The solar industry is developing at a fast pace in the United States of America. This is because more and more companies are becoming a part of this industry to spread solar energy awareness among people. The idea is to promote solar panels and other renewable energy sources to prevent the production of harmful elements.
Fortunately, there are many states in America where summer lasts longer and receive the most sunshine, which help produce solar energy in these states. The government is also emphasizing the use of solar energy on the national level to produce more energy without the help of gas and water.
As the importance of solar energy is increasing, it is also expanding the need for more workers, thereby creating employment opportunities for people. Not only this, but you also have a variety of options to apply for a job. This is because the solar industry needs people with different engineering and technical education.
Read the article to learn about the top Americans solar companies, states that offer more jobs in this sector, and the requirements to apply for a job in the solar industry.
Top Solar Companies
Several companies are working in the solar field in America’s different states. But some are now producing a great variety of solar tools and equipment. They also need massive manpower, which encourages them to create more employment opportunities. Here are the top solar companies in the USA.
- Auxin Solar
- First Solar
- Global Solar
- Certainteed Solar
- Lumos Solar
- Seraphim Solar
- Prism Solar
- SolarTech Universal
- Solar Electric America
It is important to note that both Tesla and Panasonic started manufacturing US solar panels in 2017. Surprisingly, they have established their name in the market in a short time. Besides these big names, several international companies are also working in the United States solar industry, such as:
- GCL-Poly Energy Holdings
- Xinyi Solar Holdings
- Yingli Green Energy Holding Co.
States that Offer the Best Jobs in the Solar Industry
Solar jobs are available in almost all the US states, but some states like California are offering amazing career opportunities to people. Not to mention, California leads the industry and has installed more solar panels than any of the states in the country. The primary reason for it is that California has improved and made some solar-friendly policies, including tax rebates and incentives, which promote new companies in this state. California and other states also owe their strength to financing laws and policies that also involve third-party ownership for solar energy systems. Due to this, states like New Jersey, Colorado, New York, and Arizona get financing for half of the residential projects.
Florida, California, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Vermont, and Massachusetts are the best states that offer solar jobs because of the sunny weather. Additionally, California itself has produced 74,255 jobs in this industry in 2019. In comparison, Florida created 12,202, and New York created 10,740 jobs in 2019.
In addition to developing significant jobs, these states also increase the value of the area. You will see several new job facilities in the solar industry because of some great solar projects in 2021. Here are some disciplines that are creating employment opportunities in solar energy.
- Construction and installation
- Maintenance and operations
- Grid and infrastructure
Besides, the five huge and promising solar projects to look forward to in 2021 include:
- Golden Triangle Solar Energy Centre- in Mississippi
- Pecan Prairie Solar Project- in Texas
- Commonwealth Solar Project- in Pennsylvania
- Sunflower Solar PV Farm- in Mississippi
- Happy Solar Park- in Arkansas
Careers in the Solar Industry
The solar industry is one of the growing industries in the US. Not to mention, it has become one of the largest sectors that are creating employment opportunities. This industry needs experts belonging to different careers like tech and mechanism. For this reason, around 250,000 Americans have worked in the solar sector since the fall of 2019, which is double in number than 2012.
The primary reason for the rise in jobs is that numerous new solar companies have established in recent years, making it possible to introduce significant jobs. Here are some fields in this industry that need professional and skillful individuals.
These engineers help in the processing, developing, and testing of the materials required for the manufacturing of the products to check their performance. They have tasks to work with metals, semiconductors, glass, composites, and plastic and change them into new innovative items that can meet solar cells’ chemical and electrical requirements.
Chemical engineers have to use their expertise to improve the tools and equipment. They also help and guide in the process of manufacturing products and chemicals. Chemical engineers design the processes and equipment for large-scale manufacturing, test, and planning for the production of solar cells. Typically, these engineers have to focus on organic chemistry and semiconductors in the solar industry.
These individuals are responsible for designing, developing, checking, and supervising the production process of electrical components. They also design solar panels’ electrical circuits as well as other devices for the panels, such as wiring systems and inverters.
This is another career opportunity for individuals with industrial engineering qualifications. They determine the best and effective methods to use the development process’s primary factors, such as machines, materials, energy, and information. They increase productivity using technology and help with the management.
If you plan to apply for this post, you have to design, research, develop, test engines, machines, tools, and other mechanical devices. Mechanical engineers work on the devices and machines that the industry uses to develop solar panels. Solar photovoltaic manufacturing in the United States is highly automatic. Generally, machines do all the work, including cutting semiconductor materials into wafers, crystalline silicon, and assembling the solar cells. In addition to it, mechanical engineers also design and test the electric pumps and generators that are important for solar power plants.
Computer Software Developers
Did you know that the solar industry also recruits software developers? They are responsible for designing and developing the software to carry out different manufacturing processes. In this industry, computer software helps forecast sunlight patterns and weather so that a company can assess the cost and feasibility of generating solar power. Moreover, the software also helps to monitor and adjust the direction of the photovoltaic panels and mirrors in the power plants. Software developers repair, update, modify, and expand the existing programs.
These experts help to solve technical problems in the development, manufacturing, research, construction, maintenance, and inspection. However, the work of these technicians is totally application-oriented and focused compared to scientists and engineers. Engineering technicians also have to set up or build equipment. They have to prepare and perform the experiments, calculate, and collect data.
Education and Credentials Requirements
The education requirement entirely depends on the job you are applying for. However, the following are some educational qualifications that you will need to get a job in this industry.
Typically, engineers can enter the solar industry with a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Depending on your preferred job, you will need a degree in electrical, mechanical, industrial, or software engineering.
You may not get a high-profile job with this qualification. However, if you study more and polish your skills in the future, you will be able to get promotions later.
If you want to apply for top positions, you should at least have a Master’s degree. As the solar industry involves several complex systems and production prices, the companies prefer people who have a higher level of knowledge about the mechanics. This is why, if you have a Master’s degree, you have multiple career options. Not to mention, the best and popular solar companies also require a doctoral degree for certain jobs.
Engineers are always expected to keep up with rapidly changing technology. So, even if you have a Master’s degree and get the job, you need to furnish your skills continuously. Additionally, individuals who will apply with this qualification will get jobs like designing solar power plants and research on photovoltaic cells. Chemists, physicists, and material scientists can easily get a job in this industry because of their high demand.
There are some companies or job areas that need different certifications in addition to having a master’s degree. These certifications are great for workers, employers, and consumers, as it promotes the company’s betterment and improvement in your skills. Apart from this, certifications help you stand out. You can say it presents you as the best candidate for the job.
Certification helps employers understand that the candidate has worked hard and has taken additional accreditation for the solar field. This gives you the liberty to switch between different states, where you can easily find a job. You can get the certification for installing, assembling, or repairing solar energy equipment. Besides that, there are several online technical programs and different vocational schools that offer you different certifications. One of the popular institutions is the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
In a nutshell, if you are planning to start your career in the solar industry, you have plenty of opportunities. However, don’t forget that you must have the qualification, skills, and expertise so that a popular company can hire you over others.