The Wind Turbine Technician career path is promising for those who enjoy working with their hands, have mechanical aptitude, and are interested in renewable energy. Wind technicians install, inspect, maintain, operate, and repair wind turbines. They can diagnose and fix any problem that could cause the turbine to shut down unexpectedly or fail to operate properly.
A high school diploma or equivalent is preferred to become a Wind Turbine Technician, but some employers may require additional education or training. Common skills of wind turbine technicians include mechanical skills, collaboration and teamwork skills, physical strength and stamina, basic troubleshooting, software and computer skills, attention to detail, ability to handle climbing great heights, and coordination.
Wind turbine service technicians typically assist engineers and ironworkers in installing new wind turbines, inspect the exterior and physical integrity of wind turbine towers, climb wind turbine towers to inspect or repair wind turbine equipment, and perform routine maintenance on wind turbines.
The Wind Career Map covers a broad and representative selection of occupations for which some training in wind-specific skills is required. However, only some wind energy-related jobs are included. Administrative, communications, and safety, as well as entry-level internships and apprenticeships, are among the many wind energy-related jobs not included in the Wind Career Map.
The Basics Of Wind Turbine Technician Career
Wind turbine technicians are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing wind turbines. They work in various settings, including wind farms, manufacturing facilities, and power plants. In this section, we will discuss the role and responsibilities of a wind turbine technician and the skills required to succeed in this career path.
Role and Responsibilities
Wind turbine technicians are responsible for a wide range of tasks related to the operation and maintenance of wind turbines. Some of the key responsibilities of a wind turbine technician include:
- Installing new wind turbines
- Inspecting the exterior and physical integrity of wind turbine towers
- Climbing wind turbine towers to inspect or repair wind turbine equipment
- Performing routine maintenance on wind turbines
- Diagnosing and fixing any problems that could cause the turbine to shut down unexpectedly or fail to operate properly
In addition to these core responsibilities, wind turbine technicians may also be required to:
- Troubleshoot electrical and mechanical problems
- Work with a team to complete complex repair projects
- Maintain accurate records of work performed and parts used
- Follow strict safety protocols to ensure a safe work environment
Individuals must possess various technical and interpersonal skills to succeed as wind turbine technicians. Some of the key skills required for this career path include:
- Technical aptitude: Wind turbine technicians must have a strong understanding of electrical and mechanical systems and the ability to troubleshoot and diagnose problems with these systems.
- Physical fitness: Wind turbine technicians must be in good physical condition, as the job requires climbing tall structures and working in tight spaces.
- Attention to detail: Wind turbine technicians must be meticulous in their work, paying close attention to details to ensure wind turbines’ safe and effective operation.
- Communication skills: Wind turbine technicians must be able to communicate effectively with team members, as well as with customers and other stakeholders.
- Safety consciousness: Wind turbine technicians must be strongly committed to safety, following strict protocols to ensure a safe work environment for themselves and others.
A career as a wind turbine technician can be both challenging and rewarding, offering the opportunity to work with cutting-edge technology and positively impact the environment.
Wind turbine technicians require technical skills and education to work in the field. The educational pathway for becoming a wind turbine technician typically includes a high school diploma or equivalent, post-secondary education, and certifications.
High School Preparation
High school students interested in becoming wind turbine technicians should focus on math, science, and technology courses. Classes in physics, chemistry, and mechanical engineering can provide a strong foundation for understanding the principles of wind energy and the mechanics of wind turbines. Additionally, computer science and electronics courses can help students develop the skills needed to work with the electronic systems that control wind turbines.
Post-secondary education is often required to become a wind turbine technician. Many employers prefer candidates with an associate degree in wind energy technology, electrical engineering, or a related field. Some wind turbine technicians also pursue a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such as mechanical engineering or renewable energy.
Post-secondary education programs in wind energy technology typically include electrical systems, mechanical systems, and wind turbine design and maintenance courses. Students also receive hands-on training in the field, working with actual wind turbines to gain practical experience.
Certifications can also be an important part of the educational pathway for wind turbine technicians. The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) offers a Wind Turbine Technician Certification demonstrating a technician’s knowledge and skills in wind energy technology. Additionally, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) offers a variety of certifications, including the AWEA Wind Turbine Technician Certification.
Certifications can help wind turbine technicians demonstrate their expertise to employers and clients. They may also be required for certain jobs or projects. To maintain their certifications, wind turbine technicians must complete continuing education courses and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in wind energy technology.
Wind turbine technicians typically start their careers at the entry-level position. They are responsible for maintaining and diagnosing wind turbines by cleaning, lubricating, and testing major turbine components, such as the generator, driveline, and blades, to determine replacement parts. Entry-level technicians often work under the guidance of more experienced technicians and receive on-the-job training to develop their skills.
Wind turbine technicians can progress to mid-level positions after gaining some experience as an entry-level technicians. They perform more complex maintenance and repair tasks at this level, such as troubleshooting and diagnosing issues with the turbine’s mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems. Mid-level technicians may supervise entry-level technicians and assist senior-level technicians with more complex tasks.
