The solar industry has been one of America’s top job creators in the past decade. But who are these people? Let’s take a quick look at the most promising solar employers today.
The solar sector is growing rapidly. In the US, solar has seen an average annual growth rate of 49% in the last 10 years.
Thanks to strong government policies, like the Federal Tax Credit, dropping costs, and increased demand from both residential and commercial users, we have more than 85 gigawatts of solar capacity installed across the country.
That is enough to power 16 million homes.
Apart from providing clean energy, the solar sector can offer lucrative career opportunities to professionals looking for jobs in the renewable energy industry.
Let’s check the top solar employers out there.
SunPower is a residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar installer based in Silicon Valley. They are known for some of the best solar panels on the market, thanks to their proprietary micro-inverters that improve energy conversion.
The company offers roof panels and solar batteries, while the new P-Series panels are installed like roof shingles, allowing you to maximize the available area.
SunPower offers 25 years of full service, repair, and a replacement warranty for their products.
This is my third install with SunPower, and I know the solar industry well. There are a lot of bad companies to work with. I think SunPower is as good as it gets. Honest people. Good deals, financially.
Andrew K. Los Angeles, CA
Founded in Utah in 2011, this solar power company has customers across the states. Vivint was one of the first companies to adopt the power purchase agreement (PPA) model, in which customers buy the power that solar panels generate, instead of the solar system itself.
The company plans to offer smart home technology that would integrate solar energy with automation and data tracking.
Vivint installers were great communicators, very courteous, efficient and highly professional during the installation process.
JinkoSolar Holding is a Chinese company that produces solar cells, modules, and other solar equipment.
It’s ranked among the largest solar panel manufacturers in terms of gigawatts delivered. Covering over 100 countries, JinkoSolar receives more than 8,000 solar system orders a year.
Jinko panels work well. Neat to look at and great that you can easily add more later if needed.
Canadian Solar is a solar energy system developer that designs, builds, and sells roof solar modules, inverters, and system kits for residential, commercial, and industrial users.
They produce both monocrystalline and polycrystalline modules by international testing standards. They were the first company to offer a performance warranty and a non-cancelable insurance policy.
These panels were recommended by our installer as the best compromise between price, capacity, efficiency and life span.
Mark and Karen
First Solar produces solar panels and photovoltaic power plants. It also provides construction and maintenance services and photovoltaic system recycling services.
Their flagship Series 4 and Series 6 solar modules come with a 25-year warranty and are produced using less energy, water, and semiconductor material, earning the company the best environmental profile in the industry.
Pros: Definitely the people and work atmosphere, team collaboration, work/life balance. Cons: Should practice more employee retention.
Former Employee - IT Administrator in Tempe, AZ
Simply Solar is a top-rated solar panel installation company in San Francisco, CA with more than 20 years of experience.
Collaborating with solar equipment manufacturers like Solaria, Silfab, and LG, Simply Solar uses in-house technicians and offers custom roof installation services that fit individual solar projects.
Simply Solar got everything right, putting the system in on time and within budget. They also took care of all the paperwork related to permits.
Steve H. Oakland Hills, Oakland, CA
Daqo is a leading manufacturer of high-purity polysilicon that is used in solar products. Operating successfully since 2008, the company is one of the lowest-cost producers of polysilicon, with an annual production capacity of 70,000 metric tons.
In the future, the company plans to become a manufacturer of solar cells and vertically integrated photovoltaic products.
Pros: DAQO Group is a leader in Electrical industry, widely involved in electrical systems manufacturing. DAQO Group has a dense sales network within all China. Cons: As most of Chinese corporate companies, the vision of the company is not shared by Top Level.
Former Employee - Project Manager and Sales Leader in Yangzhong, Jiangsu (China)
Xinyi is a Chinese manufacturer of solar glass that specializes in R&D, manufacturing automation, and technical sales support. They also provide after-sale services of solar glass products.
Apart from operating four manufacturing bases, by the end of June 2020, Xinyi Solar has invested in about 2.8 GW of ground-mounted solar energy stations.
Pros: Nice people and they offer me a lot of help. Stable, decent pay. Cons: Poor work/life balance, get used to overtime working.
Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Markham, ON
According to Solar Power World, Apex Solar is one of the top New York solar contractors that specializes in the design and installation of small-scale commercial and residential solar systems with a 25-year workmanship warranty.
They are partnered with more than 30 Solarize communities across the Tri-state area, having installed more than 4,000 complete solar energy systems, EV charging stations, and solar roofing projects.
Farrel Williams and his team came to my house to remove 10 solar thermal panels from the roof. Even though the job was very complicated, the heavy panels were removed without any incident.
Robert C. Hillsborough, CA
We chose them because of the following reasons: 1. Pricing was good right in the middle 2. Sales person was transparent, knowledgeable, and not pushy. 3. They were in business for a long time and strong warranty.
Jamieg71, Sherman Oaks, CA
Luminalt is a San Francisco-based solar energy contractor that installs solar panels and battery storage solutions for residential and small commercial.
They offer top-of-the-line SunPower home solar panels that are ideal for the San Francisco Bay Area due to their power density — power output per square inch of the panel.
Apart from solar panels, they install solar hot water heating systems and electric vehicle charging stations.
My partner and I decided to go Solar after we got tired of being gouged by PGE. We choose Luminalt because of the reviews, but more importantly... they really took the time to walk us through the process without it feeling like a "sales" pitch or pressured.
Javier P. San Jose, CA
The biggest solar company is JinkoSolar, a Chinese holding company that does business in China, the US, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Jinko has an annual revenue of $4.6 billion and a net income of $163.1 million.
A solar company offers solar solutions, designs, and installs solar energy equipment, but also takes care of the necessary inspections and permits. They often work with utility companies and fill for local and state home energy incentives. While some companies work as contractors, larger ones develop and manufacture their panels from scratch.
Yes, solar companies make money. The solar sector is one of the fastest-growing industries and these companies make money by offering energy estimates, installing solar panels, and maintaining solar roofing and home battery units. Solar businesses also make money by offering their investors a stream of revenue at a fixed percentage, and through tax credits.
Yes, solar companies are a good investment. Solar is a proven and stable technology with relatively small market size. While the costs of solar equipment are going down, they are still high enough to make it a viable growth investment.
The scale economy, manufacturing automation, and increasing solar panel efficiency, as well as new financing models, have brought down the cost of solar, making it attractive to a wider customer base.
And a wider customer base means more jobs will be available in the solar industry.
Whether you’re gunning for a large corporate employer or a local solar SMB, keep in mind that you’re joining a growing industry with strong foundations that can support a long career.
To find jobs in solar companies, use our Green Jobs Board. Just type in the company you want to apply to, or the position you're looking for, and click search.
Find more jobs in solar companies by category, by city, or by state by checking out more sustainability jobs.