What does a Wind Turbine Technician do?
|Citation||Retrieved in 2017 from BLS.org|
The wind turbine technician career field has a small workforce but is expected to grow at a faster that average growth compared to most job opportunities due to the shortage of qualified applicants. Their job duties include maintaining, repairing, or installing wind turbines. They are also referred to as wind techs. He or she might work on the ground or at very high altitudes. Most of their job is performed outdoors and in tight fitting spaces. They can also be employed at offshore locations that have wind turbines.
How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician
It is common for a wind turbine technician to have attended a technical school to learn the profession. However one can also earn an associate’s degree through community colleges or technical schools. This can take approximately 2 years to complete. In these programs students usually receive onsite training under the supervision of an experience technician. Coursework and labs often center around safety training, hydraulic and electrical skills, mechanical and braking systems as well as computers and programmable logic control systems.
Though not common, sometimes individual contractors or unions offer apprenticeship programs with their own requirements to individuals not trained. Requirements may include a minimum age of 18, hold a high school diploma or the equivalent, and have good mental and physical health.
Job Description of a Wind Turbine Technician
A wind turbine technician repairs and installs different components of wind turbines which involves testing and troubleshooting mechanical, electrical, and hydraulic systems. Techs also inspect the turbine’s physical and exterior condition.
Wind turbine technicians are responsible for gathering data. They are required to climb towers to do repairs or maintenance when necessary. Because wind turbines are monitored from a 24 hour central office on site they often times must also travel. Wind Turbine Technicians maintain wind field substations, underground transmission systems as well as the fiber optic sensing control systems. A wind turbine technician also builds new turbines setting them in places that have consistent wind gusts.
He or she must be mechanically skilled and detail-oriented without being prone to fear of heights or confined spaces. They require physical strength and stamina in order to be able to lift heavy equipment and hold tools while climbing great heights.