- What is a Wind Turbine Technician?
- What is the Average Salary for a Wind Turbine Technician?
- How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician
- Wind Turbine Technician Certification
If you’re considering a career as a wind turbine technician, you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to earn. Here’s a look at the average salary for this job, as well as the education and skills you’ll need to get hired.
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What is a Wind Turbine Technician?
Wind turbine technicians, also known as windtechs, are responsible for installing, maintaining, and repairing wind turbines. They typically work on-site at wind farms, which means they may have to travel to remote locations. In addition to being able to troubleshoot mechanical and electrical problems, wind turbine technicians must also be able to climb tall structures and work in challenging weather conditions. So, how much does a wind turbine technician make?
Wind turbine technicians, also called wind energy technicians, are specially trained to install, maintain, and repair wind turbines. Wind turbines are large machines that convert the kinetic energy of wind into electrical energy. They are an important part of the renewable energy industry and can be found in both onshore and offshore locations.
Wind turbine technicians must be able to climb tall structures and work in high places. They also must be able to lift and carry heavy objects, such as tools and equipment. Wind turbine technicians typically work full time, and some jobs may require overtime hours. Many positions also require travel to different job sites.
The median annual salary for wind turbine technicians was $52,910 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS projects that employment of wind turbine technicians will grow 108 percent from 2016 to 2026, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.
Education and Training
A career as a wind turbine technician might be a good fit for you if you have a strong interest in working with machinery and enjoy working outdoors. You’ll need to be comfortable working at heights, as you’ll be responsible for climbing the structures that support the turbines. Although no formal education is required, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a postsecondary training program in occupational safety, electrical engineering technology, or renewable energy.
What is the Average Salary for a Wind Turbine Technician?
Salary by State
Alaska – $67,060
Arizona – $54,690
Arkansas – $56,130
California – $64,970
Colorado – $58,610
Salary by City
The average salary for a Wind Turbine Technician is $52,936 per year. The highest paying cities for Wind Turbine Technicians are Houston, TX, Chicago, IL, and Denver, CO.
How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician
Wind turbine technicians, also known as windtechs, are responsible for maintaining and repairing wind turbines. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for a wind turbine technician is $52,910. To become a wind turbine technician, you will need to complete a training program and obtain a certification.
Step 1: Research the Career
Before you decide to become a wind turbine technician, it is important to research the career and understand what the job entails. Some potential students are attracted to the career because of the high salary potential, but they may not realize that most wind turbine technician jobs require working at great heights or in inclement weather conditions. If you are not comfortable working in these conditions, then this may not be the right career for you.
In order to be successful in this career, you must also be mechanically inclined and have good problem-solving skills. The ability to read and interpret technical manuals is also important. Prior experience working with tools and machinery will give you a leg up when starting out in this career.
Step 2: Complete an Associate’s Degree Program
While some turbine technicians may be able to get by with a high school diploma and on-the-job training, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed an Associate’s degree in turbine technology or a related field.
Through an Associate’s degree program, turbine techs can learn the basic principles of renewable energy technology and how to apply them to wind turbines specifically. These programs typically take two years to complete and are offered at community colleges and technical schools across the country.
In addition to coursework in subjects like physics, trigonometry, electricity, and electronics, students in these programs will also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience working with wind turbines through internships or cooperative education programs.
Step 3: Finish a Wind Turbine Technician Apprenticeship
While you’re working on your degree or certificate, you can also start an apprenticeship to get on-the-job training in the field. Many turbine manufacturers offer apprenticeship programs, as do some labor unions and other groups. You might be able to find an apprenticeship through the Department of Labor’s ApprenticeshipUSA program as well.
Apprenticeships typically last 2 to 4 years and combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction. You’ll learn how to diagnose and repair turbine problems, as well as how to perform routine maintenance tasks. Once you complete your apprenticeship, you’ll be qualified to work as a journeyman turbine technician.
Wind Turbine Technician Certification
If you’re looking to get into the wind turbine technician field, you’re probably wondering how much you can expect to make. The answer varies depending on a number of factors, but we can give you a general idea. In this section, we’ll cover the average salary for a wind turbine technician, the pay scale, and some benefits of the job.
While not required, certification may improve job prospects for wind turbine technicians. The Wind Energy Technologies Office, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, offers a voluntary certification program for technicians who install and maintain small wind turbines. The Small Wind Certification Council also offers voluntary certification for turbine technicians.
Although certification is not required, most employers prefer to hire candidates who have it. Certification demonstrates that a technician has the knowledge and skills necessary to do the job and can be beneficial for job seekers who have little or no experience in the field.
Certification through the American Wind Energy Association
There are a variety of ways to become certified as a wind turbine technician. You can receive certification through the American Wind Energy Association, or you can go through an accredited training program.
The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) offers certification for individuals who want to work as wind turbine technicians. To be eligible for certification, candidates must have at least 1 year of experience working on wind turbines, plus completion of a training program approved by the AWEA. Certified technicians must recertify every 3 years.
Accredited training programs for wind turbine technicians are offered at many community colleges and technical schools across the country. These programs typically last 1-2 years and result in a certificate or associate degree. Some programs may also offer internships or externships, which can give students valuable hands-on experience.