According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2019 vs. 2020 pay for wind turbine technicians, the pay went up for technicians by about 6.3% and it went up for other wind maintenance jobs by around 14%.
Old numbers: Job Title and Median Salary
Wind Turbine Technician — $52,910
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations — $42,790
New numbers: Job Title and Median Salary
Wind Turbine Technician — $56,230
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations — $48,750
Wind Turbine Technician — 6.27% increase
Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations — 13.93% increase
Why are Wind Jobs Growing?
According to an article done by the Texas Standard, Eric Lantz, Wind Analysis Manager at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) explains where he thinks the growth is coming from.
- Technology improvements
- Costs to build turbines have come down
- Federal Tax Credits for wind producers
“But the amount of qualified workers hasn’t been able to keep up with the explosion in jobs,” the article explains. “A 2019 report from the NREL found that wind industry employers were struggling to fill positions. Sixty-eight percent of industry representatives surveyed said they had difficulty hiring across most occupations. Lantz attributed that to growing pains that most new industries face. Education and training just haven’t ramped up as quickly as job growth has.”
Will the Job Be There Long Term?
Weather Guard Wind did an interesting article and podcast that answers a lot of questions about becoming a turbine technician. They offer an interesting question to consider, “Does Green Tech Create Jobs? or Eliminate Them?”
Here’s their opinion on the matter.
“An interesting fact about renewable energy sources and electric vehicles–all of which are better for the planet–is that these plants and vehicles tend to be simpler to operate and maintain. Solar electricity plants require vastly fewer workers to operate and maintain, compared to a coal or gas plant, according this Forbes article.
Although the construction work in creating these plants will employee lots of workers (one of many peripheral industries supported by a push toward renewable energy), many of those jobs won’t continue when the work is completed, leaving a turnkey electric plant that requires much less ongoing maintenance. It’s an interesting thought to consider for green tech as an industry: simple, efficient energy sources that can run well without much human intervention don’t require as much, well, human intervention.
Yet, with more wind turbines going up, demand for wind turbine technicians should continue to flourish, especially as wind farms begin to show their age.”
How Many Jobs are Projected for the Future?
By 2026 wind technician jobs in the United States are projected to grow by 96%.
In April 2021, CNBC did an article laying out examples of the wind industries job growth. Here are some key takeaways.
- The Global Wind Energy Council believes the industry could create 3.3 million jobs in the next five years.
- In March 2021, the U.S. said it wanted to expand its offshore wind capacity to 30 GW by 2030
- The U.K. wants its offshore wind capacity to hit 40 GW by 2030
- European Union wants offshore installations to amount to at least 60 GW by 2030 and 300 GW by 2050.“
In a 2018 survey of 100 best jobs, wind turbine technicians was #41 based on salary: low – $43,590, medium – $52,260, high – $62,720; education needed; work-life balance and job satisfaction.