Report: U.S. Energy Efficiency Jobs Are Growing, but Companies Struggle to Find Qualified Candidates

Construction worker installs energy efficient building materials

The United States Department of Energy recently released its 2018 U.S. Energy and Employment Report (USEER), providing statistics and analysis of the four major sectors of the nation’s energy economy: Electric Power Generation and Fuels; Transmission, Distribution and Storage; Energy Efficiency; and Motor Vehicles.

The Energy Efficiency portion of the report provides insights and employment numbers for the workforce involved in the production of energy-saving products and services that reduce energy consumption.

Energy Efficiency Jobs Are On the Rise

The 2018 USEER shows that the increasing demand for energy efficient technology continues to drive its adoption across a variety of industries including construction, appliance manufacturing, building materials, lighting and more. This, in turn, leads to increased demand for energy efficiency workers across many traditional industries.

The report shows that in 2017, there were 2.25 million workers across the manufacturing, construction, wholesale, professional and business services that spent at least some of their time working with energy efficient technologies — a three percent increase over the previous year.

About 50 percent of the Energy Efficiency workforce was employed by the ENERGY STAR appliances and HVAC industries last year. Advanced building materials and energy efficient lighting sectors were the third and fourth largest Energy Efficiency employers.

In 2018, the employment growth rate is projected to continue to increase to about nine percent across the industries.

Energy Efficient Construction

The growth rate across the construction industry is projected to reach 11 percent by the end of 2018. This is not surprising because, as the report shows, in 2017, nearly 57 percent (1.27 million) of all energy efficiency employees worked at construction firms. Additionally, construction firms operating in the energy efficiency sector reported that more of their employees are now spending at least 50 percent of their time performing energy efficiency-related work, which points to the increasing implementation of these technologies.

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Energy Efficiency in Manufacturing

The number of employees involved in the manufacturing of ENERGY STAR-certified products rose by nine percent over that of 2016. Last year, over 14 percent of the energy efficiency workforce (315,578 people) was employed by the energy efficiency industry.

Professional and Business Services

449,800 people, or four percent, of the professional and business services employees worked to support energy-efficient products in 2017.

Human Resources Challenge: Filling Energy Efficiency Jobs

Perhaps the most surprising finding of the report is that at least 60 percent of all energy efficiency employers said they have experienced difficulties in hiring qualified candidates. The lack of energy efficiency training, technical skills and experience were reported as the main deficit.

At Ecotech Training, we are proud to contribute to the next generation of qualified professionals by training our students to work in the nation’s growing energy efficiency economy.

Ecotech Training offers online and in-person training to employers and individuals. With courses in energy auditing, LEED, and BPI certifications, our experienced instructors work to prepare you for both real-world skills and nationally recognized credentials. Request more information or call us at (888) 450-4684 to learn how you can better prepare yourself for an Energy Efficiency career.