For those of us lucky enough to work in the solar industry, we tend to rise and shine with the sun. And why wouldn’t we? We are a part of one of the fastest-growing industries and our work helps people. So let’s shine a light on what jobs are in high demand in Kentucky – the solar industry.
America is, fortunately, changing the way it gets its energy despite efforts for coal, but coal is losing out. During the past two decades, we’ve seen a true revolution in our residential solar systems.
Creative financing options and cheap panels have resulted in a huge increase in solar energy installations and this has driven a massive employment boom.
The solar industry now employs more than 300,000 people of which are 190,000 as installers. That’s a 31% increase since 2018. In other words, the solar industry grew ten times faster than the U.S.’s total employment growth for 2021 and this made that the jobs are in high demand in Kentucky. Kentucky Skills U, Kentucky’s Adult Education program, offers support for those looking to get certified in this interesting field.
The industry is expected to continue to grow by as much as 15.6% in 2022, according to the results in National Solar Job Census. While this news is something to cheer about, there’s a much bigger reason to “shout out for solar”. The solar industry isn’t just creating jobs; they’re creating living-wage jobs.
The living wage jobs that are being created tend to pay more than their similar counterparts, which helps to boost the economy and build stronger communities. Having a job as a solar panel installer is typically something for persons with a realistic or ‘doer’ personality.
Better paying jobs are a win-win for everyone
For example, the installation sector of the solar industry was the biggest winner in 2020 with more than 89,500 jobs created. Solar panel installers on average earn about $32.63 per hour. That rate provides a living wage for a family of four in many states including Kentucky, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and Georgia. Better paying jobs are a win-win for everyone.
In addition to creating jobs that pay well, many people don’t realize how many job opportunities there are for a variety of skilled workers. It takes a village to help homeowners get solar power. The sales teams are just the beginning of that process.
There are teams of people who process all of the paperwork for the financing. Computer programmers and developers who create software to streamline the process. Project managers help guide the installation from permitting to checking the status of equipment inventory.
Once your solar energy system has been installed, customer care and monitoring teams will be at the ready, should you have any problems with your new solar panels.
Thanks to primary drivers like the declining cost of equipment and installation, innovative financing models, and encouraging governmental policies, the job market will continue to look bright right on into 2029, making that the jobs are in high demand in Arizona and across North America.
If you’ve been thinking about making a career change, then the solar industry may be something you want to look into. If you’re not sure, take a free career test that’s offered on this website. This rewarding field allows you to help people save money, which can be a great way to end your workday.
Who’s really buying solar?
Well, the answer might surprise you. It ain’t the rich and famous, people that make $100 per hour or more. Well, it might be a few of them, but just 2-3 percent of solar homes in the largest solar market (California) is located in the wealthiest zip codes.
For the majority of families going solar, their choice isn’t about the greater good or having shiny new panels to show off to their neighbors. It is more practical and immediate than that. It is about saving money each month on electricity.
Reducing air pollution and creating more American jobs are undeniable (and important) benefits of going solar, but with our economy still recovering and working families struggling to make ends meet, the true benefit lies in the money.
According to the Vote Solar Initiative, this is why nearly two-thirds of residential solar installations are now happening in low and middle-income communities.
The Center for American Progress found in analyzing public data from leading solar states that most solar energy installations are found in middle-class residential neighborhoods.
The areas where rooftop solar systems are the fastest-growing are those where median income families live with incomes ranging from $50,000 to $65,000 in Arizona and California, and from $40,000 to $50,000 in Kentucky.
Meanwhile, low-income households are spending significantly larger percentages of their earnings on energy than high- and middle-income households. And they folks are even more likely to be living in neighborhoods where rares of, for example, illnesses such as asthma, are relatively high thanks, at least in part, to pollution caused by power plants.
Besides the rise of third-party solar financing available through solar companies, states are also starting to provide additional incentives to low-income families to go solar.
And saving money each month on utilities could mean creating memories a family otherwise might not have:
- Giving your son or daughter the chance to participate in that soccer league or that summer camp they’ve been begging you for
- Helping support care for an elderly loved one, giving them the independence they want and need to remain in their own homes
- Taking your family on that annual summer vacation and treating yourselves to a nice dinner without worrying about the bill
So the next time you hear that rooftop solar is only for well-off families, remember that it’s really mainstream America that is the Solar Nation.