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Mining Jobs Left Behind

Check out this awesome slideshow of the world’s largest thermal solar plant under construction in the Mojave desert. When completed, the mind-blowing 300,000 mirrors will put out over 377MW of energy from the sun. It’s a massive undertaking, and one that will only set the bar higher and higher for thermal solar energy plants.

In related news, solar plant workers officially eclipsed the amount of miners in the United States. While the numbers fluctuate (80 solar jobs in Alaska compared to 43,000 in California), the total amount of people employed in the solar field is a whopping 119,000+.

Right now, California, Arizona, and New Jersey are the top employers of solar jobs in the U.S. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t, considering the populations of these areas, along with the amount of sun they receive in comparison to the rest of the U.S.

While New Jersey might not be the first state you think of when it comes to solar power, Gov. Chris Christie has made some major efforts to bring his state into the 21st century of green efficiency. The number of solar power companies in each state might surprise you as well. For example; California has over 1,700 companies who manufacture and install solar panels, meters, conductors, etc.

The majority of solar jobs are in the field of installation and repair, rather than manufacture or R & D, but they pay very well nonetheless. Since solar energy is a burgeoning business, it makes sense that the pay is good, and that the demand for these industries is skyrocketing. Also, the shortage of qualified workers doesn’t hurt the compensation package either.

These numbers will only go up in the next few years (and decades) as industries and homeowners around the country (and the globe) make the switch to solar energy. As we wrote about in a recent article, this decade will be an extremely positive upswing for the solar industry as a whole.


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