With all of the solar progress we are making worldwide, maybe it shouldn’t come to a surprise that solar power employment is on the rise. In the U.S. alone, according to the Solar Jobs Census released this month, 31,000 new jobs were created last year which was 20 times the growth rate of the national average. It is also expected that about 36,000 more will be provided for 2015, as rooftop installation is increasing throughout the nation. In fact, since 2010, the solar industry employment has grown by 86%, according to the census. As of right now, there are actually well over 700,000 jobs that are related to the industry, with 173,000 just involving the maintenance and installation of solar power. After all, we need people to design them, research them, market them, and ultimately install them.
So how does this compare to the coal mining industry, which still provides about 39 percent of our national electricity? Well, as the solar industry grows, many of the country’s oldest coal mines have been recently closing down, leaving about 80,000 coal miners in the U.S. As worth of mouth about solar panels spreads throughout the world, analysts have predicted that solar power will reduce in price through 2017 because of reduction in price of things like installation, financing, engineering, and so on. These jobs that are opening up are decent-paying, with average wages being from $20 to $24 per hour, and with more access to these jobs, the easier the access to the panels will be to new customers. Although the coal mining industry is experiencing a setback in employment, the clean energy industry will always be able to provide jobs in relation.