CDI Corporation

Solar industry experiences employment growth

The solar industry in the U.S. has been experiencing significant growth lately, according to a survey released by The Solar Foundation.

The source reported that the field grew by 22 percent nationally over the course of 2014. About 55.8 percent of the new positions created last year were installation jobs. Over 18 percent were in manufacturing, while nearly 12 percent came from sales and distribution. Project development positions represent 8.7 percent of the growth, while over 5 percent of positions created fell into the miscellaneous category.

Over the past five years, employment in this sector has nearly doubled. In 2010, the solar industry employed 93,000 Americans, while today it has a workforce of 173,807. The growth that occurred in 2014 was widespread throughout a number of demographics, explained the report. Over 21 percent of those hired were women, compared to 18.7 percent in 2013. About 16.3 percent were Hispanic or Latino, representing a .7 percent increase from the previous year, while hiring among Asian workers jumped from 6.7 percent in 2013 to 7 percent in 2014. Additionally, employment grew by .1 percent among black workers over the course of 2014.

This growth is largely attributed to a more environmentally conscious America.

“It’s just really indicative of a very strong, increasingly mature, increasingly specialized and consolidated and global industry,” Andrea Luecke, executive director of the Solar Foundation, told The Washington Post.