Sharing out the latest information on solar employment statistics is a big component in HeatSpring’s free Solar Career Pathways course. When partners on the course, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), released their National Solar Jobs Census 2021, we jumped at the opportunity to update the course and share out the latest data on the scale and scope of the industry. 

Cover of National Solar Job Census 2021 from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council

Let’s take a look at a few of the highlights:

  • 2021 saw a major boost to solar jobs as the country began to recover from the pandemic. The United States saw an increase of 21,500 solar jobs, bringing the total number of solar workers (working the majority of their time on solar) to 255,000 workers.  
  • Looking at growth over the past 10 years, solar jobs more than doubled from 105,000 jobs in 2011 to 255,000 jobs in 2021.
  • The majority of job growth was in the installation and project development sector, which accounts for nearly 169,000 solar workers, or 66% of total solar jobs in 2021.
  • Operations & Maintenance jobs increased at the highest rate of any sector at 24%, or 2,400 new jobs in 2021. With more and more solar systems deployed, we anticipate seeing this number continue to increase rapidly as more skilled technicians are needed to maintain them. 
  • Manufacturing accounted for 13% of all solar jobs in 2021, totaling 33,000 workers. With the support for domestic manufacturing for solar and storage industries in the Inflation Reduction Act, we foresee strong growth in this job sector as well in the coming years.
  • Solar jobs increased in 47 states in 2021. Not surprisingly, top states for solar jobs were California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas. The amount and growth of solar jobs in particular states is tied closely to solar policies in that local area. 

This information and so much more can be found in IREC’s National Solar Job Census 2021

Interested in learning more about the IREC Solar Career Map and hearing directly from people working across sectors in the industry? Enroll in the free Solar Career Pathways course on HeatSpring.