Recently Obama launched a new initiative that will significantly impact jobs, specifically those dealing with solar energy, in the next few years. His plan to grow our nation’s solar industry workforce by 75,000 people is set to take motion before 2020. This program is specifically targeted at veterans after leaving the service.
Solar energy is important not only because of the jobs it creates (which it is doing at a rate 10 times faster than other areas of the economy), but also because of the impact it has on our environment and climate change. It doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran or not, you can join the solar industry’s workforce. Whether you are installing panels or developing future technologies, you can make an impact on the future of solar energy. Read more to determine what you need to do to make an impact in the solar industry.
Plan for Veterans
Across the United States President Obama is focusing on 10 military bases, including Hill Air Force Base, which already has solar panels on site. The Solar Ready Vets Program will focus on training veterans who are transitioning out of military service. They will join the SunShot’s Solar Instructor Training Network, which is tailored to veterans, building off the skills they’ve learned in the service and adding the necessary technical training. Some of the things learned in this program include:
- sizing and installing solar panels
- connecting electricity to the grid
- learn and comply with building codes on a local level
Solar Training Steps
Those who are not veterans but want to work in the solar industry can use this initiative to start a new career. Some things that will be a necessary part of your training include:
- Safety training – there are training courses through OSHA on the safety guidelines required. Once you complete these course, you’ll receive a completion card.
- Licensing – some states require solar workers to receive a solar-specific license. Determine whether or not your state has this requirement.
- Choose the faction of solar energy you’re interested in – from installation to project development, from sales to manufacturing there are many different areas of the solar industry. Determine which area you are qualified to work in, or the training you need to achieve your desired position.
- North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners – this is a certification open to solar PV installers which can give you the additional training you need.
Whether or not you’re a vet, you can join the fastest growing job segment in today’s economy. No matter what part of the solar industry you choose to join, you can take advantage of government programs to learn and succeed.