SolarFoundationStateJobsCensusAn updated State Solar Jobs Census was released this week by the Solar Foundation, featuring 2015 solar jobs data and information for every state in the U.S. A follow-up to the National Solar Jobs Census released last month, this companion piece includes 14 stand alone state reports as well as a 51-state solar jobs compendium. State Solar Jobs Census

According to the national census report, the U.S. solar industry now provides opportunities for nearly 209,000 solar workers in all 50 states, with the solar industry creating jobs at a rate 12 times higher than the overall economy. The new reports now offer insight into the factors driving growth in each state and region, as well as trends.

“These data paint a state-by-state picture of the changing solar workforce all across the U.S.,” says IREC President/CEO Jane Weissman. “And it highlights the need for us to help guide job seekers, educators and trainers, school and career counselors, students and industry professionals through the constantly growing job opportunities.”  

IREC’s new, highly interactive Solar Career Map offers a unique dynamic tool that can be invaluable to individuals in each of these groups. It illustrates how much broader the solar industry is beyond the panel installer we see on a roof, and charts a course for promotion or advancement through the modern solar industry. Full of valuable data about the knowledge, skills and credentials needed to perform 40 key solar jobs, the map also breathes life into these occupations, through the faces and stories behind this expanding universe.

Five short videos introduce us to a number of solar professionals who speak about their work, how they came into solar, and their backgrounds and skills. Together with the extensive information presented in interactive formats, it delivers an understanding of the depth and breadth of opportunities a solar career can offer. The necessity for integrated solar training in a variety of related fields is clearly demonstrated, as are opportunities for special categories of workers, including our military veterans.

The map highlights four sectors – manufacturing, system design, project development and installation/operations, as well as cross-sector advancement opportunities, which can accommodate the evolution of skills and interest for individual workers.