The solar energy industry is a dynamic and fast-growing sector of the economy with opportunities for rapid advancement, several career pathways, and skills that can transfer to a variety of other fields. Virginia’s utility-scale solar market has grown dramatically in recent years, and it is poised to create even more jobs in the near future.
Solar is the fastest-growing job in the country
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recently named solar photovoltaic installer as the occupation with the highest percentage change in employment in the next 10 years:
There are over 250,000 solar workers in the United States, and between 2012 and 2017, solar employment grew nine times faster than the overall U.S. economy, and one in every 100 new jobs was a solar job:
Solar in Virginia has seen incredible growth--even more is expected
On top of the 631 Megawatts (MW or a million watts) of solar already installed in Virginia, 1,587 MW is expected to be built in the Commonwealth over the next 5 years:
And this number could grow even higher! Virginia recently cracked the “Top 10” utility solar states nationally, according to the Smart Energy Power Alliance (SEPA), and the state’s largest utility company, Dominion Energy, was recognized for its solar capacity growth, which increased more than 630 percent since 2015:
There are many career paths available in solar
Solar workers have several career paths for great jobs in a variety of settings, with different levels of educational requirements and earning potential:
Look at other types of careers, skills, and industry-specific credentials by visiting the U.S. Department of Labor’s online tool at:
Upcoming Program Start Dates:
In-State- $564* | Out of State- $1,692
*The FastForward Credential Grant will help pay tuition costs for qualifying Virginians. Additional scholarships may also be available.