How To Become A Wind Turbine Technician
Career Video: Wind Turbine Technician
Wind turbine technicians work outdoors, installing and repairing wind turbines. This is a profession that requires a great deal of training, and special certification is available. You must be good at working with your hands, working with equipment, and be able to handle heights. As a wind turbine technician, you will be part of a rapidly growing industry, focused on environmentalism and sustainability.
Why Become A Wind Turbine Technician
Currently there has been a trend towards locating renewable energy sources, including wind energy. It is believed wind energy and other sustainable energies will help society in the future, and have a more beneficial impact on the planet than fossil fuels. Wind turbine systems are being installed across the United States to promote clean wind energy. Wind turbine technicians, also known as windtechs, are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing wind turbines.
This is a profession that requires great attention to detail and ability to use equipment properly. If you are a person who has incredible hand eye coordination and enjoys using tools to get a job done, you will enjoy this position. A wind turbine technician cannot be afraid of heights, as they must climb to very tall heights in order to do their job. This job involves problem solving and critical thinking skills. In this job, you will be helping to promote the renewable and clean energy industry.
This is a good job for somebody who is interested in energy and environmentalism, who has great technical and mechanical skills, and wants to be outdoors working with their hands.
Wind turbine technicians must possess the following qualities and skills:
- Problem Solver
- Critical Thinking
- Good Decision Maker
- Quality Control
- Risk Taker
Wind Turbine Technician Work Environment
Wind turbine technicians work outdoors, installing, maintaining and repairing wind turbines. Technicians must be able to climb to great heights in order to service the wind turbines. They must be physically fit and able to use equipment. They work within confined spaces, often only moving around a few feet on top of the wind turbine. There is a risk of injury involved with this career. Wind turbines are located often in rural areas or on coastlines. Technicians may have to travel great distances to reach wind turbines.
Wind Turbine Technician Salary
The median annual wages for wind turbine technicians was $52,260 in 2015, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Wind turbine technicians often work full time. A wind turbine technician often starts as an apprentice. As they progress further into their career, they will receive higher pay. Many things may affect the salary for a technician. The location of where a technician is located, and how far they travel, may determine pay. A technician pay get paid hourly instead of an annual salary. These are all determining factors when deciding salary.
Average Wind Turbine Technician Salary
- Executive wind turbine technicians (Top 10%) earn $76,250 ($36.66 an hour)
- Senior wind turbine technicians (Top 25%) earn $62,720 ($30.15 an hour)
- Mid Level wind turbine technicians (Median) pay is $52,260 ($25.13 an hour)
- Junior of wind turbine technicians (Bottom 25%) earn $43,590 ($20.96 an hour)
- Entry Level of wind turbine technicians (Bottom 10%) earn $36,970 ($17.78 an hour)
Wind Turbine Technician Salary By State
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Wind Turbine Technician Career Outlook
Positions for wind turbine technicians are expected to grow by 110 percent from 2014 to 2024. This is much faster than all other careers in the United States.
So what accounts for the rapid growth in this job field? In recent years, people have become more interested in renewable energy sources such as wind. There will continue to be a need for people in this field who are skilled. The number of wind turbines being installed is increasing, which should result in continuing demand for wind turbine technicians. Job opportunities will vary by individual state. Wind energy is most effective in coastal regions or in flat, rural areas. Wind farms are generally more prevalent in the Midwest and along coasts, and wind turbine technicians will likely find more job opportunities in these areas.
Wind Turbine Technician Degree
Follow the steps below to learn how to become a wind turbine technician.
Step 1: Undergraduate education. There are many vocational schools and community colleges that are now offering programs related to wind turbine technology. In these programs, you will learn first aid and safety, high angle rescue, hydraulics, mechanical systems, blade inspection and maintenance, computer control systems, and more. These programs will take two years to complete and will result in an associate’s degree.
Step 2: Get trained. Wind turbine technicians typically receive one full year of on the job training related to the exact wind turbines they will be servicing. They may also do an internship with a wind turbine contractor. Some wind turbine technicians learn their trade through an apprenticeship. Apprentices must have at least 144 hours of related technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Apprenticeships focus on safety, first aid, and CPR training; electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical systems maintenance; braking systems; and computers and programmable logic control systems.
Step 3: Get certified. While not required, certification can demonstrate an advanced level of professionalism in your field. The Electronic Technicians Association offers certification for wind turbine technicians and those who install small wind towers.