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Wind Turbine Service Technician Career

Updated on November 24, 2017

What is a Wind Turbine?

A wind turbine is a device that harnesses the power of wind energy to convert kinetic energy into mechanical energy.

There are three basic uses for these devices.

When the converted mechanical energy is utilized to produce electricity, it is referred to as a wind generator.

When the converted mechanical energy is utilized to power machinery it is referred to as a windmill.

The devices can be vertical axis or horizontal axis, but the horizontal axis wind turbine is the most prevalent.

Wind Turbine Service Technician
Wind Turbine Service Technician

What Does a Wind Turbine Service Technician Do?

There are three basic parts of a wind turbine:

  1. A rotor (blades)
  2. A nacelle that houses the drive train, a gearbox, and a generator, although some designs do not utilize a gearbox
  3. A tower that offers support

A wind turbine service technician, or wind tech, is responsible for repairing and maintaining these parts. They must follow strict safety precautions because they often work in tight spaces, with high voltage equipment, and at extremely elevated heights.

In addition, a wind turbine service technician must be agreeable to working at odd hours, and in remote locations. When a turbine is down, they must respond, regardless to the time of day or night.

Wind techs generally are assigned to specific wind turbine farms or they work for wind turbine manufacturers.

Onshore Wind Turbines on a Wind Farm
Onshore Wind Turbines on a Wind Farm
Off-Shore Wind Turbines on a Wind Farm
Off-Shore Wind Turbines on a Wind Farm

Career Outlook

If you have ever driven across country, or in outer lying areas, you have probably noticed thousands of these monolithic devices.

When you see them grouped together in one specific location you are probably looking at a wind farm. A wind farm can be onshore or offshore.

The unwritten industry standard is that there needs to be a wind tech for every ten turbines. This creates a large amount of jobs in the wind industry.

Wind turbine jobs will be the most plentiful in states where the most wind farms are present:

  • Texas
  • Iowa
  • California
  • Minnesota
  • Illinois

Jobs in the wind industry are green jobs, and the growing interest in green jobs and “going green” will serve to strengthen the industry.

Wind Turbine Technician Training

Wind Turbine Technician Training can be obtained from community colleges and specialized career training programs across the country.

Wind turbine manufacturers often offer on the job training to individuals, particularly to individual with other forms of electrical experience.

Because this career field is relatively new, as of July 06, 2017, there is no standard certification process

Earning Potential

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anecdotal information, wind turbine service technicians start at approximately $15 per hour and can increase up to more than $50 per hour with experience.

A Day In The Life of a Wind Turbine Technician

Wind Turbine Service Technician (21st Century Skills Library: Cool STEM Careers)
Wind Turbine Service Technician (21st Century Skills Library: Cool STEM Careers)

If you're looking to become a Wind Turbine Service Technician, the Wind Turbine Service Technician (21st Century Skills Library: Cool STEM Careers) book is an informative guide to what a wind turbine service technician does and what it takes to become one.

 

Wind Turbine Service Technician: Opportunity for Women in STEM

According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), opportunities for jobs and leadership for women in wind power are on the rise. It was revealed at the 2016 AWEA Wind Power expo, that females are increasingly filling high-tech jobs in the U.S. wind energy industry.

In order to help foster the careers of women who want to work as wind turbine service technicians, and other positions in the wind energy field, the Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy (WRISE) nonprofit organization, sponsors the “Wind at our Back” women in STEM scholarship.

© 2011 Rachelle Williams

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    • zzron profile image

      zzron 

      6 years ago from Houston, TX.

      This is very interesting. I may look into this. I drive an 18 wheeler, all over the country and have seen plenty of these. Thanks for the information.

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