A new analysis is digging deeper into the workforce requirements of the fast-scaling direct air capture (DAC) industry and the types of jobs it will foster. The analysis titled Direct Air Capture Workforce Development: Opportunities by Occupation is conducted by Rhodium Group – a company providing original, independent research, data and analytics on a range of critical global topics.
According to the research, if the current momentum with direct air capture policy support continues and is extended long-term, DAC deployment at scale will require a large, well-trained workforce to build and operate DAC facilities.
The construction and engineering of a direct air capture plant has been founded to create 1,215 annual average jobs over roughly five-year time period – the period necessary for a DAC plant to be built. After that, it is estimated there are approximately 340 jobs needed to operate the facility over its lifetime.
The types of occupation associated with the construction and operation of a commercial-scale DAC facility are: (1) construction trades; (2) metal workers and assemblers; (3) engineers; (4) executives and business operations; and (5) machinery installers, maintenance, and repairers. Collectively, they account for around 63% of the employment associated with the facility’s construction.
The analysis also digs deeper into the first type of workers needed – the construction trades, categorizing further this occupation group. It is comprised of a variety of laborers like carpenters, electricians, flooring workers, plumbers, pipelayers, masons, roofers, etc.
In addition to direct air capture, Rhodium Group also analyzes the workforce development opportunities for the clean hydrogen industry, available here, and the sustainable aviation fuel industry which is forthcoming.