The global renewable energy industry has employed 9.8 million people in 2016, as jobs in the solar and wind energy sectors continually rise around the world, according to an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) report.
In other sectors, such as oil and natural gas, certain jobs are directly linked to industry guidelines by the American Petroleum Institute. An API 653 tank inspector, for instance, provides quality testing on storage tanks for liquid resources.
While it is highly likely that you will be able to find work in the energy sector, the IRENA report highlighted that solar and wind industries increased their staff by more than double in 2016. Those working in solar PV and wind power comprised 3.1 million and 1.2 million people, respectively.
Employment in the biofuels, hydropower, and other carbon-free resource fields also contributed to the increase in renewable energy jobs in the previous year. IRENA Director-General Adnan Amin said that jobs in the renewable energy industry might hit the 24 million mark by 2030, partly due to favorable socio-economic factors.
In the U.S., the solar industry created jobs at 17 times the national economy rate in 2016. It has employed 260,000 workers, while the wind sector’s workforce has reached more than 100,000 people. The growth in wind energy-related jobs takes place as companies built a new wind turbine every 2.4 hours during the first quarter of 2017.
The anticipated expiration of major federal tax incentives elicited a building rush among wind companies. The government renewed the tax credits, although they have a phase-out time in the future.
Job prospects — particularly in the U.S. energy sector — remain bright, no matter what sector you choose in pursuing a career. As the country progressively works to achieve energy independence, it will continue to need more manpower to realize this goal.