Wind Turbine Technician Schools

The field of Wind Energy is a fairly new industry in the United States and Canada.  Because of this, there is a great shortage of qualified workers who are needed to maintain, repair and upgrade the many turbine towers being constructed all over North America.  While this is an excellent career opportunity for many people, the biggest problem they face is finding a training program where they can get the education and certification they need.  Many institutes of higher learning are still catching up to the Wind Energy trend, and are just now beginning to offer programs that specialize in wind turbine maintenance and repair.

The schools that do offer programs specific to wind turbine technicians tend to fall into one of two categories: a trade school, or a community college.  Most of these schools can be found in the Midwest portion of the United States, as that is where most of the turbine towers (and the jobs) are located.  The best of these programs receive the American Wind Energy Association Seal of Approval, are listed below.

Texas State Technical College 

This program was one of the pilot recipients of the AWEA seal of approval.  Recently, this school formed a partnership with Texas Tech University to form the Texas Wind Energy Institute, where you can receive any level of degree.  Start with a Wind Energy Technician Certification, and if you want work your way up to a PhD. in Wind Science and Engineering.

Iowa Lakes Community College

Another recipient of the AWEA Pilot Seal of Approval, Iowa Lakes Community College has built a reputation as one of the most well-known Wind Energy and Turbine Technology programs in the country.  The program was started in 2004 by Al Zeitz, who was hired away from General Electric Co.  A two-year associates degree program gives you the hands on experience you need to hit the ground running after you graduate.

Columbia Gorge Community College

Located along the Columbia River in The Dalles Oregon, CGCC offers a 9-month certificate and a 2-year Associates’ Degree in Renewable Energy Technology.  This program was also a pilot recipient of the AWEA Seal of Approval.

Laramie County Community College

LCCC is located in Cheyenne Wyoming, and offers two different Associates’ Degree in Wind Energy Technology: one in Science for those who want to further their academic career, and one in Applied Science for those who want to enter the workforce as a technician. 

Cloud County Community College

This Kansas college offers the most diversity in Wind Energy Technology degrees and certificates.  Each program is targeted to a specific real-world job function, such as blade repair or site assessment and development.  Find the right concentration for your specific job goals at CCCC.

Lake Region State College

LRSC takes a unique perspective with its Wind Energy Technology program.  Students can take the traditional route and earn a two-year Associates’ Degree, or they can enroll in the “1+1” program, which allows you to complete a one year certificate program, and complete the second year of your education as you enter the workforce as an entry-level technician.

Kalamazoo Valley Community College

The Wind Turbine Technician Academy at KVCC offers a 26 week certification program that is specifically focused on the job skills necessary to become a wind energy technician.  Graduates of the program will be certified BZEE Wind Turbine Technicians.  The BZEE certification is offered by the Renewable Energy Education Center, which is recognized internationally as the premier training provider for Wind Turbine Technicians in Europe and North America.

These are the schools leading the charge in the wind energy industry.  As the years progress, expect many more schools to begin to offer programs in this discipline.  However,  only institutions with the AWEA Seal of Approval should be considered, as a degree or certificate from one of these programs is your best chance at getting a job as a technician after you graduate.

UPDATE:The AWEA has discontinued the Seal of Approval program, but we are going to continue to recommend high quality wind energy programs as we learn more about them.

Northeastern Junior College

offers an Associate of Applied Science in Wind Energy Technology (A.A.S.).  The program covers electrical, mechanical and hydraulic fundamentals, specializing in electrical troubleshooting and programmable logic controllers (PLC’s).  Northeastern Junior College is located in Northeastern Colorado surrounded by eleven wind companies and over a thousand Megawatts of wind production within a hundred mile radius.  Northeastern Junior College is a two instructor program with seven years of up tower field experience.

Additional Information

American Wind Energy Association

Community Colleges Tap Into Wind Energy Boom. MSNBC

23 thoughts on “Wind Turbine Technician Schools”

    1. Hi Nathan,

      As of today, only the seven schools listed in this article currently have the AWEA seal of approval. While there are many other quality programs out there, you cannot go wrong with one of these.

