The wind energy sector is experiencing rapid growth as the world shifts towards more sustainable and eco-friendly energy sources. Windmill technicians, or wind turbine technicians, are at the forefront of this change. They are responsible for maintaining, repairing, and installing wind turbines to ensure that these giants of the renewable energy sector are running efficiently. If you’re considering a career in this exciting field, read on to learn about the wages, job growth, benefits, and drawbacks of becoming a windmill technician.
Wages and Job Growth
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual wage for wind turbine technicians in 2020 was $56,230, with the top 10 percent earning more than $83,560. Wages can vary based on factors such as experience, location, and the size of the company.
The job outlook for wind turbine technicians is very promising. BLS projects a 44 percent growth in employment between 2019 and 2029, which is significantly faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is mainly due to the increasing demand for renewable energy and the expansion of wind energy projects across the globe.
Education and Training
Windmill technicians typically require a postsecondary non-degree award or an associate degree in wind energy technology, although some technicians may have degrees in related fields like electrical or mechanical engineering. Programs in wind energy technology are available at technical schools and community colleges and cover topics like wind turbine operation, maintenance, and safety.
After completing an educational program, windmill technicians often receive on-the-job training, which may include working under the supervision of an experienced technician. Some employers offer apprenticeships, which can last up to 12 months, providing hands-on experience and training in various aspects of wind turbine maintenance and repair.
Certifications, such as those from the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) and the Global Wind Organisation (GWO), can also be helpful in demonstrating knowledge and skills to potential employers.
Benefits of Becoming a Windmill Technician
- Job satisfaction: Windmill technicians play a crucial role in the transition to clean energy, contributing to a sustainable future and reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.
- High demand: As mentioned earlier, the job growth for wind turbine technicians is projected to be much faster than the average for all occupations, offering numerous opportunities in the sector.
- Competitive wages: The wages for windmill technicians are attractive, especially considering the relatively short training period required to enter the field.
- Diverse work environment: Windmill technicians have the opportunity to work in various locations, including onshore and offshore wind farms, and travel to different sites as needed.
Drawbacks of Becoming a Windmill Technician
- Physically demanding work: The job often requires technicians to climb tall wind turbines, work in confined spaces, and lift heavy equipment, which can be physically demanding and potentially dangerous.
- Weather conditions: Windmill technicians frequently work outdoors and may have to endure extreme weather conditions like strong winds, heavy rain, or freezing temperatures.
- Unpredictable work hours: Windmill technicians may be required to work irregular hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays, depending on the needs of the wind farm.
- Travel requirements: Technicians may need to travel extensively, sometimes on short notice, to perform maintenance or repairs at various wind farm sites. This can make it difficult to maintain a consistent work-life balance.
Becoming a windmill technician can be a rewarding career choice for those who want to make a positive impact on the environment and enjoy a dynamic work environment. With competitive wages and a growing demand for skilled technicians, the wind energy sector offers numerous opportunities for career
growth and development. While there are some drawbacks, such as physically demanding work and unpredictable hours, the benefits of contributing to the future of clean energy far outweigh these challenges for many.
If you’re passionate about renewable energy and have a strong mechanical aptitude, a career as a windmill technician might be the perfect fit for you. As the demand for clean energy continues to rise, windmill technicians will play an increasingly important role in shaping the future of sustainable energy production. By pursuing a career in this field, you’ll be contributing to the global effort to combat climate change and promote a cleaner, greener future for generations to come.
To get started on your journey, research educational programs in wind energy technology, explore apprenticeships, and consider pursuing relevant certifications. By equipping yourself with the necessary skills and knowledge, you’ll be well-prepared to join the ranks of windmill technicians who are making a difference in the world of renewable energy.