Solar Jobs in the US Increase by 3.5% YoY in 2022

While the utility segment faced a downturn, the residential segment added 9,500 new jobs


The United States had 263,883 jobs dedicated to solar energy as of December 2022, indicating a 3.5% growth with 8,846 additional jobs since 2021, according to the 13th annual National Solar Jobs Census by the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC).

This growth in solar jobs occurred amidst a transitional period for the U.S. solar industry, coinciding with the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passage. Implementing this new law is anticipated to trigger significant advancements in the solar sector and foster job expansion in the upcoming years.

Despite the positive trajectory, the solar industry encountered challenges during this period, including the potential imposition of tariffs on imported modules and cells. This resulted in a decline of nearly 6,000 jobs in the utility-scale segment.

However, the residential solar segment experienced a remarkable 40% growth in installations. This growth resulted in approximately 9,500 jobs or an 11% increase.

Solar firms anticipate a substantial 9% increase in employment in 2023.

Around two-thirds of jobs were found in installation and project development firms. The manufacturing segment accounted for nearly 33,400 jobs, and this number is expected to rise further as domestic solar module, cell, and wafer manufacturing plants come online.

The renewable energy generation sector, encompassing solar, wind, traditional, and low-impact hydropower, employed 546,630 workers.

U.S. Jobs Census-1

Job Growth Over Time

Since 2010, the number of solar jobs has more than doubled, with a net addition of 170,000 jobs.

The report points out that between 2017 and 2022, the annual installed solar energy capacity nearly doubled. Concurrently, solar jobs demonstrated a growth rate of 5.4% during the period.

U.S. Jobs Census-2

Solar Jobs by Sectors

In 2022, the demand-side sectors, encompassing installation, project development, wholesale trade, and distribution, accounted for a substantial 77% of all jobs in the industry. The installation segment experienced a modest growth of 1.5%, adding 2,598 jobs, while wholesale trade and distribution jobs saw an increase of 6%.

Two primary factors contributed to the demand-side job growth despite the decline in installed capacity. Firstly, the residential installations segment tends to employ more individuals per megawatt installed compared to other segments. Secondly, the resumption of some delayed utility-scale construction projects occurred in the latter half of the year, but their actual online activation took place in the first quarter of 2023.

The sector experiencing the most significant job increase in 2022 was operations and maintenance (O&M), which saw a growth of 32%, resulting in the addition of 4,000 jobs.

Solar Jobs by Market Segment

In 2022, the residential segment, constituting 28% of the annual installed solar capacity, emerged as the most significant sector in terms of job numbers, accounting for 55% of the total solar jobs. This segment is highly labor-intensive, providing the highest number of jobs per MW installed.

The commercial market segment experienced a 7% decline, while community solar jobs slightly increased.

Solar Jobs by States

In 2022, solar jobs experienced growth across 42 states and Puerto Rico. California, the nation’s largest solar market, added 2,404 new jobs during the year. Other states contributing significantly to job growth were New York, Texas, Florida, and Massachusetts. In terms of new solar capacity added in 2022, California topped the list with 5.1 GW, trailed by Texas with 3.6 GW and Florida with 1.9 GW.

Several states in emerging solar markets have witnessed rapid job growth in the past five years. Illinois experienced a 58% growth rate since 2017, followed by Florida (43%), Virginia (33%), New York (28%), Texas (27%), and Georgia (25%).

Top States for Solar Manufacturing Jobs

In terms of solar manufacturing jobs, California led the way with 9,801 new jobs in 2022, followed by Arizona, Texas, Ohio, and Georgia with 2,573 new jobs, 2,081 new jobs, 1,949 new jobs, and 1,334 new jobs, respectively.

By 2022, the overall employment in solar manufacturing remained steady, with 33,473 jobs, showing a modest 1% increase from the previous year.

In the battery storage industry, there were 13,600 manufacturing jobs in 2022. The wind energy sector had 23,543 manufacturing jobs.

The solar industry anticipates that manufacturing jobs could increase more than threefold, reaching a total of 115,000 jobs by 2030.

Jobs in Clean Energy Storage

The report states that in 2022, the number of workers employed in clean storage jobs reached 85,858, showcasing a 4.6% increase from the previous year. Most jobs, totaling 72,923 positions, were concentrated in battery storage, accounting for 85% of the total employment. An additional 8,333 workers were involved in pumped hydropower storage, while the remaining 5% worked in mechanical storage, thermal storage, and biofuel storage.

The clean energy storage sector is currently experiencing a remarkable surge in employment, with job opportunities growing by an impressive 28% since 2017. This surge can be attributed to the rapid expansion of battery storage deployment across the U.S.

U.S. Jobs Census-6

Battery Storage Employment

In 2022, the battery storage sector witnessed a 4.6% growth, creating job opportunities for 72,923 workers. Among these, there was a 15% increase from the previous year, with 25,247 employees engaged in firms dedicated to solar energy.

Most of these firms focused on lithium battery storage technology. Within the battery storage workforce, slightly over half of the employees were involved in construction, encompassing jobs related to installing battery storage projects. Approximately 19% of workers were engaged in battery manufacturing, including electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

California was the top state for clean storage jobs, followed by Nevada, Texas, Massachusetts, and Michigan. In 2022, most energy storage capacity (71%) was installed in California, with another 14% in Texas.

Other Renewable Energy Sources

In 2022, the total number of workers employed in renewable energy industries, including solar, wind, traditional and low-impact hydropower, and geothermal, amounted to 546,630, signifying a 3.8% increase compared to 2021.

Within the renewable energy sector, there were 125,580 jobs related to wind energy in 2022, reflecting a 4.5% rise from the 120,164 jobs reported in 2021. Texas emerged as the leading state in wind energy employment, boasting approximately 26,000 wind energy jobs.

Despite the decline in installations, the wind sector saw an increase of 1,717 construction jobs compared to the previous year, reaching a total of 45,088 jobs in 2022.


In 2022, women accounted for 31% of the solar workforce, increasing from the 29% representation in 2021.

In terms of racial and ethnic representation, black solar workers comprised 9% of the solar workforce in 2022. Asian representation in the solar industry was at 9%, which is higher than the 7% seen across the entire economy.

On the other hand, Hispanic or Latino employees accounted for 22% of the solar workforce in 2022, compared to 19% of the overall U.S. workforce.

U.S. Jobs Census-8

According to industry expectations, the total U.S. solar installations are projected to surge from 141 GW in 2022 to surpass 700 GW by 2033. The Solar Energy Industries Association foresees potentially doubling the total number of solar jobs to 538,000 by 2032.

According to a report by an independent strategic firm Climate Power, clean energy companies in the U.S. had announced more than 101,036  new green jobs in 31 states between August 16, 2022, and January 31, 2023.