Empowering the transition
After discussing how we can electrify our usage, generation, and storage of electricity and what legislative and organizational efforts will help us with the transition to all-electric buildings, infrastructure, and transportation, we have one last major topic to cover; the workforce that will help deploy and create the future we want, today!
Help needed for electrifying the world
We can build a massive economy through electrification based on the localized implementation of renewable energy technologies. These meaningful and well-paying jobs are here to stay and contribute to the fight against climate change. So what will it take?
In the One Billion Machines report by Saul Griffith and Sam Calisch, the founders of Rewiring America identify that we must electrify one billion machines to decarbonize our economy. Or 50 million machines a year for the next 20-25 years must be installed or replaced to eliminate US household carbon emissions. The machines include rooftop solar, main electrical panels, vehicles, battery storage, and appliances for cooking, clothes drying, heating, and cooling.
Who's installing one billion machines?
You will! Well, maybe not you exactly, but you’ll need to hire someone to install these appliances, solar energy systems, batteries, and car chargers at your home. We will need hundreds of thousands of workers to help us electrify and modernize our homes and grid infrastructure.
Job growth in the solar industry
In 2021, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) reported 255,037 solar workers. With over 21,563 jobs added between 2020-2021, the lion’s share of employment in solar is at solar installation firms totaling 168,960. For perspective, the coal industry employs around 38,400 as of the end of July 2022.
Solar Job Census
Solar Jobs Up in 47 States
Driven by growth in consumer, business, and utility demand, the majority of the states in the US hired more workers to get the job done.
Solar Contractors lead jobs
The installation and project development sector has more than tripled the number of jobs since 2011.
Paving career paths
Less than a third of solar industry jobs require a bachelor’s degree, although advanced fields do. Most jobs are available to the willing and able!
Solar jobs in Washington
Washington solar jobs grew by 385 in 2021, totaling 3,950 or a 10.8% increase, ranking the evergreen state at 21 in Solar Jobs Rank and 31 Per Capita Rank.
Careers in electrification
You can consider electricians as the frontline workers for the electrification transition. As we upgrade old homes, install new electrical appliances, and adopt renewable energy technologies. Electricians are the ones that will make an all-electric home a reality, whether it’s working directly on your home, with utilities, implementing battery storage, or creating infrastructure for our future electric cars.
Electricians in the field need support and a central office to gather information, materials, and documentation to complete their jobs. That is where office staff comes in; being an electrical contractor means running a business that interacts with the local communities around you daily. Office staff will include project managers, permit technicians, sales teams, marketing, and warehouse managers.
As the market demands more all-electric appliances and vehicles, manufacturing for these products will need to ramp up to meet the one billion machines the electrified US requires. Manufacturing semiconductors to solar panels, whatever it is, it’s coming home as the Federal government prioritizes national manufacturing jobs and facilities to keep jobs local.
Working with NWES
Northwest Electric and Solar is growing every year! We need help electrifying Washingtonian homes and businesses; to do that, we’ll need you to join us in this mission. That’s not all; we must set our employees up for success to maintain the quality and expertise to transition to an electrified society. With our Earn as you Learn training model, you’ll get compensated more as you learn how to install products and accrue hours to become a journey-level and eventually master electrician! If you are interested in earning a living wage and helping improve the lives of Washingtonians, apply today! Learn more in the button below.
Wrapping up Electrify Washington
Today’s blog about the workforce needed to transition to an electrified Washington is the final part of the 6-part series. Thank you for reading, and I hope this inspires you to make your next home or business improvement project electric. Whether upgrading your HVAC system with a heat pump or installing solar to reduce your bills and help bring more solar to the grid! We will need a lot of help to achieve the future we want, so if you are interested in working in the renewable energy industry, there’s no better time than now!
Please reach out if you have any questions, comments, or concerns about the Electrify Washington blog series. Stay tuned for the eBook that consolidates the blog series into a downloadable file to keep and share on all things Electrifying Washington with friends!