Nevada's solar industry had a banner year in 2014, as that sector saw its job growth skyrocket by 146 percent, adding 3,500 new jobs from 106 different companies to the state's economy. At this rate, employment in solar-based fields within Nevada grew more than 53 times faster than the state's average growth rate of 2.7 percent. Due to this unprecedented economic expansion, a report from the Solar Foundation ranks Nevada as No. 7 nationally with 5,900 total and first in per capita solar jobs.
The Clean Energy Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan group, reports that $2.3 billion has already been invested in solar-powering the state, most of which has been in utility-scale projects.
In a statement reported in the Solar Foundation's press release, Nevada governor Brian Sandoval lauded the news, saying, "Nevada is emerging as a leader in new technology and innovation and this announcement demonstrates the possibilities within our state if we continue to recruit the growing industries of the 21st century."
The amount of job growth in Nevada's solar industry comes from a variety of sources. First Solar, an Arizona-based company, broke ground in September on the state's largest solar facility, a 250 megawatt array on 2,500 acres of federal land. This development alone is expected to generate around 300 construction jobs. On the opposite side of the spectrum, California-based SolarCity, which specializes in installing residential solar panels, has expanded from no jobs to over 1,000 within the past two years and they are still hiring.
From the looks of things, the solar industry in Nevada is booming. Job seekers working with the right recruiters can usually expect to have much better success finding employment in the sector that best suits them. With an industry as diverse as solar energy, that means finding the right job can come from the manufacturing, engineering or production side, among others.