Where Are the Solar Panel Installation Jobs in 2021? See the Top States & Cities

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The solar demand has been steadily on the rise in the United States. With the government taking an active interest in the growth of this market, you may be wondering how the outlook for solar panel installation jobs looks.1

Get a closer look at solar panel installer career projections and employment data below.

Solar Panel Installer National Job Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment of solar panel installers to grow a whopping 51% over the next eight years, which is much quicker than the average growth rate for other jobs.2

As solar power systems become more common, there might be solid job prospects for individuals who have been through solar panel installation training, states the BLS.2

Solar Panel Installer Job Description

A solar panel installer is also known as a solar photovoltaic installer or, more simply, a PV installer. The primary role of these professionals is to put together and maintain solar panel systems that transform light from the sun into energy.

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Solar Panel Installer Job Duties

  • Planning PV system layouts to fit customer requirements.
  • Installing support devices for solar panels.
  • Following building codes.
  • Connecting solar panels to electrical systems.
  • Testing solar power systems.
  • Conducting routine maintenance.

Now that you’ve seen the promising job growth for this trade and have an idea of what a solar panel installer does, you might be wondering where solar panel installation jobs are located. Here, we’ll take a deeper look at the states and cities with the highest levels of employment for PV installers as of May 2020, the most recent year for which BLS data is available.

Solar Panel Installer Employment: Top States and Cities in the U.S.

students learning how to install solar panels

Although the industry is growing, that doesn’t mean each state could have the same number of solar panel installation jobs. To help you get a better idea of where PV installers are working, we’ll look at the U.S. states and cities with the highest levels of employment in 2020.3

States with the Highest Employment Levels for Solar Panel Installers

  1. California: With 4,780 filled solar panel installer positions, California tops the list for employment opportunities in the U.S.3 This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as the Golden State is estimated to hold over 40% of all solar-related jobs in the entire country.4
  2. New Jersey: We need to cross over to the other coast to find the state with the second-highest rate of employment for solar panel installers.3 New Jersey boasts 1,370 occupied positions.3
  3. North Carolina: Along the same coastline, North Carolina currently has 580 solar panel installation jobs filled.3 The average annual mean wage for installers in this state is $40,710.3
  4. New York: With 500 solar panel installation jobs occupied, New York is another major source of employment for this trade.3
  5. Virginia: Virginia comes in fifth for the highest rate of employment for solar panel installers with 340 filled jobs.3 The annual mean income for installers in this state is $42,330.3

Cities with the Highest Levels of Solar Panel Installer Employment

  1. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA: New York City and its sister cities of Jersey City and Newark have a combined 1,460 occupied jobs for solar panel installers.3
  2. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA: As one of the state’s bigger cities, Los Angeles and its surrounding metropolitan area has 1,050 filled solar panel installation positions.3
  3. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA: San Diego and its surrounding areas have a combined 560 solar panel installer jobs.3
  4. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA: Another major metropolitan area in California, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ontario boast 400 filled jobs.3
  5. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA: If you weren’t already convinced of California’s abundance of solar panel installation jobs, Sacramento and its nearby cities have 360 more occupied positions to add to the state’s tally.3

Notable Solar Panel Installation Project

What kind of companies might a solar panel installer work at? Let’s take a look at one notable solar panel installation project creating jobs in renewable energy in the state of New York.

The University of Buffalo is placing ground-mounted arrays throughout their North Campus in an effort to become eco-friendly: 16,770 solar panels will need to be installed in total.5 Solar Liberty, the company behind the effort, estimates that over 60 solar jobs will be created.5

Solar Energy Growth Despite Pandemic

This increase of solar panel installation jobs comes as the industry is reportedly recovering quicker from the pandemic than originally estimated.6 A joint report by Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), indicated the sector was expected to grow by 43% from 2019 to 2020.6

Solar Panel Installer: A Green-Collar Job with a Healthy Outlook

As you can see from the above data, the job outlook for solar panel installers is projected to be healthy in the coming years. And the benefits of this green-collar job don’t stop there: as a solar panel installer, you could play a part in forging a cleaner future for the environment and the global community.

Additional Sources

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