    2. no ! i went to that school and it was a wast of time and money they are total scam they gloss over things and you need an especially low iq to sit there for 6 months to be spoon fed information you could find in 1 afternoon of online research they have no real ties and are not AWEA or industry leaders aproved

  1. I found you online and I noticed that our program was not listed as a school that provides an AAS in wind technology degree. If I could take a few minutes to tell us about us, we started the program in 2009 and in the last 3 years we have made strides in training technicians that has allowed us to turn out some of the best technicians in the industry. Our graduating technicians enter the industry with a strong safety culture and the ability to think on their feet and have a great ability to make a direct impact on their site. The last 2 years we have maintained an honest 95% placement rate and more important than that our job retention rate is around 98%. I would love to talk to someone about an opportunity to end up on your website. Hope to hear from someone soon.

    You can see many of the techniques we train on our facebook page njcwind

    1. and wear do i apply onlion for this curse i have a job that i have to work so i need to do this onlion so can someone help me get their

      1. We do not offer our courses online as they are primary lab based and it’s a hands on learning environment. Please feel free to contact us for further information. Thanks

  2. Hi all, is this list still current? I was looking at Northwest renewable energy institute in Vancouver WA, and thankfully read the bad review. I am looking into a school in the NW – preferable close to Portland. Perhaps I should look into the school at Columbia Gorge Community College

  3. Northwest Renewable Energy Institute is an absolute joke. I went $12,000 in debt just to end up back in the same industry I was before going to NW-REI. Very few graduates actually work in the wind industry, more end up working on cell phone towers which you could do without wasting your time and money with “school”. What really sold me on the school was one of their seminars I attended. The presenter honestly deserves to be paid half of the cost of tuition because he was the best liar I’ve ever encountered. I can usually smell the bullshit better than most but this guy was/is just that good. The main reason I chose to completely change careers at 31 years old was the money. And the money that I was told I would make was enough to make me leave my job that paid $29/hour with full benefits in order to chase this $80k-$100k per year that I was convinced of. About a week after selling everything I owned, leaving my girlfriend and moving to Vancouver, WA I learned that Wind Turbine Technicians only make about $16-$18/hour. That wage would be fine if I was 18-20 years old but for someone in their early 30’s it’s just unacceptable.

    The most disappointing part is that they really don’t even teach much about the wind industry or wind turbine maintenance. You could honestly learn everything they teach from the Internet, in fact pretty much all of the curriculum is copied from various websites. The 6 month course is divided into 6 different one month long “phases” as they call them with a different instructor each phase. When you learn that none of your instructors have any experience in the wind industry you know you’ve been scammed. Only one instructor actually had relevant experience to what he was teaching. One of my instructors was an elementary school teacher, another one a logger, one a heavy equipment operator. So the guy teaching the phase about hydraulics is qualified to do so because he knows how to move dirt with a machine? Well that’s exactly what I did for work for the 13 years prior to attempting to get into the wind industry, that doesn’t make me an expert on hydraulic systems in a wind turbine. The only one that made sense was the electrical phase instructor who is an electrical engineer. Oh and if you miss a day of class they act like you committed a felony or something. In fact if you miss 4 days they kick you out and you still have to pay them. Excuse me but if I’m paying more than $10,000 for a seat in a classroom I should be able to miss class without being reprimanded if I want to.

    This school seems great on the outside, and by it being only 6 months long it makes it even more enticing. If you really want to learn about the wind industry in detail and have the skills and knowledge to be a good wind turbine technician then spend the 2 years at a community college or one of the AWEA approved institutions. It will definitely be worth it in the long run.

  4. I read this and was thinking about attending NW-REI but now I’m not so sure anybody have any experience with walla walla community college they would be willing to share

    1. Hi Logan,

      Airstreams Renewables is a 6 weeks program. The tuition is $13,500 but there are financing options available. We have a pretty solid job placement rate.

      Give me a call if you’re interested. We’d love to get people into the field.

    1. You’re very welcome! Many students really like our program because it’s so condensed. It’s 6 weeks versus 6 months. Our number one goal is to get you trained and get you working. What are your goals?

  5. I was curious how well the Kalamazoo Valley Community College. Are they accredited? Does one still need to a 2 year tech degree? I want to know if their program is worth it or not. I’m curious since it is a short course.

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