5 Exciting Trends in the Renewable Energy Job Market
Clean energy job growth points to a dramatic shift in hiring markets in the United States and beyond. As technologies like eFuels, carbon capture, and hydrogen gas grow, their development demands skilled workers like scientists, engineers, assembly line workers, and more.
To that end, let’s explore the renewable energy job market in more detail, outlining five significant trends in clean energy employment that might change your career outlook.
1. Renewable Energy Jobs Are Stable and High-Paying
Renewable energy jobs provide stability, benefits, and high wages that can satisfy workforce newcomers and long-time workers alike:
- In 2019, renewables paid a $23.89 median hourly wage—higher than the $19.14 national median wage.
- Jobs in clean energy sectors are more likely to provide health care coverage, retirement benefits, and unioned work.
- Renewable energy companies employed approximately three times more workers than the fossil fuel industry in 2019.
In addition, jobs in the renewable energy sector and green technologies are available nationwide. On the other hand, fossil fuel and coal extraction jobs are more geographically limited since these resources are only available under certain geological conditions.
Whether you’re an engineer, transportation professional, construction pro, or office worker, the sustainable energy and technologies market needs your skills to make widespread decarbonization a reality.
2. California and Nevada Lead the Way in Clean Energy Careers
While clean energy job growth is consistent in every US state, California and Nevada are leading the charge in renewables employment:
- California employed 484,980 clean energy workers in 2020, leading the nation in job opportunities. California jobs are also growing—the state’s clean energy positions increased by 16.5% between June and December 2020 alone.
- Nevada’s clean energy job market features the highest growth of any state, increasing by 38.9% between 2018 and 2020. While energy efficiency jobs dominate, opportunities are also available in renewable energy, storage and grid technologies, and solar and wind sectors.
But sustainable job growth is consistent throughout the US. The following states’ green job markets grew to some degree between 2018 and 2020:
- Louisiana (11% growth)
- New Jersey (10%)
- Oklahoma (10%)
- Florida (9%)
- Colorado (9%)
- Texas (9%)
3. Clean Energy Job Growth Outpacing Coal Jobs
Clean energy jobs are increasing—but they’re also outpacing their nonrenewable competitors by a wide margin.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates nearly every industry’s anticipated job market growth, providing a growth (or reduction) percentage they expect between 2020 and 2030. Their recent report of the fastest-growing jobs shows massive opportunity growth for two green energy jobs:
- Wind turbine service technicians can expect a 68% growth (the second-fastest career on their list).
- Solar photovoltaic installers can expect 52% growth (the fifth-fastest job on the list).
4. Zero-Energy Building Construction is Increasing
A zero-energy building is a Department of Energy-certified facility that meets two criteria:
- They primarily absorb the energy they can produce onsite, only reverting to grid power when they run out of harvested energy.
- They return as much energy to the grid as they use during energy shortages, neutralizing their energy footprint. For instance, if a facility uses 2,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in a calendar year, they’ll also return 2,000 kWh to the grid when they harvest surplus energy.
The number of verified zero-energy buildings in North America nearly doubled between 2018 and 2020 alone, increasing by 42%. As a result, the total square footage (SF) of zero-energy buildings surpassed 62 million SF in 2020, a 39% increase from 2018.
Without a dedicated workforce, construction projects can’t happen. In which case, the growth of zero-energy building construction signals the continued growth of green building job opportunities.
5. Automakers Are Investing in Electric Vehicles
While electric vehicles aren’t the only alternative to traditional fuel-powered cars on the market today, automakers are heavily investing in electric vehicle production and sales.
The following manufacturers will add at least one new electric vehicle model to their lineup by 2024:
- General Motors
The US job market will be a key player in electric vehicle innovations. For example, Ford plans to build two massive battery plants in Tennessee and Kentucky, and Hyundai will build its first-ever dedicated electric vehicle and battery plant in Georgia.
Secure a Successful Future with FASTECH
Renewable energy job growth signals an impressive shift in the US economy. As the world invests in green technologies and climate change mitigation, the workforce will have to adapt to support increasing clean energy infrastructure.
If you’re looking for a career in alternative (or conventional) energy, FASTECH is hiring! We offer competitive benefits like health insurance coverage, company-paid life insurance, matched 401ks, and numerous employee incentives.
We’re leading the charge in alternative energy and can’t do it without you. Explore our career opportunities today.