Solar: It's Not All Done On The Roof


September 19, 2016
Two GZEP job trainees canvassing for new clients

While installation tends to be the most visible type of solar job, the industry has opportunities in a multitude of sectors suited for individuals with varying backgrounds - even those who don't want to get on the roof! Solar jobs can be in sales, project management, financing, and many other departments.

The solar industry can be broken down into three main job tracks: construction, design, and marketing. The installation needs people on the roof and on the ground; an integral part of the installation process is the electrical routing of the solar panels. There are design jobs beyond the actual installation, including site assessment and solar technicians who keep the system installed running smoothly. If you are more of a people-person, sales & marketing is also an integral part of the solar industry. There wouldn’t be roofs to install solar on if there are no clients!

Over the past year, the solar industry has grown 20% nationally. And yet, over three-quarters of solar employers in the DC region say it is either “very or somewhat difficult” to hire qualified employees in the industry. As a result, the solar industry offers a competitive wage, and employers are looking for skilled job-seekers. The Solar Foundation’s Solar Training Network is a great resource to job train and learn about various careers within the solar industry. This solar career map clearly shows how diverse the industry can be.  GRID also offers a variety of workforce development programs. Through GRID’s Team Leader Program, job trainees work under the supervision of GRID Alternatives’ professional solar installation staff and help provide guidance and leadership to less experienced volunteers, and gain valuable skills.

Keep an eye out for more information about our Solar Focus Job Fair that will be held on November 17th in partnership with MDV-SEIA. There will be an opportunity to learn from a variety of industries within the solar field, and network with other renewable energy professionals. Also GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic will be hosting a Resume and Cover Letter Workshop on October 20, 2016 and a Mock Interview Workshop on October 27, 2016 both from 6 pm to 7:30 pm. Make sure you sign up as a volunteer  and keep an eye out for those opportunities.