As an environmental steward, you've probably heard that jobs in the renewable energy sector have the highest growth rate in the country. The job of “wind turbine service technician” is second in growth only to “solar photovoltaic installer,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with an expected growth rate of 96% over the next eight years. Or in other words, the job of “windtech” is growing nearly 50% faster than the next fastest growing job!
Growth rate is not the only fast aspect of this job. It's not uncommon for students to be hired either right after the two year program or after completing their first year, in order to finish their training on-the-job. And the job of windtech isn't suited for everyone; the job has hazards and requires certain physical abilities.
One of these abilities is to be “good” with heights. Techs routinely climb 260 feet up ladders to hatches at the top of nacelles (housings of generating components) to perform maintenance. Techs must also rappel from the nacelle down blades in order to work on them! While working outside they must work in different kinds of weather and while inside, they find themselves in a confined space with their partner technician.
Besides job security, another benefit of the job is that it allows workers to remain in rural communities. Many U.S. wind farms are built in the expanse of Texas and Midwest states, boosting economies that might otherwise suffer from the loss of jobs in declining local industries.
So here's to the men and women that form the backbone of wind energy. We're very proud and excited to be part of this huge change to the use of clean, renewable energy in the United States and we're also proud of you for joining us in this movement.
Do you know any windtechs? Have they shared any interesting job-related stories with you? Let us know in the comments!