If you want to become a wind turbine technician, there is good news and bad news. The good news is this field is growing by leaps and bounds, so you should have no problem finding a job (especially in certain states well-known for developing wind turbine facilities). The bad news is you will need substantial training to understand all aspects of the technology and safely carry out the job of a wind turbine technician.
Yet, there is even more good news: most wind turbine technicians are partially trained on the job. This means employers have an immediate need for new technicians, acknowledge that the field requires substantial training, and are willing to offer training on the job to qualified job applicants. Most new technicians will not be completely trained on the job, but you do not have to graduate from a four-year degree program or get your master’s degree to work in this fast growing field.
Wind Turbine Technician Training
The first step to becoming a wind turbine technician is to enroll in a two-year program offering an associate degree in applied sciences. Make sure the program you select is oriented toward training wind turbine technicians, and that it is a reputable community college with well-trained teachers knowledgeable in this field. Not every community college is offering this type of program at this time, but programs are expanding quickly throughout the country.
A two-year program in wind turbine technology will give an introductory understanding of the technology behind wind turbines. It will also teach the basic skills needed to keep up with routine maintenance on wind turbines. Wind economics is also covered in the best programs so students have a full understanding of how wind turbines function, and why they are able to produce green energy in such an effective manner.
A good program will also teach basic safety skills that are needed when working around wind turbines. Further safety knowledge will be obtained on the job, since there can be some differences depending on where you are employed and what type of facility you are working inside.
If you want to become a wind turbine technician, it will help if you have great mechanical abilities. If you are generally good with your hands or have experience in auto mechanics or other fields that require assembling mechanical equipment or making repairs, you could be well suited to the position of wind turbine technician. Mechanical abilities are not a prerequisite to entering a training program or securing a job, but they are essential if you are to become well-trained in the field.
During your training program, you will learn how to build a wind turbine from basic parts. This is how you learn all of the mechanical parts of the turbine and understand fully how it works. This is the foundation of knowledge needed to fix problems with turbines on the job. It is also the beginning to learning all of the required maintenance duties involved.
Before you sign up for a training program in this field, it is a good idea to do some research. You want to determine if there are ample jobs in the field available where you live, or if you might be required to relocate in order to secure a job. While the field is growing rapidly and most states have some wind turbines in operation, some states are far more active in the industry than others. As more companies make use of the technology, there will be more job opportunities for entry-level technicians opening up.
If you find that there are opportunities for wind turbine technicians in your local area or a state which you would like to relocate to, then seek out a good training program offering an associate degree in applied sciences for wind turbine technicians. You can start searching for job opportunities after completing the first year of training, since many companies will consider applicants still in school. Many others will require you to complete your basic training before being hired, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye open for all opportunities while you are in school.
Wind Turbine Technology and Future Opportunities
Today, wind turbines are appearing all over the country. You can see them stretching into the skyline of big cities as well as erected out in the countryside of smaller towns and rural areas. They are providing much-needed natural, sustainable energy that will help make the earth a healthier, more cost efficient place to live in the future.
Right now there are jobs opening up in wind turbine plants around the country, but there is an expected trend for the future that will make these jobs even more plentiful. Off-shore wind turbines are expected to be erected rapidly in years to come, so wind turbine technicians trained to work off-shore will be in hot demand. Those technicians currently working in on-shore wind turbine facilities will have some of the experience and training required to take more lucrative off-shore jobs as they open up in the future.
In March 2012, it was announced that five states in the Great Lakes region will be pushing to get off-shore wind farming underway as quickly as possible. Working with President Obama, the states aim to start wind farming in the Great Lakes in the near future. There are other states also pushing to speed up the approval of off-shore wind turbines, including New York and Michigan.
If you are intrigued by the idea of starting a career as a wind turbine technician and are interested in working in an off-shore facility, the best thing you can do is get through your basic training program and enter the field through an on-shore facility. You may also consider going back to school for your bachelor degree in a field related to the technology and science behind wind turbines. There are some states that have already been cleared to start off-shore initiatives, so you may consider finding opportunities in those states and relocating.