April 25, 2019

What Do the Fastest-Growing U.S. Jobs Mean for the Building and Construction Industry?

by Joe Erb

Earlier this year, an interesting infographic from Yahoo News made the rounds highlighting the fastest-growing jobs in the United States, broken down by state. You can see it here.

There are a number of interesting finds in the data—who knew that patternmakers were in such high demand in Arizona, for instance—but there were a couple of positions I found especially intriguing because of how they might apply to the building and construction business.

First up are solar panel installers. Per Yahoo, “A solar panel installer is the fastest-growing job in eight different states, including California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, Minnesota, and New Jersey. The role is also known as a “PV installer,” who “assembles, installs, and maintains solar panel systems on rooftops or other structures. In 2017, the occupation saw a median pay of $18.98 per hour, or $39,490 per year. It’s projected to grow 105% by 2026, which is significantly faster than the national rate.”

Sun-rich states like New Mexico and California make intuitive sense, but it’s interesting to see high demand for these jobs in places like Minnesota and New Jersey, too. Why is this? I think it correlates with an increasing focus on healthy and sustainable living. Forward-thinking building owners and occupiers are looking for things like access to natural daylight, acoustic and ergonomic comfort, air quality, and more. In California, most new homes and multifamily residential buildings up to three stories will include solar rooftop panels starting next year. Solar panels that generate energy for on-site consumption are a big part of that conversion. So are windows and doors that provide outstanding thermal performance—and, perhaps, much more than that in the near future.

The other job catching my eye was statistician. As Yahoo notes, statisticians “develop or apply mathematical or statistical theory and methods to collect, organize, interpret, and summarize numerical data to provide usable information. The field involves crunching numbers and includes mathematical and survey statisticians. There are various specialties, including biostatistics, agricultural statistics, business statistics, and economic statistics.”

My first thought here was how these jobs could apply to fenestration manufacturing. Automated equipment—and the computerized systems that tie everything together—continues to gain traction, helping manufacturers become better at what they do. Accomplishing that depends on interpreting critical data and applying the lessons we learn from it to better our business. This is happening all across manufacturing, not just fenestration, so it’s no wonder statistical analysis is a rapidly growing profession.
What are some of the fastest-growing jobs in the United States that you found interesting? Let me know at Erin.Johnson@Quanex.com.

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Posted: April 25, 2019 by Joe Erb Filed under: insights, solar, trends