What a Wind Turbine Technician Does
More often than not, when you drive through a rural landscape, majestic metal windmill structures dot the horizon. Their three blades rotate to the beat of the wind, transferring it to energy through a process stored within the wind turbines’ components. There are only three parts to the massive wind turbines, but that doesn’t make them any less complicated. When they break, it takes someone with the right skillset to come in and make the necessary repairs.
What a wind turbine tech does:
- Inspects both the external and internal components of the turbine
- Stays fearless to heights at he or she climbs to the top to perform repairs
- Keeps the turbines in good working order through regular inspections
- Performs tests and troubleshooting for all the parts: electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical
- Replaces any parts necessary
- Remains ready to repair or replace any underground parts
- Collects any acquired data for testing, research, or analysis
Not only will you be repairing the wind turbines but also installing them according to manufacturing specs.
You’ll find that most of your repair calls will be for nacelles, which are the blades that collect the wind’s energy and store it.
How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician
To get into this quickly growing field, you have to go through a variety of steps.
- Get your high school diploma or GED.
- Receive your certificate in wind energy technology through a trade school or community college.
- Learn skills through a 12-month apprenticeship offered by both turbine manufacturers and contractors.
- Get certified in an area such as workplace electrical safety, tower climbing, or self rescue.
Salary and Job Outlook
Wind turbine technicians receive a median annual salary of over $53K. However, when you’re first entering the field, your starting salary will be closer to $40K. But, when you’ve put in close to ten years, you’ll bring home over $80K. You’ll be working 40 hours per week, and sometimes there will be overtime. Evening and weekends work will be part of your job expectations. Some travel may be involved.
Windtechs is one of the fastest growing occupations, with over 5,600 new positions opening through 2026. That may not seem like a lot, but this is an expanding field and as more cities bring in wind turbines, more wind techs will be necessary. Some states will offer more job opportunities than others.