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7/14/2017 by mdc
From planning to construction, it requires many roles to take a house from blueprint to reality. One of the key features of the U.S. DoE Solar Decathlon is the realistic experience it provides to participating students. The Solar Decathlon is a uniquely large-scale university design-build competition, offering theory-to-practice opportunities for student teams and a fascinating learning experience for those visiting this free event in Denver, Colorado. Ten contests evaluate various aspects of energy-efficient, solar-powered houses, which teams have spent nearly two years designing, refining, and building.

The DOE created this new infographic below that explores the range of jobs connected to the 10 contests that form the Solar Decathlon. The information available through the infographic can be of interest whether one is graduating from college or thinking about transitioning careers. While the infographic does not display all jobs in the energy and buildings industries, it gives a sense of the wide range of jobs and skills covered by the competition.

According to the DoE 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, the renewable energy and energy efficiency sectors are among the fastest growing parts of the U.S. workforce. Solar industry jobs jumped almost 25% in 2016 and wind employment increased by 32%. Bioenergy and geothermal sectors continued to employ thousands of Americans. Energy efficiency, which accounts for almost 2.2 million jobs, is projected to have a 9% employment growth in 2017 as more Americans reduce their energy consumption to save money.

In conjunction with this rapid growth, the DOE report found that 73% percent of all surveyed employers said they are having difficulty hiring qualified workers across the energy sector. The Solar Decathlon helps address this difficulty by challenging student teams with a real-life, complicated project that provides hands-on training for undergraduate and graduate students.

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