National Solar Jobs Census

The Solar Foundation is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing solar energy use worldwide, including increasing solar jobs in the US and abroad. The key goal of the organization is to increase access to this clean, abundant, and affordable energy source around the globe.  This benefits the environment as well as both the local and global economy.

Originally founded in 1977, the Solar Foundation relaunched in its current form in 2010. The Solar Foundation believes that solar energy is a key part of our collective energy future but it has no industry affiliation. Instead, it focuses on research and tracking solar energy trends around the globe.

For the past seven years the Solar Foundation has published a National Solar Jobs Census to document the growth of the industry in the US and to track current employment statistics and trends. The Solar Jobs Census 2016 found that solar employment increased by over 51,000 workers, a 25 percent increase over 2015. Overall, the Solar Jobs Census found there were 260,077 solar workers in 2016, nearly triple the number of workers since the first national Solar Jobs Census was released in 2010.

Highlights from the 2016 Census Report:

  • One out of every 50 new jobs added in the United States in 2016 was created by the solar industry, representing 2% percent of all new jobs.
  • Solar jobs in the United States have increased at least 20 percent per year for the past four years, and jobs have nearly tripled since the first Solar Jobs Census was released in 2010.
  • Over the next 12 months, employers surveyed expect to see total solar industry employment increase by 10 percent to 286,335 solar workers.
  • In 2016, the five states with the most solar jobs were California, Massachusetts, Texas, Nevada, and Florida.
  • The solar industry supported $154 billion in economic output in 2016

Research conducted by SEIA, the Solar Energy Industry Association, corroborates this data. According to SEIA, solar is increasingly viewed as a key economic engine. In 2016, over 260,000 Americans worked in solar – more than double the number in 2012 – at more than 9,000 companies in every U.S. state. By 2021, that number is expected to increase to more than 360,000 workers.

Last year’s solar market performance made 2016 the fourth consecutive year that U.S. solar jobs grew by 20 percent or more. It also made economists sit up and take notice: 1 out of every 50 new jobs, or 2 percent of new jobs, created in the U.S. in 2016 came from the solar industry. The U.S. solar industry now employs more workers than natural gas, more than double the number of workers in the coal industry, and in comparison to other energy sectors, employment in solar trails only the U.S. oil industry.

CNN Report on NY Solar Jobs

Locally, we see this same “solar boom” happening in NYC. This quick video related to growth in solar installations here at home provides ample evidence of the power of solar – not just to generate electricity and to help combat global warming – but to provide good jobs to Americans. Check out this video of Alex from Venture Home Solar on CNN. Solar energy is on the move. It’s time for policy makers and utility companies to catch up.

If you are looking for career opportunities in solar energy, visit our Careers Page to learn more about open positions at Venture Home Solar.  If you are looking to go solar with your home, learn more by contacting one of our solar experts at Venture Home Solar.