The focus on jobs for the future is in the various fields relating to ecology. Solar energy is one of the fields that new jobs are expected to be created in, jobs in got the government and private sector with a long and promising future for those who get the proper training.
Jobs in the solar energy field include jobs in research and development. Generally, these jobs require a degree in either electrical or chemical engineering, materials science or a degree in physics. Once a product is out of the research and development phase, there will be jobs for both college graduates and skilled workers that do not require a college degree, but do require specialized training. These jobs include selling, manufacturing, designing installing and maintaining both commercial and home solar systems.
Currently, there are two specialized fields in solar energy that employ electricians, engineers, technicians, and technical managers and other skill workers. The first one is the field of photovoltaics which are the solar cells that use sunlight to produce electricity. These are the systems that are currently installed in homes. The second field is Solar Hot Water Systems. These systems consist of a solar collector that the water passes through to become heated and a storage tank. They are currently used to heat swimming pools and homes and are starting to be installed in public buildings like schools and hospitals. The United States is behind the rest of the world in using solar water heaters, but this filed is growing and with the increased focus on solar energy for the future, the job opportunities will continue to grow.
There is another form of solar energy technology that is currently in the research and development stage – Concentrating Solar Power. When this gets out of the laboratory and into production, there will be a huge demand for architects, builders, engineers and construction workers to build the plants as well as the skilled workers needed to keep them running. There are three parts to CSP technology – parabolic troughs, power towers, and parabolic dishes. Instead of using solar cells to collect the sunlight, they will use mirrors to direct the sunlight to a receiver. From there the energy created can be used directly or can be converted to electricity by using a generator. These technologies are being looked at by major electrical companies in the US as a possible way to cut costs and hopefully the customers bills as well.
New buildings are being constructed with passive solar building design integrating solar energy with the type of materials used and the type of glass used for the windows. They are designed to be cool in the summer and use solar power for heat in the winter. These buildings will create a demand for those who know how to service and maintain the systems.
The demand for skilled workers in the solar energy field is expected to grow so fast that there are now schools just for solar energy jobs. A few suggestions are Solar Energy International , The Solar Living Institute, and your local community college.
Source: United States Department of Energy