Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and projections from the Projections Managing Partnership, Yahoo Finance has charted which jobs are in high demand in all 50 US states. It says solar panel installer is the fastest growing job in eight different states — California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, and New Jersey. According to the BLS, that job is known as a “PV installer.”
The job description says a worker in this category “assembles, installs, and maintains solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures.” In 2017, the median pay for a solar installer was $18.98 per hour or $39,490 per year. It’s projected to grow 105% by 2026, which is significantly faster than the national rate.
In Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, and Iowa, wind turbine service technicians are in high demand. The BLS defines these workers as those who “inspect, diagnose, adjust, or repair wind turbines” and “perform maintenance on wind turbine equipment including resolving electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic malfunctions.” Wind turbine service technicians have a median hourly wage of $25.91, or $53,880 a year.
Clean Tech Has Lots Of Jobs
The term “clean tech” includes many areas you may not think of at first. Software engineers are hard at work in many companies designing the electric vehicles that will be going into production shortly. Electric transportation will need better, more efficient motors, control systems, and batteries. Whole new industries are being created that will recycle the precious metals like cobalt and lithium inside all the batteries being produced today.
Even the world of finance is not immune, as investors will need advisors who understand the opportunities the transition away from fossil fuels will create and can advise corporations and individuals how to put their money to work in ways that will prove profitable.
Energy efficiency is a huge new field. The city of New York has just announced new policies designed to lower the carbon emissions from its largest buildings by 40% in the next 10 years. Many of the technologies needed to make that goal a reality don’t even exist today. Clean water and waste water management are also clean tech fields that will need more trained workers in the immediate future.
The transition away from fossil fuels spearheaded by Bernie Sanders will see many traditional jobs eliminated but for every door that closes, a window of opportunity opens. Clean tech will provide new opportunities that more than offset those losses and power the economy in the US and other countries forward as the shift toward a sustainable future continues.