Solar jobs grow in Minnesota, U.S.

State industry’s jobs increase 72 percent

By John Michaelson
Minnesota News Connection

The future is looking sunny for the solar industry in the U.S., with a record number of people now working in the field. According to the Solar Foundation’s manager of outreach and policy, Philip Haddix, solar-industry employment has grown by almost 20 percent since 2012, to reach 242,000 jobs across the country, and locally is up by an even higher proportion.

“Our Minnesota study found that there are 864 solar workers employed in the state, which is up from an estimate we had last year of 500 workers.”

The latest figures also show the number of solar companies in Minnesota closing in on 100, with many of the related jobs in installation and manufacturing.

For the purpose of this study, Haddix said, solar workers are defined as those who spend at least half their time on related work.

“But what we have found in this year’s study and in previous years’ studies is that over 90 percent of those who meet the definition of a solar worker actually spend 100 percent of their time on solar,” he declared. “So it’s a definition we’re pretty happy with.”

Nationally, Haddix said, about half of all solar jobs are in installation, with manufacturing the next biggest sector, accounting for about a quarter of solar-related jobs.

The solar jobs report is at TheSolarFoundation.org.

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