Solar Careers in New York

Solar Careers in New York
Photo by Johannes Hurtig / Unsplash

New York State is becoming a hotspot for the solar industry. This is being driven by favorable policies being implemented at the state level and specific utility company programs like various feed-in tariffs. New York’s Clean Energy Standard sets goals for achieving 70% renewably sourced electricity by 2030 With the shifting energy landscape, jobs in this sector are rapidly increasing.

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The incentives, goals, and regulations in New York are resulting in significant year to year growth in the industry as shown by the chart below.

Annual Solar Installations in New York Provided by
Annual Solar Installations in New York Provided by

Job Market Overview

As of 2023, there were more than 11,500 solar jobs in New York, ranging from installation and project development to sales and distribution. This doesn't include electricians that work in solar. Jobs are predicted to grow by 5% in the next year alone, with the most significant increase expected in the installation sector.

Solar Job Training Opportunities

For those interested in beginning a career in solar, or transitioning into a new role, there are numerous opportunities for in-person or online learning. If you are interested in solar installation or technician jobs, I highly recommended getting North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certirfied. NABCEP certification which is known and respected throughout the industry, and the organization offers a variety of certifications for solar system installation and sales professionals. I often recommend that people start with a course like the 18-Hour Solar Bootcamp from Heatspring which is one of the top solar education providers.

There are a variety of in-person or hybrid solar job training opportunities available throughout New York State, many of which are accessible through trade schools, community colleges, and universities.

Trade Schools

Trade schools such as Hudson Valley Community College and Alfred State College offer certificate programs in renewable energy technology. These programs typically last 1-2 years and provide hands-on training in solar panel installation and maintenance.

Community Colleges

Many community colleges offer associate degrees in renewable energy or similar fields. For example, the City University of New York (CUNY) trains workers for solar jobs and other sustainable roles through its Center for Sustainable Energy, Green Energy Training. Courses are held at multiple CUNY campuses, including:

  • Borough of Manhattan Community College
  • Bronx Community College
  • Kingsborough Community College
  • LaGuardia Community College
  • Medger Evers College
  • New York City Tech


Many universities in New York offer bachelor's and master's degrees related to solar energy. Here are some examples of programs that I really like to recommend for people who are looking to go into solar engineering, solar policy, and management levels of an organization:

  • Cornell University, Ithaca
  • Columbia University, New York City
  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy
  • Clarkson University, Potsdam
  • SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse
  • New York University, New York City
  • Syracuse University, Syracuse
  • Stony Brook University, Stony Brook
  • University at Buffalo, Buffalo
  • Binghamton University, Vestal
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester

State and Local Job Training Resources

In addition to educational institutions, New York State offers several job training resources. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) runs a Clean Energy Internship Program, which connects students with clean energy companies in need of interns. The New York Department of Labor also has a variety of resources for job seekers in the renewable energy sector, including job postings and career planning services.

The Future of the Solar Industry in New York

The solar industry in New York is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. The state's commitment to achieve 70% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 will drive demand for solar professionals. Solar in New York presents numerous opportunities for job seekers. With a variety of training resources and a growing number of available jobs, it's a great time to consider a career in this great industry!

What do you think? Join the discussion and post your comments below!

About the author
Scott Beckman

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