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Wind Technician Salary
Wind Tech Pay Rates
Update: Wind Technician salaries drifted lower in 2012-13, averaging between $45,000 and $48,000. Noticing this, many “would be technicians” pursued alternative careers in turbine construction and manufacturing. Since most are interested in getting more information about how Wind Tech pay rates are determined out in the field, the following Hubpage will start by describing two of the more common pay schedules used by employers. After highlighting these two pay schedules, we will then define a Wind Tech’s scope of work and their typical entry-level requirements. Please continue reading below to learn more. (Before continuing, it should be noted that Wind Turbine Technician pay rates usually depend on whether or not the Technician is considered a “Local Tech” or a “Traveling Tech.” With this in mind, we will now take a closer look at the pay schedule of a Local Tech.)
◊ A Local Wind Tech is a service professional who typically works within one specific geographical area. In this manner, Local Wind Techs enjoy consistent workloads with regular hours spent working on nearby wind turbines. Although they have been known start out with slightly lower hourly rates than Traveling Techs, Local Techs are often able to advance into supervisory positions which can significantly increase their earnings. This being so, the typical starting rate for a Local Wind Tech is $18 per hour and this varies little from state to state or from wind farm to wind farm.
In addition to the starting rate named above, Local Techs also receive substantial employee benefits including; health insurance, a work truck, tools, safety training, and personal protective equipment. After gaining experience, Techs who work locally can expect pay raises with most earning close to $40,000 by the end of their first year in the field. In all, Local Techs tend to experience high levels of job satisfaction. Please continue reading below to learn more about Traveling Wind Techs.
◊ A Traveling Wind Tech is a wind turbine service specialist who works in a number of wind farms spread over a large geographic area. Working on the road, the Traveling Technician has a flexible work schedule that can be arranged in a variety of ways. One of the more common work schedules for Traveling Techs is the “5 on and 2 off” where 5 weeks will be spent working in the field before 2 weeks are allotted off. During their time in the field, Traveling Techs stay in employer sponsored hotels and get to experience a variety of different cities as they make their way from one wind farm to the next. As can be seen, this type of lifestyle can be very rewarding for someone looking to visit different parts of the country without having to change jobs or employers. So how are Traveling Wind Techs compensated? To answer this question we will now look at a couple of different options that the Traveling Tech can choose from.
- Per Diem - The first and most common payment method for Traveling Wind Techs is the “Per Diem Allowance.” This pay schedule is similar to that of the Local Wind Tech, only there is an additional payment on top of the hourly rate called a Per Diem. This Per Diem payment functions as an additional daily bonus meant to go toward living expenses like food or other supplies that may be needed while on the road. Fortunately, the Per Diem payment is frequently greater than the Traveling Tech’s daily expenses as it can total up to an extra $50 per day. Money saved then becomes extra cash in pocket.
- Day Rate - In contrast to the Per Diem pay schedule is the Day Rate. The Day Rate is a negotiated payment that a Tech is contracted to receive for each day spent in the field. In some cases this Day Rate is also paired with a Base Salary which the Traveling Tech would earn regardless of the number of days spent on the job. Unfortunately the negotiation of a Day Rate and Base Salary depends on so many factors that it is difficult to define a standard amount that one would expect to earn under this type of compensation package.
In either case, Traveling Wind Technicians who stay busy average a salary of $45,000+ per year while receiving the same benefits that Local Wind Techs are known to enjoy, including; health insurance, a service vehicle, tools, safety training, and PPE. Next, this Hub will detail a typical Wind Technician’s job description before continuing on to describe how to get wind technician jobs.
When it comes to exciting jobs in renewable energy, Wind Technicians lead the pack. Working at the forefront of green technology, Wind Technicians specialize in maintaining wind turbines over their operating life which can exceed 25 years. Typical work duties for the occupation include; torquing, fluid changes, component replacement, hydraulic system repair, and electrical system troubleshooting. Performing these tasks within the safety of the tower, nacelle, or hub, Wind Technicians work in small teams in order to regularly service 2 to 3 wind turbines per day. Employers are often looking for new employees who are ready to enter into the field. How then, can someone with no prior wind industry experience get a job as a Wind Technician
To get a Wind Technician job, you must complete a wind energy training program specific for Wind Technicians. For a listing of wind energy training programs, please visit my other Hubpage which I have linked below. In addition to training, many employers also favor work experience with mechanical and electrical systems. Opportunities are out there for those with education and related work experience, so take your first step toward a satisfying career today.
- Wind Energy Training
Visit my other Hubpage that lists top wind energy training programs.