As we look for new ways to conserve resources, more and more careers in renewable energy industries become available. Learn about professionals working in solar energy to determine if you would like to pursue a similar occupation.
Abound Solar is a manufacturer of next-generation, cadmium telluride, thin-film photovoltaic solar module is dedicated to reducing the cost of solar electricity to be competitive with fossil fuel.
If you believe that all careers in renewable energy industries require years of higher education and decades of experience, you may be happy to learn that there are a range of positions. For instance, George Torres is a manufacturing technician at Abound Solar. To gain a position such as his, you may not need extensive schooling, but you might require some specific experience.
“To be manufacturing technician,” states Torres, “the company looks for experience working in high-volume manufacturing and/or operating electro-mechanical equipment. Basic math and computer skills are also critical, in addition to having a high school diploma or GED.”
Torres is happy with his job and encourages students and others to consider a career in solar energy.
“I love the fact that I get to help people learn about our process and how to become successful within our company,” he shares. “I believe that the “alternative energy” industry is in its infant stage and there are plenty of opportunities.”
Torres is correct. SimplyHired.com, the largest job search engine, reports that green job listings such as those in renewable energy industries have increased steadily and will continue to do so in the near future. Careers in solar power jobs have increased 288%, clean tech jobs are up 92% and green technology jobs have increased a whopping 902% since June 2009.
Many other positions exist in the solar energy field as well. James Carbone is the project manager of GeoGenix, a solar integrator. GeoGenix designs and installs turnkey solar electric solutions for residential, commercial and non-profit entities to reduce their energy consumption and, consequently, their energy bills.
Carbone concurs that there are a variety of occupations in the solar sector, from engineers to electricians and technicians to project managers, with varying levels of experience and education required.
“I am a mechanical engineer by degree and have a master’s degree in business administration too,” shares Carbone, “both of which have been valuable in my transition to the solar sector from a seemingly unrelated field.”
Like many others now working in renewable energy industries, he held a very different position prior to becoming project manager at GeoGenix.
“I started my career in engineering and operations where I was an executive for a global Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) that designed and supplied capital equipment to the wire and cable industry,” reports Carbone. “Our customers were largely from developing countries, and looking to build infrastructure in the power distribution and telecommunications sectors. “
He found renewable energy appealing and took steps toward a career in the solar industry.
“My attraction to the solar industry was the opportunity to join a growing industry in a field that made me feel that I was doing something good for the environment, and for our country’s national security,” Carbone shares. “I pursued a NABCEP (North American Board Certified Energy Practitioner) certification as a means of gaining a keen knowledge and experience base that I felt was important to distinguish myself as an expert in the field.
“From there, I was able to get a great position as COO with GeoGenix where I oversee most of our commercial and residential projects on the ground and remotely, depending on the project site I am visiting that day.”
Carbone is also optimistic about the future of careers in solar, encouraging students and those seeking a career change to consider this field. Above all, he loves his job.
“It’s fresh and exciting as each project is unique and gives me the opportunity to propose an engineered solution that will reduce energy costs and reliance on the grid and produce clean, green energy,” he relates. “It’s enjoyable to spread the word about solar and to demonstrate to prospects that an investment in solar is sound economically and environmentally. This sector has a lot of energy and spirit as we all believe in what we are doing and recognize that we are doing something for the greater good.”
Sources: Abound Solar