Solar Jobs: College & Career Paths

Tips for K12 students exploring college and career paths toward a career in Solar & Clean Energy Economy.   [ PDF Posted March 24, 2015]

Solar Career Map
Solar Career Map

Jobs Statistics – 2014 (Solar Foundation)

Full Report

Fact Sheet:


Solar Installation

Work toward gaining construction experience. Take courses on PV Design and Installation.

Santa Rosa JC Solar Photovoltaic Certificate – [PDF SRJC PV Certificate] Or look for other programs at your local Community College.

Other training opportunities

Solar Energy International –

Solar Living Institute –    (nearby in Hopland. Internships also available)

Grid Alternatives – opportunity to volunteer to install solar systems on homes, and also in Nicaragua

For Sales, Marketing, Engineering…. Pursue a BA or BS at a University. Ask your school of interest what clean energy courses they may have, or other sustainability topics they cover in courses. For example some schools participate in the biannual project, designing and building solar homes.   Take a class that combines Energy and Environment (eg. UCSB Env Studies, or SSU Energy & Technology, Society).   This might not be a requirement for your specific major, but it will better prepare you for career path in clean energy.  Many universities do NOT have specific solar or clean energy majors, so it’s up to you to add this content to your line of study.  If you find a school that does have clean energy & environment specific courses related to your major, this is a bonus.

Then… Read, Read Read ….
Start with …“Let It Shine – the 6000 year Story of Solar Energy” by John Perlin,   or “From Space to Earth – the Story of Solar Electricity”, also by John Perlin.  These will provide historical foundation for you

Home Power Magazine.

Solar Industry Magazine –   Good source of projects and industry activity.

Solar Today Magazine –

Volunteer at Industry Solar Conferences to get sense of variety of jobs and learn more about the technology, educational efforts, and policy issues.  With your student status this is a great way to learn more about the industry.

Intersolar USA – San Francisco. July volunteer or get a pass to the exhibit hall.

Solar Power International –

Volunteer at a clean energy non-profit – eg.,, others.