Did you know that clean energy is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the U.S. economy? 

According to E2 Clean Jobs America, 3.3 million Americans working in various different roles around clean energy now account for more than 3 percent of all new jobs added every year in the U.S., creating more positions in more roles in more places than nearly any other sector of the economy. 

Over the past two years, clean energy jobs have grown by more than 10 percent, faster than the energy industry at large and overall U.S. employment.

Looking at the breakdown of all these jobs by sector, we can see that the overwhelming  majority – 2.2 million – are in energy efficiency with renewable generation following behind with a little over half a million jobs. Then, followed by clean vehicles, storage & grid, and biofuels.

From the E2 Clean Jobs America Report

In particular, let’s focus on solar energy jobs by focusing on some key facts and figures that highlight the tremendous potential for you in this field.

According to the Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s National Solar Jobs Census (which is published annually), the solar industry specifically employed 263,883 workers nationwide as of December 2022, growing by 8,846 jobs or 3.5% since 2021.

Additionally, there were 85,858 workers employed in clean storage jobs in 2022, a 4.6% increase from 2021. Clean energy storage is in the midst of an employment boom, as we begin to deploy more renewable energy, with jobs growing 28% since 2017. 

In 2022, solar jobs grew in 42 states and Puerto Rico. The solar industry expects strong continued growth in 2023 and beyond, especially with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in 2022.

From the IREC National Solar Jobs Census 2022

The solar industry offers a diverse range of career paths. According to the IREC National Solar Jobs Census, about two-thirds of all solar jobs in 2022 (171,558) were at installation and project development firms. Manufacturing employed 33,473 solar workers, while wholesale trade and distribution accounted for 30,618 jobs. Another 16,585 jobs were in operations and maintenance, ensuring the proper functioning of solar systems. In addition to these roles, the solar industry also offers opportunities in areas such as finance, legal, sales, marketing, HR, and more. 

Looking at the trajectory of the solar industry at large, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) reports that the U.S. now has over 200 GW of total installed solar capacity, enough to power nearly 36 million homes. 

Solar energy prices have declined 43% over the past 10 years, making it one of the most affordable electricity sources.

Looking ahead, the solar industry aims to reach 30% of U.S. electricity generation by 2030. 

To do so, over the next decade, the industry plans to install an additional 450 GW of solar capacity. 

With this exciting growth and investment along with declining costs, the solar industry has a really bright future ahead, now is the perfect time to explore a career in the industry. No matter what area you find most interesting, there are opportunities for people of all backgrounds and skill sets to thrive here. 

If you are just getting started in the industry, check out HeatSpring’s free courses to get you moving forward on your career journey. Be sure to check out our free Solar Career Pathways course, which includes insight and advice from folks working across the industry across the country.  

If you’d like to read more about any of the facts and figures mentioned in this article, we’ve linked the E2 Clean Jobs America Report, the IREC Solar Jobs Census, and SEIA’s US Solar Market Insight Report here and throughout the blog post.