Senior-level wind turbine technicians oversee the maintenance and repair of wind turbines and ensure that they are operating efficiently. They may also manage a team of technicians and coordinate with other departments, such as operations and maintenance, to ensure that the turbines function properly. Senior-level technicians may also be involved in designing and installing new wind turbines and may work closely with engineers and other technical professionals.
A wind turbine technician career offers opportunities for growth and advancement. With experience, technicians can progress from entry-level to mid-level and senior-level positions, gaining more responsibility and higher salaries.
Wind turbine technicians are in high demand in the renewable energy industry. They work in various industries and locations, including wind farms, manufacturing facilities, and maintenance companies. Here are some industries and job locations where wind turbine technicians can find employment opportunities.
The wind energy industry is the primary employer of wind turbine technicians. Wind farms are the most common employment location for these technicians. They can also work in the manufacturing industry, where they assemble and test wind turbines before they are erected in the field. Additionally, wind turbine technicians can work in maintenance companies that provide services to wind farms and other renewable energy facilities.
Wind turbine technicians can work in various locations, including rural and urban areas. They can work in wind farms located in remote areas, where they are responsible for maintaining and repairing wind turbines. They can also work in urban areas, where they are responsible for installing and maintaining small wind turbines on rooftops. Wind turbine technicians can work in different states and countries, depending on where the wind energy industry is booming.
Wind turbine technicians can find employment opportunities in different roles, including installation, maintenance, repair, and inspection. Some of the top employers of wind turbine technicians include GE Renewable Energy, Vestas, and Siemens Gamesa. These companies offer competitive salaries, benefits, and opportunities for career growth.
Wind turbine technicians have a promising career path in the renewable energy industry. With the increasing demand for clean energy, the need for skilled wind turbine technicians is expected to grow in the coming years.
Challenges and Risks
Being a Wind Turbine Technician comes with its own set of challenges and risks. Here are some of the most significant ones:
Wind Turbine Technicians work at great heights and are exposed to extreme weather conditions, such as high winds, snow, and ice. Additionally, they are exposed to hazards such as electrical shocks, falls, and cuts from sharp edges. As a result, they must follow strict safety protocols and wear protective equipment, including hard hats, harnesses, and safety glasses.
Wind Turbine Technicians must be physically fit and able to climb wind turbines, which can be up to 300 feet tall. They must also be able to lift and carry heavy equipment, tools, and parts, weighing up to 50 pounds. This job requires a lot of stamina and endurance.
Wind Turbine Technicians must often work under time constraints. They must complete maintenance and repair tasks quickly and efficiently to minimize downtime and ensure that the wind turbines generate as much power as possible. Additionally, they must be available to work on short notice, including weekends and holidays.
While wind power is a clean and renewable energy source, it is not without its environmental concerns. Wind turbines can be noisy and have a visual impact on the landscape. They can also interfere with radar and telecommunications. Wind Turbine Technicians must be aware of these concerns and work to minimize their impact on the environment.
Finally, Wind Turbine Technicians may need help with job insecurity due to fluctuations in the wind energy market. If demand for wind energy decreases, there may be fewer job opportunities for Wind Turbine Technicians. Additionally, technological advancements may lead to automation of some tasks, reducing the need for human labor.
Employment of wind turbine technicians is projected to grow 44 percent from 2023 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. The demand for wind technicians is real and expected to grow. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 1,900 openings for wind turbine technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade.
The fast employment growth will result in many new job opportunities for those interested in pursuing a career in wind energy. Wind turbine technicians will be in high demand as more wind farms are built and existing ones expand. This growth is driven by the increasing demand for renewable energy sources and advances in wind turbine technology that make it more efficient and cost-effective.
Moreover, the Wind Career Map covers a broad and representative selection of occupations for which some training in wind-specific skills is required. Jobs in Administration, Communications, and Safety, as well as entry-level internships and apprenticeships, are among the many wind energy-related careers available.
The employment outlook for wind turbine service technicians, also known as wind techs, is projected to grow 96 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 5,500 new jobs over the 10 years.
The prospects for wind turbine technicians look promising. With the increasing demand for renewable energy and the growing need for skilled workers in the wind energy industry, wind turbine technicians can expect a stable and rewarding career path.
The Final Thought
Becoming a wind turbine technician can be a rewarding career path for those who enjoy hands-on work, are comfortable with heights, and have a passion for renewable energy. With a high school diploma or equivalent and some specialized training, individuals can enter this growing field and take advantage of the many opportunities available.
Wind turbine technicians are critical in maintaining and repairing wind turbines, ensuring they operate safely and efficiently. They must be able to diagnose and fix any problems that may arise, often working at heights of 300 feet or more. This requires a strong understanding of mechanical and electrical systems and a commitment to safety and attention to detail.
While the work can be physically demanding and sometimes involves travel, wind turbine technicians enjoy competitive salaries and the satisfaction of knowing they contribute to a cleaner, more sustainable future. As the demand for renewable energy continues to grow, so will the need for skilled technicians to help keep wind turbines running smoothly.
Overall, a wind turbine technician career can be a great choice for those looking for a challenging and rewarding job in the renewable energy industry. With the right training and experience, individuals can build successful careers in this exciting field and make a real difference in the world.