The Solar Jobs Census is The Solar Foundation’s annual assessment of solar industry employment at the national, state, and local levels. It is the first and most authoritative national benchmark for solar jobs research, and serves a critical role in understanding the impact of solar energy development in the United States. Since 2010, annual updates to the Census have charted the dramatic growth in the U.S. solar workforce.
This year, we released the National Solar Jobs Census 2016, our seventh annual comprehensive study on the U.S. solar workforce. We found the solar industry employs more than 260,000 Americans, representing a 25 percent growth from 2015. The Census uses a rigorous, dual methodology to derive total solar employment figures for the United States, as well as important insights as reported by the thousands of employers who participate in data collection. Explore the detailed sector information and reports from previous years.
Solar Jobs Map
The Solar Jobs Map is a unique, interactive resource on solar employment down to the state and local level. The map, updated in March 2017, provides employment information for states, regions, counties, federal and state legislative districts, and Metropolitan Statistical Areas. In addition to jobs data, The Solar Jobs map shows rates of growth, employment breakdowns by industry sector, demographic information on the solar workforce, and much more.
The Potential of State Solar Jobs
This study, released June 2017, looks at the potential new jobs that will be added to the solar industry by 2021. The study, The Potential of State Solar Jobs: Workforce Growth Scenarios in 2021 for Six U.S. States, uses two methodologies to understand possible job scenarios in Florida, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas. Working with researchers at George Mason University, the study first presents the projected state growth based on national trends. The study goes on to model an alternate scenario for employment growth if the state increased the amount of solar installed on a per capita basis to match other, high-performing solar states.
Solar + Storage
As energy storage systems are added to the electricity grid at an accelerating pace, it is imperative that decision makers have a general understanding of the economic impacts. To this end, The Solar Foundation produced this discussion paper on the current labor efficiencies experienced by the U.S. solar industry and how such measures may provide insight about solar related employment in the energy storage industry. While we consider the storage results to be preliminary, this discussion paper was developed using data collected through The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census 2015, as well as information collected through interviews of solar and energy storage experts from across the country.
The Solar Foundation has produced many other groundbreaking reports through its solar jobs research. In 2014, The Solar Foundation and Operation Free released a joint report on veterans working in the American solar industry. The report, Veterans in Solar: Securing America’s Energy Future, highlights the contributions of veterans to the solar industry, using data derived from the National Solar Jobs Census 2013. The first-of-its-kind report shows that veterans are employed within the solar industry at higher-than-average rates, and are expected to grow with the overall workforce.
Maryland Solar Jobs
Released in October 2015, this report provides a glimpse into the demographic makeup of the Maryland solar workforce and details both the opportunities for career mobility and the potential barriers to entry associated with workers from underserved populations. This report builds on the results of the Solar Jobs Census 2014 results for Maryland.
Download the full report: MD Solar Jobs: Observations and Analysis for Underserved Populations