What if we told you there’s an ever-growing industry full of purpose-filled work that you can feel good about at the end of the day, major career growth potential, and wages comparable to (and often higher than) industries of a similar vein? Sound interesting? Well, keep reading because we’re talking about the rapidly growing solar energy industry. Amidst our nation’s clean energy transition, solar will continue to expand, which means we will continue to see a growing need for solar workers from installation, to design, project management, and business administration. The solar industry will need to exceed 900,000 jobs by 2035 in order to meet our nation’s goals of 100% carbon pollution-free electricity - it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.
What sets the solar industry apart from any other industry? Well, it’s built (literally) on climate action through the deployment of the clean energy technology critical to a more sustainable future. Not only is this an industry built on making a positive difference for current and future generations, it’s a lucrative field to be in. As workers continue to seek jobs that pay “living wages”, median hourly wages in the solar industry can be between 25-30% higher than the national average. You can also look forward to working in one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in the U.S. as more states and utilities continue to strive for 100% clean energy goals.
In the solar industry, there are opportunities for those interested in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), sales, marketing, administrative work, management, business development, and so much more. Even better, you do not need a background in solar energy to join the workforce. Skills applicable to the job you seek are enough to get you in the door. At Positive Energy, we are partnered with several organizations within the STEM and trades community to raise awareness of these opportunities.
In these partnerships, we emphasize the importance of diversity and inclusion in an industry so critical to environmental justice. In 2020, jobs reports show that the solar industry grew in diversity with the workforce reflecting all-time highs across demographic measures of diversity; however, there is still a ways to go on the D&I front in our industry and we remain committed to doing our part locally to build a workforce that reflects the community we serve. JEDI principles (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion) are the foundation of our community works as we recognize the need for the voices of those most impacted by climate change to be part of the solution. This is one of the most rewarding aspects of working in solar; knowing that your work contributes daily to a collective impact that aims to create a more equitable energy future for all.
“Solar offers opportunities for individuals with diverse skill sets and career interests to help power the transition to a clean energy future. While skilled trades and technical roles like installers and electricians are the front lines of the solar workforce (and are some of the fastest-growing jobs in the country), the industry is supported by a wide range of job functions across engineering, manufacturing, business development, policy, finance, communications and much more. ”
-Megan Howes, Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC)
At the heart of the solar industry are trades and construction. You don’t need a college degree to get a foot in the door with positions like solar installation, site surveying, warehouse management, or assisting in project management. Plus, through our partnerships with CNM Ingenuity’s Solar Program, there is ample opportunity to gain education while gathering on-the-job work experience. One of the best things about gaining education and on-the-job experience simultaneously is it opens up the door to career pathways - which are abundant in this industry! Just check out the many career paths available from entry-level to advanced once you get started working in solar. At Positive Energy, we thrive on helping people find transitional opportunities to continue learning and growing in the world of solar while encouraging others to find their entry point into the reliable and lucrative world of clean energy-based trades.
When it comes to our operations at Positive Energy, we are especially focused on the good that comes from this industry rooted in creating a more sustainable future for all. It’s what drove us to become members of the Amicus Solar Cooperative. Together we amplify our impact of using solar energy as the force for good that it ultimately is. As members of this cooperative, we have a stronger industry force behind us to address climate change, support democratically-governed businesses, augment the input of employee-owners, influence more corporate responsibility, and even further drive the B-Corp movement* as Amicus Solar Cooperative is a Certified B-Corporation just like us!
We take such pride in being an employee-owned company. Profit-sharing and making decisions democratically is a cornerstone of the way we operate. As our company grows, we are mindful to remain in tune with ways that we can continue to learn and improve. It’s the way to do better business and live according to our values as a values-based company. We believe this careful attention we pay to company culture shows in the work we do and is part of what keeps us among the highest-rated solar companies over our 25 years in operation. If this sounds like a workplace for you, check out the many career opportunities that we have available. Have questions? Give us a call at 505.344.0071 and we are more than happy to talk to you about what interests you in regards to our industry and Positive Energy!
*B Corp Certification is a designation that a business is meeting high standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency on factors from employee benefits and charitable giving to supply chain practices and input materials. Learn more about how we’re using our business as a force for good in your community!