Wind Turbine Technicians: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more
- Education Required
- Most windtechs learn their trade by attending technical schools or community colleges, where they typically complete certificates in wind energy technology, although some workers choose to earn an associates degree.
- Training Required
- In addition to their coursework, windtechs typically receive more than 12 months of on-the-job training related to the specific wind turbines they will maintain and service. Part of this training is manufacturer training. Other training may include an internship with a wind turbine servicing contractor.
- Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: 96% (Much faster than average)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
- Although not mandatory, professional certification can demonstrate a basic level of knowledge and competence. Some employers prefer to hire workers who are already certified in subjects such as workplace electrical safety, tower climbing, and self-rescue. There are many organizations who offer certifications in each of these subjects, and some certificate and degree programs include these certifications.
- Median pay: How much do Wind Turbine Technicians make?
- $52,260 Annual Salary
- $25.13 per hour
Wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, install, maintain, and repair wind turbines.
What do Wind Turbine Technicians do?
Wind turbine service technicians typically do the following:
- Inspect the exterior and physical integrity of wind turbine towers
- Climb wind turbine towers to inspect or repair wind turbine equipment
- Perform routine maintenance on wind turbines
- Test and troubleshoot electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic components and systems
- Replace worn or malfunctioning components
- Collect turbine data for testing or research and analysis
- Service underground transmission systems, wind field substations, or fiber optic sensing and control systems
Wind turbines are large mechanical devices that convert wind energy into electricity. The turbine is made up of three major components: a tower, three blades, and a nacelle, which is composed of an outer case, generator, gearbox, and brakes. Wind turbine service technicians install and repair the components of these structures.
Although some windtechs are involved in building new wind turbines, most of their work is in maintaining them, particularly the nacelles, which contain the equipment that generates electricity.
Maintenance schedules are largely determined by a turbines hours in operation, but can also vary by manufacturer. Turbines are monitored electronically from a central office, 24 hours a day. When a problem is detected, windtechs travel to the worksite and make the repairs. Typical maintenance includes inspecting components and lubricating parts. For turbines that operate year round, routine maintenance may occur one to three times a year.
Windtechs use safety harnesses and a variety of hand and power tools to do their work. They also use computers to diagnose electrical malfunctions. Most turbine monitoring equipment is located in the nacelle, which can be accessed both onsite and off.
Careers for Wind Turbine Technicians
- Wind energy mechanics
- Wind energy technicians
- Wind turbine mechanics
- Wind turbine service technicians