As the conversation about energy in America becomes more and more focused on jobs, the solar industry might have the greatest story to tell of any form of energy, renewable or otherwise. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, there are now twice the number jobs in solar than in coal!
Trinity Solar is a major solar job creator ourselves, with over 1,000 employees in the Trinity family across the six states in which we operate on the east coast. However, even though we’ve seen the growth of solar jobs up close as our own business has taken off, it’s truly amazing to see the state-by-state solar workforce data recently published by The Solar Foundation. There are over 37,000 solar jobs in Trinity states – Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island – including over 20,000 employed in installation jobs alone.
In addition to the top-line figures on solar jobs, the Solar States website lets you delve deeper into the numbers – which revealed a lot of interesting subplots in the larger story! For example:
- Massachusetts has the highest number of solar jobs per capita in the country, and is second only to California in absolute terms
- Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey are all in the top 10 solar jobs states nationwide
- Maryland had the fastest-growing solar employment of the states where we operate, with jobs increasing by a whopping 27% in 2016 – followed closely by Rhode Island at 25%
- New Jersey had the highest number of women in solar jobs in our region, accounting for over one third of the solar workforce
- New York had the highest percentage of Latino and Hispanic solar workers, at more than 16% of the total
There’s a lot more great information if you’re interested in finding out more about the solar workforce in your area, including growth rates, demographic breakdowns, the number of solar companies, even the number of solar patents in each state.
The National Solar Jobs Census is also a major eye-opener if you want to learn more about the overall U.S. solar workforce. The Solar Foundation counts over 260,000 Americans employed in solar jobs, a tripling of the total since 2010. And, just like the state-level data, it includes lots of great details about beyond the big overall numbers. Here are some of our favorites:
- The solar industry created one out of every 50 new U.S. jobs in 2016, adding workers at a rate 17 times faster than the rest of the economy
- Two-thirds of solar jobs don’t require a bachelor’s degree, making this industry a major source of good working-class jobs
- Women now account for 28% of all solar workers, a significantly higher proportion than the fossil fuels or manufacturing industries
- Latinos, Asians, and African-Americans are growing as a share of the solar workforce as well, holding 17%, 9%, and 7% of all solar jobs respectively
- Solar is also a major employer of veterans, which account for 9% of all solar workers – significantly more than their representation in the overall U.S. workforce
No matter if you’re counting the dollars saved by homeowners going solar or the local jobs they’re supporting, solar is one of the greatest American economic success stories of the 21st century– and Trinity’s amazing team is ready and waiting to help you take part in it. Click here to get started with a free solar quote!