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Top Renewable Jobs for Electricians

July 2, 2010

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Some of the fastest growing job categories in the construction industry are in renovating existing buildings to help customers save money by increasing their building’s energy efficiency and relying more on renewable power resources.

It has been estimated by some industry observers that green retrofits could be a $15 billion industry by 2015, making up 13 percent of the total renovation market.

And according to electrical industry blogger Houston Neal, they are jobs electricians and contractors need to be actively pursuing. Two of the hottest new jobs are:


  • Relamping, which is replacing antiquated lighting systems with energy efficient replacements and;
  • Daylight harvesting, which involves installing photo sensors to automatically reduce artificial light as natural sunlight increases.

Both fields are covered at many IBEW training facilities.

Earlier this year, the California Labor Management Cooperation Committee – a joint partnership between the IBEW and union contractors – won a $5 million grant from the Department of Labor to train workers in building automation and advanced lighting controls, with the goal of training 2,000 electricians.

And on the East Coast, building automation is just one of the renewable energy courses offered at Washington, D.C., Local 26’s training center.

Also continuing to show strong growth are photovoltaics and wind power.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar electric capacity grew by 37 percent in 2009, creating nearly 20,000 new jobs.

And the American Wind Energy Association reports that the wind energy industry installed more than 10,000 megawatts last year, supporting more than 80,000 jobs across the United States.

To see what other jobs made the list, click here.