Planning a career path during economic uncertainties can be stressful. You know you not only need to consider what jobs are available today, but what “essential jobs” will continue to provide an income well into your future. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted Wind Turbine Technicians to be the fastest growing career during the next decade.
Because Wind Farms power many communities throughout the United States, technicians who keep turbines maintained and operating smoothly are considered “essential workers” and in high demand. The need for wind techs will only continue to grow as America and the rest of the world transition more and more to sustainable energy models. According to the American Wind Energy Association,”25 million U.S. homes are powered by wind and $143 billion has been invested in wind over the last 10 years.”
EDP Renewables, a wind turbine technician employer, is in the process of building several new sights across North America this year alone and have several operating sites that have demand for technicians now. Technicians can either work for a single farm location for a more settled lifestyle or travel, working different farm sites across North America as employers need them. Companies are also building offshore turbines that raise over 800 feet in the air and will need plenty of employees to keep them maintained. According to an article from the New York Times, companies like GE are prototyping turbines that are bigger than ever before. “The G.E. machines will have a generating capacity that would have been almost unimaginable a decade ago. A single one will be able to turn out 13 megawatts of power, enough to light up a town of roughly 12,000 homes.”
The demand is there, and increasing.
Coal, oil, and nuclear power have been traditional sources of energy. There are several downsides to these energy sources. We compare them with wind energy here:
Downsides of Coal and Oil:
- They are unsustainable. Once the resource is gone, we can not make more of it.
- The extraction process is dangerous for employees’ health and safety.
- There can be serious environmental consequences which contaminate the air, water, and/or soil, which can also significantly impact wildlife and marine life.
- The extraction and use of these resources emit a large amount of greenhouse gases.
Downsides of Nuclear Power:
- Employees are subject to low-levels of radiation, which have undetermined side effects.
- It has a high risk to benefit ratio. In other words, if the safety precautions fail in any way, it could easily kill, injure, or harm many people as tragically seen in the 1986 incident in Chernobyl
- It’s extremely expensive to fix a problem.
Downsides of Wind:
- Employees must be well-adhered and diligent to all safety procedures due to climbing turbines 300 feet tall.
- Increase in bird fatalities.
It would be a great benefit to all communities to invest in the use of renewable and sustainable resources such as sun, wind, and water. These innovations create a cleaner environment, innovate long-term energy solutions, and are safer for employees who maintain and harvest these energies.
Wind turbine technicians can get qualified with just 6 months of professional job training.
At Northwest Renewable Energy Institute, in Washington State, our program assists you with the entire process to ensure your training is a complete success:
REI helps with:
- Financial aid and housing for qualifying students
- Job etiquette
- Professional habits
- Connecting students to top industry employers or apprenticeship programs upon graduation
Image by Levi Sage – Graduate of Northwest Renewable Energy Institute