Want to work in an emerging field that is one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.? Don’t mind heights and want a good challenge? If this sounds like you, then consider a career as a wind turbine technician. Before we look into what a wind turbine technician does, where they work, and whether they are in demand, let’s first understand how wind energy works.
How Does Wind Energy Work?
Wind energy is the process of creating electricity using the wind, a natural occurrence in the earth’s atmosphere. When the wind blows past a wind turbine, the blades capture the wind’s kinetic energy through rotation of the blades and turns it into mechanical energy. The rotation turns an internal shaft connected to a gearbox housed in the nacelle. The gearbox spins a generator which produces electricity, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).
A larger number of wind turbines that are built close together may have the moniker of “wind farm.” A wind farm sends its electricity to the grid like a traditional power plant would. Once the wind energy reaches the grid, utilities will send the electricity through the power lines to consumers that need to power their homes.
What Does a Wind Turbine Technician Do?
Wind turbine technicians install, maintain, and repair wind turbines, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wind turbine service technicians typically do the following:
- Inspect the exterior of the wind turbine towers
- Inspect or repair wind turbine equipment, blades, gearbox, and generator
- Perform routine maintenance one to three times a year
- Use computers to diagnose electrical malfunctions
- Troubleshoot and test electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic components and systems
- Repair and replace worn or malfunctioning components
- Collect data for testing or research and analysis
Is Wind Turbine Technician a Good Career?
Wind turbine technician is one of the fastest growing careers in the United States. Alongside many allied health professional careers, wind turbine technicians growth is to be 61 percent in the coming decade. The median wage salary for a Wind Turbine Technician is $52,910 (based on BLS data from May 2019), and those with extensive experience can make up to $80,150, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wind turbine technicians are also in demand. Clean energy is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States. Although wind energy can’t supply all the energy the world needs, it is definitely an integral part of the overall electrical grid.
There are over 57,000 wind turbines in the United States alone, and each year an additional 3,000 wind turbines are built, according to the USGS. Technical innovations and the need for cleaner energy has accelerated the demand for wind turbine technicians to service the many wind turbines that are being installed all across the country. Not only are they built on land but like oil rigs, they are also built offshore. All wind turbines need maintenance, monitoring and repair. That is where you come in.
Where Do Wind Turbine Technicians Work?
Wind turbines have been growing in number all across the United States. They are found wherever the conditioners are right and wind is abundant. There are many rural wind farms that offer clean energy to the bigger cities. The states with the most wind turbines are Texas, Iowa, California, Oklahoma and Illinois, in descending order. With a campus in Houston, Texas, MIAT is a great place to learn the ropes as a wind turbine technician.
Wind turbine technicians primarily work outside and can scale ladders as high as 260 feet tall. They wear protective gear as they rappel from the nacelle to the section of the blade that needs servicing. However, with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT), wind turbine technicians can now monitor the performance of wind turbines from a far using a laptop and Internet connection.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Wind Turbine Technician?
Most wind turbine technician programs can be completed in under one year. At MIAT, a full-time student can become an entry-level wind turbine technician in 7 months. As a graduate of this program, you would be knowledgeable about wind turbine tools, rigging, welding, AC & DC electrical theory, renewable energy sources, and hydraulics and gears. You could expect smaller class sizes and one-on-one attention from industry experienced instructors. There is a need for wind turbine technicians, and you want a great career. It’s a win-win.
If you can climb high and think quick on your feet, then becoming a wind turbine technician may be the right career for you. You will spend most of your time outside the office and learning about new technological advances. What is better than that? Start earning in as little as 7 months after graduating from a wind turbine technician program at MIAT. Start a career in a field that is growing and will be in demand for many decades to come.
Does a career as a wind turbine technician interest you? Want to have the power of an entire nation at your fingertips? The Wind Turbine Technician Program from MIAT College of Technology provide the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career in just 7 months. Wind turbine technicians must inspect and service a turbine’s blades on a regular basis. This is done by entering the turbine through the base of the tower and climbing a ladder or riding an elevator up through the tower shaft. Depending on the task at hand, technicians may be suspended hundreds of feet in the air! When needed, it’s not uncommon for helicopters to raise wind turbine technicians up to the desired working height.
MIAT’s goal is to produce graduates who are in the top echelon of their initial on-the-job training due to the foundational knowledge they receive at MIAT. To learn more about Energy Technology career training and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page.
Contact us if you are interested in becoming a wind turbine technician today.
For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of the students who attended this program visit the following disclosure links.