Solar power is a thriving market, but the industry has hit a rough patch with employment in recent years. Solar companies seem to be having trouble finding the right employees. The reason for this slowdown in employment is more complicated than it seems, but it comes down to three very basic reasons.
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Lack of Experience
The solar industry is a very new market based on a very new technology. This creates an issue with hiring, since there currently aren’t very many people with enough knowledge or experience in the field. According to the 2018 National Solar Jobs Census, 50.7% of participating solar companies cited ‘Lack of Experience or Technical Knowledge’ as the number one reason for difficulties hiring.
Steps are being taken to educate those interested in working in the solar industry. Simulation training programs, for example, are being developed by multiple companies for use in solar industry training. As the solar industry ages, more people will become experienced in this new technology, and qualified employees will be easier to come by. This is simply a side effect of a growing industry based on a revolutionary technology.
In an attempt to improve the quality of solar panel installations, multiple states have put regulations on solar jobs. These regulations require a certain ratio of licensed electricians to unlicensed electricians. In Minnesota, the regulation states that one licensed electrician must accompany every two unlicensed workers, and that the licensed electrician must be the only ones to configure the wiring. This sort of patchwork regulation has created a ‘bottleneck’, or inefficiency, in the hiring process.
Not only are licensed electricians hard to come by in the numbers required by these states, but many electricians find the solar industry to be unfavorable. Solar panel installations can be more physically demanding than the jobs many electricians are used to, which demotivates licensed electricians to enter the field.
The solar industry is trying to push back against these demanding regulations and offer alternative solutions. One solution would be to require solar-specific licenses, as seven states are already doing. Not only would this help the inexperience issues, it would also dissolve the hiring bottleneck and create more jobs in the industry.
As mentioned before, installing solar panels is a physically demanding task with its own dangers. Electricians have to work on roofs, some of which can be three or more stories tall. They’re also required to do heavy lifting, and to work outside in the heat. Wind, rain, humidity, and other elements can prolong installation jobs and make them more difficult to complete. Electricians in the solar industry are asked to endure more complicated and unpleasant conditions than the average electrician.
Join the Green Energy Movement with Kosmos Solar
Working in the solar industry requires passion, drive, and commitment. That’s what makes Kosmos Solar great — our workers are dedicated to bringing you the highest quality solar energy at a price you can afford. Request a quote today so you can move to solar power, because every person makes a difference when they make the switch.