For half the year, Western New York is cloudy and doesn't see much sun, but that doesn't mean it is not a great place for solar panels. It's actually an area that is radiating in solar energy growth.
"It is almost going to be as common as having a wash machine, it should be accustomed to that," Tyler Uebelhoer, co-owner of Buffalo Solar Solutions said. "Having your own little mini power plant on your roof is very important these day."
Husband and wife Tyler and Alicia Uebelhoer created the Solar Panel company four years ago in South Buffalo.
The company added 10 employees just last year and will be hiring before the solar panel busy season heats up in April. Uebelhoer adds that two-thirds of the jobs in the solar industry are office or project management jobs.
“Over the last five years or so the industry has doubled in size and there’s more workers in renewable energy now than oil and gas combined,” Uebelhoer said.
If you don’t mind heights, working outside all day and traveling across Western New York this may be the job for you. Solar panel installers make upwards of $50,000 a year and need a basic education paired with specific job site training.
“The future movement of solar will be tremendous because it is a natural resource and it is just starting to snowball,” Uebelhoer said.
Even through the Buffalo winters, installers work all year round helping homes be more energy efficient. Buffalo Solar Solutions is continuing to expand and has opened an office in Batavia and hopes to open one in Rochester.
- Solar Energy jobs are separated into categories; research and development, manufacturing, construction, operation, sales, installation and maintenance.
Solar Energy Jobs:
- 105% projected growth in the next 10 years
- $40,000+ starting salary
- Education: Basic education-- 4-year-degree (based on position)
- Job Titles: solar photovoltaic installers, electricians, engineers.
Solar Companies in WNY:
-Buffalo Solar Solutions, Solar by CIR, Solar Liberty, United Solar Panel
For more information about a career in solar energy head to the Department of Labor website.