Many individuals have been left unemployed, underemployed, or in low-wage jobs since the start of the pandemic, and as the economy slowly tries to rebuild, those hoping to enter the workforce have had to take a back seat to those looking to enter the field of Solar Energy.
While the world’s largest solar power companies like SunPower, Sun Electronics, and others have seen demand increase and enjoyed a positive spin-off from the pandemic, other areas have been hit particularly hard with regards to job opportunities in Solar Energy. One such area is Nevada. Which has the most solar jobs in the United States?
Nevada boasts the highest number of registered solar jobs in the US with 47,600 employed in the field as of April 2022. This represents an increase of 10,400 jobs from the previous year. Additionally, there are a large number of job openings with an average of 478 new positions being advertised every week.
Nevada also leads the nation in solar installation as of April 2022 with 37.5 MW installed, increasing by 10.7 MW compared to the previous year. The Silver State is home to a multitude of solar companies, many of which have experienced significant growth during the pandemic. The development and installation of commercial rooftop solar panels has become a popular strategy for businesses seeking to reduce their operational costs while still obtaining electricity supply benefits.
Texas has the second-largest number of registered solar jobs with 40,400 employed in the state. This represents a 4,600 increase from the previous year. However, not all industries in Texas have been affected by the pandemic. The solar energy industry in Texas has seen a huge expansion, and this has been beneficial for job seekers trying to break into the field. Many of the biggest solar companies in Texas are now taking applications for upcoming projects, so be sure to put your name down!
Although solar panels are becoming a more commonplace sight on the rooftops of houses and businesses across the country, not all regions have been blessed with ideal growing conditions. Some areas, like the Pacific Northwest, have seen their fair share of sun and have been able to utilize their lush green surroundings to their advantage. With a total of 6.4 million solar panels installed there as of April 2022, you would assume that the Pacific Northwest leads the nation in solar jobs. However, this might be slightly misleading, as California actually leads in terms of total installations with 15.9 million solar panels as of April 2022.
As the Golden State continues to lead the way in terms of total installed capacity, it is no surprise that so many solar jobs exist there. In fact, as of April 2022 there were 79,200 solar jobs in California, a jump of 10,400 from the previous year. The number of jobs is expected to increase further in the coming years as California-based companies expand to take advantage of the green energy trend.
A lot of people are still unaware of the benefits of going green, and as a result, they are still seeking ways to save money. For those in the solar industry, this has resulted in a unique opportunity to make extra cash during the pandemic. Some of the biggest companies are now advertising a series of ‘solar jobs’ that they say they cannot fill. If you are looking for an opportunity to test your skills and make some extra income, now might be a good time to consider the solar industry.
The South Still Struggles
The South still struggles to find work in the solar industry, and there are only 3,600 registered solar jobs in the region, a decrease of 4,200 from the previous year. However, it should be noted that as of April 2022 there are still a large number of job openings with an average of 478 new positions being advertised every week.
This may be due to the fact that a lot of the big solar companies have their headquarters in the North, where the demand is and the opportunities are greater. Many are now seeking to move into the southern states, where the installation is, but sales are still low. As a result, many companies are making use of the ‘solar bonus’ provision in the stimulus legislation to bring jobs back home to the South. Texas, for example, has a 30 percent export tariff on solar panels. This means that if you live in Texas and you work in the solar industry, you can sell your product in other states and countries, and earn a 30 percent royalty on top of your regular salary.
Many industries have avoided getting back to normal, as the world continues to fight the pandemic. However, as time passes, we are slowly seeing a return to normalcy, and one industry that has benefitted from this is the solar energy industry. As the country continues to emerge from a period of isolation, people will have more available time and want to get their housekeeping and cooking done without having to spend hours in the kitchen.
The impact of the pandemic on the solar industry will vary by region. In some areas, like California, people will have more opportunities to work remotely, and some industries, like Texas, will see an increase in the number of jobs as a result of the growing demand for solar power. However, in other parts of the country, like the South, it will be more difficult for people to find work in the field as demand decreases.