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Solar Workforce Development

Solar Workforce Landscape

The Solar Workforce in California is rated the #1 state for solar jobs with over 10% job growth year-over-year. There are roughly 80,000 jobs in solar in California with over 265,000 nationwide (IREC). 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has identified multiple types of occupations required to support the growing solar industry, including scientific research, solar power engineering, manufacturing for solar power, solar power plant development, solar power plant construction, solar power plant operations, solar photovoltaic installers, other solar panel installation and maintenance, as well as various support occupations. 

Workforce & Professional Development

UC Merced Extension is committed to providing quality workforce development programming to our region and broader state. Over the last year, UC Merced Extension has partnered with the solar industry and world-renowned faculty in the space to bring forward pilot offerings for solar workforce development for careers involving post-installation phases. These offerings include opportunities for upskilling, reskilling, and job training. They are offered in online modalities with the opportunity for corporate, customized training for organizations and companies.  

There are many opportunities through UC Merced Extension in solar workforce and professional development. Additional offerings and opportunities will continue to be launched in the coming months. To learn more or to hear about new opportunities first, please subscribe via our request for more information link below.  

ENGR 821 Introduction to Solar Analysis & Due Diligence

In this course, you will learn about solar power by following the path of a photon from the sun, through the Earth’s atmosphere, into a solar power system where it’s transformed into electricity and then consumed on the grid. This course will give you an overview of the major components of a solar power system, regulatory incentives, and financing, and provide a primer on energy forecasting and economic modeling.

Instructor: Jon Previtali

Previtali has worked with renewable energy and Internet technologies for over 20 years. As a senior principal engineer for VDE Americas, a wholly-owned subsidiary of VDE, one of Europe’s largest technology organizations, Previtali provides engineering and commercial advisory services to ensure solar power projects are bankable and insurable.

Course Information

Dates/Times:    July 9 - August 13, 2024; Wednesdays from 7-9 PM
Location:          Online (via Zoom)
Cost:                $240


Download our course flyer

Want to get involved?

UC Merced Extension presents multiple pathways to becoming involved with Solar workforce and professional development. 

Request More Information

Are you interested in taking a course? Are you seeking professional development in a space you don't see? Want to join our listserv for related offerings? Complete this form to receive more information, get answers to your questions, and be added to our listserv for upcoming news and opportunities.

Join an Advisory Board

UC Merced Extension convenes advisory boards of industry partners, including company and organization representatives, industry or subject matter experts, faculty, among others who provide guidance in the development of new certificates and microcredentials. Advisory boards are assembled on an as-needed basis. Please complete this form to express interest in participating on an advisory board or email us at

Corporate Education

Are you a business, organization, or company looking for customized, private training in a particular area? UC Merced Extension has subject matter experts in all disciplines ready to align professional development with your strategic plan, needs assessments, and growth strategies. Corporate education programs may be tailored from existing certificates or entirely designed to meet your organization's needs. Programs may lead to digital badges, professional credit, microcredentials and/or certificates. For more information or to meet with our leadership, please email us at

Become an Instructor or Course Developer

UC Merced Extension hires subject matter experts across industry, research, and institutions of higher education to design and teach courses as part of its programs and courses. Please visit our hiring page for more information about becoming an instructor or course developer. 

Contact Us

Request for More Information or email us at