Could You be a Future Windsmith?
If you haven’t driven through town or out of your town into the countryside and spotted wind turbines stretching up into the skylines, you can look forward to that view in the future. Wind turbines are starting to dot the landscape of the United States as energy companies try to meet consumer demand for lower electricity bills. More emphasis is being placed on green energy sources, and that has created a new career field for those willing to gain a bit of specialized education.
What Is a Wind Turbine Technician?
Those tall turbines stretching up into the skyline with swirling blades are more than something interesting to look at as you drive to work. They are a valuable source of green energy that can be sustained easily. They are moneymakers for the energy industry, and they hold the potential for relief on energy bills for consumers. They also happen to be lucrative job opportunities for those willing to go through the proper wind turbine technician training.
A wind turbine technician is specially trained to maintain those massive turbines once they have been erected. Their job is to make sure all turbines remain fully functional and effective at their job. This may require going hundreds of feet into the air to replace parts, make repairs, or monitor operations.
Technicians must be familiar with all types of wind turbines and their proper functioning. They must know the most common problems that arise with wind turbines and know how to safely and correctly maintain all aspects of functionality. This requires very specific wind turbine technician training, since all aspects of the technology must be well understood.
Required Wind Turbine Technician Training
If you enjoy science or keep up with trends in technology, you may already know a little about wind energy. If you are interested in a lucrative career but haven’t been keeping up with energy trends, you may be interested in wind turbine technician training strictly for the career potential. Whether you have an interest in the technology or not, it won’t take you long to become trained as a technician.
There are many wind turbine technician programs now being offered through community colleges. These programs may offer a certificate or an associate’s degree. Training typically lasts for two years, but some of the courses are rather intensive and cover complicated science that is not easily understood by everyone. Though there is great opportunity for lucrative jobs in a booming technological industry, you have to get through the technical training first.
There are four-year degree programs in sciences related to wind technology, but those programs will educate you for jobs beyond a basic wind turbine technician. If you want to get your training and enter the field as quickly as possible, start with a local two-year wind turbine technician training program, and you can go for your four-year degree in a related science at a later point to expand your career.
Where Can Wind Turbine Technician Training Take You?
Once you complete a certificate or two-year degree program in wind turbine technology, you will be qualified for many entry-level wind turbine technician positions. Most of these positions are offered through energy companies and government agencies. They may require you to work with wind turbines located on or off-shore.
It is estimated that an entry-level technician will make between $30,000 and $40,000 a year. This can vary depending on the exact position filled, the amount of training achieved, and the company doing the hiring. This is an average salary being paid today for technicians working with on-shore turbines at the entry-level. With more experience and advanced education and training, there is great potential for technicians to move up to other positions and earn substantially higher salaries.
In coming years, experts are predicting an explosion of wind turbines popping up at sea. These off-shore wind turbine farms may require more technical training and knowledge, but they may also offer higher salaries for technicians ready to take on the job. There are some off-shore wind farms already in existence around the world, but you can expect more of them to come up in the future. This means there will be more jobs opening up for wind turbine technicians able to work off-shore.
Are You Cut Out for the Job?
What does it take to make it through a wind turbine technician training program and land one of these lucrative positions? Technically, anyone who can make it through the intensive training program could be hired by an energy company or the government as an entry-level technician. The problem is that many students do not make it through the training programs, and others find that they are not well suited to the job for other reasons.
Here are some signs that predict you are well suited to a job in this lucrative field:
- You are interested in green energy and alternative sources of energy.
- You naturally follow developments in technology and find the field interesting.
- You understand science and are interested in learning about new scientific fields.
- You are not terrified of heights.
- You are able to work independently with great confidence.
- Once properly trained, you are able to think quickly and make decisions on the spot.
If you are the type of person who leans on others and prefers input from others before making critical decisions, then you may not be well suited to work directly on a wind turbine. You may also want to look into other career options if you have a fear of heights. This position requires technicians to go hundreds of feet up into the air and make decisions regarding the maintenance of large turbine equipment. You have to be confident doing that job alone and making independent decisions.
Beyond the heights, wind turbine technicians are also exposed to other dangers. They often handle hazardous chemicals and must work on equipment that could be deadly if mistakes are made. This is why training must be achieved before you are qualified to enter the field as a new technician. That said, there are rumors of students being employed before they even graduate from their training programs. That shows how in-demand these jobs are today.