Is the Solar Job Boom Finally Here?

Emerging Occupation News, July 8, 2013

The answer is yes, with a caveat. The caveat: There’s a glut of solar panel production, so now is not a good time to be working for a company making solar panels. But, as a Reuters article wrote:

… the same price decline that has hurt panel manufacturers has helped sustain demand in the face of disappearing subsidies. That means a number of businesses, such as those that install household solar equipment, continue to thrive.

Moreover, the low interest rates make it easier to finance solar installations. As a result, we are seeing sharply rising demand for solar installers and solar sales representatives.  Over the past year, help-wanted ads  for solar photovoltaic installers has risen by 20%, and ads for solar sales representatives are up by 27%.  Help-wanted ads for solar thermal installers are up by a startling 61%, though that’s off a small base. Conversely, want ads for solar energy systems engineers are down over the last year, showing the overcapacity on the production side of the solar economy.

It’s possible that the gains for solar jobs may temporarily shrink if interest rates rise. But it seems pretty clear that solar installers and solar sales representatives are key examples of emerging occupations.