Solar thermal installers and technicians work for companies that provide solar thermal systems for residential, commercial, and industrial use. According to the National Solar Jobs Census in 2019, about 250,000 Americans are employed in the solar energy industry. The Southwest has the greatest potential for solar energy, although many other areas of the United States have been developing solar energy projects. The Solar Energy Foundation reports that the top states for solar jobs are California, Arizona, Florida, Texas, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York.
Manufacturers of solar power components and equipment are located throughout the United States. Large plants are located in California, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, and Wisconsin.
Many solar thermal installers and technicians start as apprentices, receiving training while on the job. They find work through their school's career services office and by contacting companies directly. They also find job listings on professional associations' Web sites and through trade journals. Check out solar energy publications and blogs. Search employment Web sites such as Indeed and SimplyHired for installer and technician job openings. The Solar Energy Industries Association offers a company membership directory at https://www.seia.org/directory. It’s a good place to start to find out about the different types of renewable energy companies and learn more about potential employers.
Solar thermal installers and technicians may advance to positions of higher responsibility such as managing other workers. With experience, they may leave full-time positions to start their own solar thermal installation businesses. They also advance by getting certification and going back to school for advanced degrees. Some become teachers in colleges and vocational schools.
Keep up with news and developments in the solar energy industry by reading publications such as Solar Magazine (https://solarmagazine.com) and Solar Today (https://www.ases.org/solartoday).
Learn about job openings and industry trends by using social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Find job listings at https://careers.ases.org and https://www.seia.org/jobs.
Attend the American Solar Energy Society’s annual conference, Solar Power International, and other industry events for networking opportunities. Find information at https://www.solarpowerinternational.com.
Join professional associations such as the American Solar Energy Society and the Solar Energy Industries Association to access training and networking resources, industry publications, and employment opportunities.