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The Bright Future of American Solar Jobs: A Growing and Diverse Workforce

The latest National Solar Jobs Census reveals a promising outlook for the American solar industry. With over 263,000 workers and jobs present in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia, the solar sector is thriving and supporting the nation's clean energy goals. Despite challenges in 2022, such as trade uncertainty and supply chain disruptions, the solar workforce remained resilient, and the industry is poised for rapid growth in the years ahead, fueled by federal energy incentives. This article explores five key points that shed light on the vibrant and inclusive nature of the American solar workforce.

Gen Z's Enthusiastic Participation

The solar industry is attracting a significant number of young people, with nearly one-third of the solar workforce aged 18 to 29 in 2022. This proportion surpasses the representation of this age group in the overall U.S. workforce, which stood at 22%. Gen Z workers are capitalizing on the growing career opportunities in solar and storage, driven by their alignment with the industry's environmental values. Recent surveys indicate that 87% of Gen Z workers seek employers that support their values, and 67% prioritize addressing climate issues. Consequently, Gen Z's enthusiastic participation in the solar industry positions it as a critical force in achieving America's clean energy and climate goals.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

The expansion of clean energy necessitates a considerable increase in the solar workforce, estimated to exceed one million workers. To achieve this target, the industry is working to eliminate barriers of entry and invest in training and development programs, such as the Virtual Solar Pro program. In 2022, 57% of all new solar jobs did not require a bachelor's degree, providing more opportunities for Americans from diverse backgrounds to find fulfilling careers in the solar industry. Solar and storage companies are actively investing in mentorship and training programs, with 33.6% of firms offering general mentorship programs in 2022, up from 32.5% the previous year.

Advancing Diversity

Over the past five years, the solar and storage industry has made significant strides in increasing diversity among its workforce. It now outpaces the overall economy in terms of employing veterans, Asian, Hispanic, and Latino workers. Moreover, the industry has made considerable progress in welcoming more women to its ranks. However, it is crucial to prioritize equity in growing the solar workforce further. This involves investing in education and outreach, conducting research and analysis, and establishing new or enhanced training programs to attract and retain diverse professionals in the solar and storage sectors.

The Rise of U.S. Solar Manufacturing Jobs

The incentives for clean energy introduced in 2022 have catalyzed American companies to expand their operations and invest billions of dollars in domestic solar manufacturing capacity. These efforts are expected to create well-paying jobs across the country while strengthening the solar supply chain. Solar manufacturing jobs are predicted to more than triple over the next ten years, reaching approximately 120,000 workers by 2033. As newly announced manufacturing plants come online, solar manufacturing jobs will continue to grow, contributing to the industry's overall vitality.

Soaring Opportunities in Clean Energy Storage

The growth of the solar workforce is also driving employment opportunities in clean energy storage. Jobs in this sector have surged by 28% since 2017. Solar and storage industries complement each other, enhancing the reliability and accessibility of power. Federal clean energy incentives are further stimulating demand for solar deployment and energy storage. With these incentives in place, the solar and storage industry has the potential to add hundreds of thousands of workers over the next decade, making significant strides towards the million-worker target needed for rapid decarbonization of the grid.


The American solar workforce is vibrant, diverse, and expanding rapidly. The industry's commitment to inclusivity, accessibility, and mentorship programs has already yielded positive results, attracting young talent, increasing diversity, and offering well-paying jobs to Americans from all backgrounds. The growth of solar manufacturing and clean energy storage sectors further cements the industry's importance in driving economic opportunities and supporting the nation's transition to clean energy. As the solar industry continues to evolve, continued efforts in workforce development and training will be instrumental in achieving America's ambitious clean energy goals.

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