As the solar industry rapidly grows, it has an increasing need for skilled, technically-savvy workers. At the same time, the U.S. military is downsizing, with nearly 200,000 veterans exiting annually. In order to attract our nation’s skilled veterans to the solar energy industry, the Solar Energy Technologies Office created the Solar Ready Vets® program in partnership with the Department of Defense Skillbridge initiative. Solar Ready Vets provides our veterans with solar industry training and the opportunity to interview with some of the nation’s leading solar companies.
Hiring veterans into solar industry jobs is dually beneficial, helping veterans find employment in jobs that will support the U.S. economy, and helping rapidly expanding solar companies fill their new roles with competent, motivated workers.
Why are Veterans Great Solar Employees?
The solar industry is an important source of employment for returning veterans, who comprise 8% of the solar workforce, exceeding the 6% of veterans in the broader U.S. workforce. Veterans have the skills required to be successful in the solar industry:
- Veterans are trained to lead, and given responsibility early in their military service;
- Veterans are mission-focused, doing what it takes to complete the job correctly and on time;
- Veterans are team players, simultaneously completing their work and supporting their colleagues to reach the goal at hand; and
- Veterans have strong work ethic, having been accustomed to working long hours in non-traditional environments.
Hire Veterans Today
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs created the Veterans Employment Center to help connect employers and veterans who are seeking employment.
- If you are a veteran, access the job search. Type “solar” into the search bar, and a location if you are searching for employment within a specific geographic area.
- If you are a solar employer, search veteran profiles and post job openings within your company.
What Types of Jobs Are in the Solar Industry?
Jobs exist in the solar industry for veterans from all backgrounds. Here are some of the most popular solar professions:
- Solar photovoltaic installers complete installations of solar arrays by mounting the racking structures on rooftops, assembling the panels, and connecting electrical equipment.
- Solar system inspectors keep jobs moving efficiently toward "permission to operate," ensuring all aspects of a solar energy system have been safely installed and are up to code.
- Solar sales representatives work with potential solar customers, communicating the benefits of clean energy for both residential and commercial projects.
- Solar electricians provide technical expertise to an installation team, leading safety efforts and ensuring successful connections between the home and the panels.
- Solar system designers incorporate electrical and structural engineering concepts to create detailed and accurate plans for residential and commercial solar energy systems.
The Interstate Renewable Energy Council’s solar career map explores an expanding universe of solar-energy occupations. Learn more about the diverse jobs across the industry, the possible progression between them, and the high-quality training necessary to do them well.
Where are the Solar Jobs?
As the solar industry continues to expand, job opportunities exist all across the country. Some states, however, are ahead of the curve. According to the State Solar Jobs Census, the top 10 states for solar employment in 2019 were California, Florida, New York, Massachusetts, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Ohio, and North Carolina. States that have the highest percentage of veterans working in the solar sector include Georgia, Iowa, and Texas.