U.S. Solar Jobs Census Finds Solar Employment Soars: Report

November 2, 2011

Two workers carry a solar panel on a rooftop.

Employment in solar energy industries increased in 2011, and is projected to grow next year, according to an industry report.
Credit: Craig Miller Productions

Numbers of U.S. jobs in the solar energy field continue to rise, according to a report by the Solar Foundation, a nonprofit solar education and research organization, which on October 17 released its second annual review of the solar workforce in the United States. More than 100,000 workers are now employed in the U.S. solar industry, according to the National Solar Jobs Census 2011: A Review of the U.S. Solar Workforce report. It details more than 17,198 solar employment sites and 100,237 solar jobs in all 50 states as of August 2011. The survey calculated a 6.8% growth rate in the industry.

California continues to be the national leader in solar employment, with 25,575 workers. Rounding out the top 10 states are Colorado, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, Texas, Oregon, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. The report also project a 24% increase in the next year, adding some 24,000 jobs by August, 2012. Colorado, Arizona, Florida, Oregon, New Jersey, and Massachusetts showed the strongest growth rates from August 2010. The survey was conducted by The Solar Foundation and BW Research Partnership's Green LMI Consulting division with technical assistance from Cornell University. See the Solar Foundation press releasePDF.