For most qualified candidates, finding a job in the wind energy sector is not that difficult. Many graduates of nationally recognized wind turbine technician programs often have several job offers by the time they graduate. At that point, it is no longer just about getting a job to pay the bills. These graduates must take other factors into consideration, such as pay, the type of job and where it is located. Let’s look at some of the different types of jobs someone with a wind energy technician degree could apply for, and where those jobs are located.
Types of Jobs
When searching for technician jobs, you will often see various levels and titles (Wind Energy Technician I, Wind Energy Technician II, Wind Energy Technician III, etc.). But these titles are based more on the level of experience and aptitude a candidate shows, and does not do much to describe the type of work they will be doing. When applying for one of these jobs, be sure to read the detailed job description and see what the daily duties entail.
Most wind energy technician job listings are for maintaining existing wind turbines. This could include anything from blade repair to simple tune-ups, which is all necessary to keep these very expensive machines running smoothly. A maintenance technician will often be assigned a geographical region and be assigned to all of the wind turbines in that locality.
Because of the rapid growth of the wind energy industry, there are also many technician jobs out there for new wind turbine construction. These jobs may be short term contract jobs that terminate once the turbines are up and running. Or, they may involve traveling around the country from wind farm to wind farm installing new turbines over and over again. The Department of Energy estimates that 20% of America’s power will come from wind farms by the year 2030, so working on new installations is work that will certainly be around for years to come.
Where the Jobs Are
There are a lot of jobs in the wind energy industry right now, and they are all over the country. However, they are mostly centered where the wind farms are. To get a better understanding on where you can expect to find a wind turbine technician job, it makes sense to look at the parts of the United States with the most wind energy production:
As you can see from the map and the statistics above, most of the wind turbines in the United Stated are centered in the Midwest, with the West Coast also having a large presence. The Midwest is anchored by Texas, which has almost triple the number of wind turbines as the next highest state. States with high numbers of existing turbines (Texas, Iowa, California, Minnesota, Washington) are where you could expect to find stable, long term maintenance jobs. While those states are still building new turbines, they are closer to being at capacity and so may not have as many opportunities for new construction. States that rank highly in new wind capacity are where the new construction is. for 2010, the states with the most new wind power were Texas, Illinois, California, South Dakota and Minnesota.
The Choice is Yours
With the proper training and the right skills you could find yourself considering multiple job offers in just about any corner of the country, maintaining or installing wind turbines. This is an exciting opportunity for many people around the United States who are considering different career options, or for others who are just getting started, and do not want to invest in a 4 year degree. Whatever your situation may be, odds are there is a wind turbine technician job out there where you can be doing what you want to do in a place where you want to do it. How many people can say that about their job?