Over five years as an oil and gas contract worker, Kamal Ramoutar was laid off at least 10 times, always returning to his job as a safety technician when he was hired onto a new project.
Not this time.
Ramoutar, who was laid off again after oil prices crashed in the spring of 2020, is pursuing a new career in energy as a solar panel installer, a career he hopes will provide more stability as renewables expand with national and global efforts to slow climate change. The Labor Department projects that wind turbine technicians will have the fastest rate of growth rate of all occupations between 2019 and 2029, adding jobs at a 61 percent pace. Jobs for solar panel installers are expected to grow by 51 percent, compared to 31 percent for derrick operators, the fastest growing oil and gas occupation.
“Oil and gas will always be there,” Ramoutar said, “but I think the old way of life is in fossil fuels.”