How do I get a job in the solar industry?

Now is a great time to be looking for employment in the solar industry.

Last year solar employment grew almost twenty times faster than the national average, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2014, which The Solar Foundation conducted in partnership with the GW Solar Institute. Although the majority of new jobs were in the field of solar installation, other sectors like manufacturing and sales and distribution are also growing rapidly.

While regional interests, prior job experience, educational and training background, and salary requirements all play into any job search, solar magazines or newsletters provide helpful information on companies and their needs. For a better understanding of general market trends and a list of companies, industry association websites are a good place to start. Most of these industry associations, including the Solar Energy Industries Associations (SEIA) and the American Solar Energy Society (ASES), also have state or regional chapters composed of their local businesses, who manufacture, assemble, install or service systems.

Meeting companies at local trade shows and seminars will give you a chance to learn if solar companies near you are growing and the type of positions and requirements they are seeking. You will also learn more about the industry in general from reading articles and discussions at Renewable Energy World, Greentech Media, PV-Tech, Utility Dive, Solar Industry Magazine Solar Power World, and Solar Novus Today. Subscribing to aggregator services like Solar Wakeup can help you prioritize and manage all of the information.

Internships at solar companies and jobs at clean energy nonprofits are also a good way to learn more and network with industry leaders and practitioners. 

Photo by Dennis Schroeder / NREL