6% over the next year, which translates to approximately 22,240 new “solar workers,” who are defined as workers who spend at least 50% of their time support solar-related activities.
While Mohler Solar has long enjoyed the benefits of working within the solar industry, it’s great to see that solar is picking up speed elsewhere in the country. For your next San Diego residential solar power project, support the local economy and contact Mohler Solar for their comprehensive array of solar services.