Rise in Solar Energy Creates Job Growth

By on December 18, 2018
Rise in Solar Energy Creates Job Growth

The need for solar photovoltaic installers grows faster each year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of solar jobs are projected to double by 2026, compared to the average rate of seven percent job growth in other industries.

St. Louis Community College offers an accelerated job training program teaching students the fundamentals of solar installation to equip them for entry-level jobs in the field. The course covers power potential and design, installation, how systems operate and an opportunity to take the Solar PV Associate Exam through the National American Board of Certified Energy Professionals (NABCEP).

The rigorous program takes place over an eight-week period. “We’re looking for dedicated women and men who are interested in skilling-up for new credentials and a renewable energy career,” said Rene Dulle, STLCC Workforce Solutions Group project manager.

The future of solar is bright — nationally employing 373,807 people in 2016, the industry employed twice as many people as the coal industry. Not only are the number of jobs growing, but solar photovoltaic installers maintain a comfortable salary in the St. Louis region, with starting salaries hovering around $35,000. “We’re always excited to give the opportunity to maintain a livable wage for hardworking individuals in the region,” Dulle said.

With the price of solar installation dropping nearly 70 percent since 2010, more residential properties install solar panels to cut utility costs. In Missouri a federal tax credit can cover 30 percent of the cost of photovoltaic system.

Eligibility requirements include a high school diploma or high school equivalency (GED or HiSET) and WorkKeys placement scores that meet program minimums. Priority is given to residents of the Promise Zone with a driver’s license. Cohorts begin in February and April 2019 at STLCC’s Center for Workforce Innovation (CWI) at the Florissant Valley campus. For more information please visit stlcc.edu/solar.

About Laura Davis

Laura Davis is a Marketing Communications Coordinator at St. Louis Community College’s Workforce Solution Group, which delivers non-credit continuing education opportunities, corporate training and community services to the St. Louis region.

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