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Average Salary
$41,456
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
56%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
4,435
Job Openings

Wind Turbine Technician Careers

The primary role of wind turbine technicians is to maintain wind turbines to ensure their optimal operation and ensure the production of wind-powered electricity. Their job includes installing new turbines, performing maintenance checks, and making repairs when necessary. They inspect components of the wind turbine towers to confirm their physical integrity. They test and troubleshoot electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic components of the turbine tower to identify any operational issues. Additionally, they inspect the tower and replace or repair malfunctioning components. Sometimes, they service underground transmission and control systems.

To become a wind turbine technician, the primary requirements are a high school diploma with prior experience. Although there may be on-the-job training, having a certificate in wind energy technology is a plus. The skillset for this job includes interpersonal, technical, attention to detail, teamwork, technical, and communication skills. Wind turbine technicians make an average salary of $50,729 per annum, which falls between $38,000 and $68,000.

What Does a Wind Turbine Technician Do

Wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, install, maintain, and repair wind turbines.

Duties

Wind turbine service technicians typically do the following:

  • Inspect the exterior and physical integrity of towers
  • Climb towers to inspect or repair wind turbine equipment
  • Perform routine maintenance on wind turbines
  • Test and troubleshoot electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic components and systems
  • Replace worn or malfunctioning components
  • Collect turbine data for testing or research and analysis
  • Service underground transmission systems, wind field substations, or fiber optic sensing and control systems

Wind turbines are large mechanical devices that convert wind energy into electricity. They are located in areas where there is consistent wind. The turbine is made up of three major components: a tower, three blades, and a nacelle, which is composed of an outer case, generator, gearbox, and brakes. Wind turbine service technicians install and repair the various components of these structures.

Although some windtechs are involved in building new wind turbines, most of their work is in maintaining them, particularly the nacelles, which contain the equipment that generates electricity.

Maintenance schedules are largely determined by a turbine’s hours in operation, but can also vary by manufacturer. Turbines are monitored electronically from a central office, 24 hours a day. When a problem is detected, windtechs travel to the worksite and make the repairs. Most manufacturers recommend annual maintenance, which includes inspecting components and lubricating parts. For turbines that operate year round, routine maintenance may occur one to three times a year.

Windtechs use safety harnesses and a variety of hand and power tools to do their work. They also use computers to diagnose electrical malfunctions. Most turbine monitoring equipment is located in the nacelle, which can be accessed both on- and offsite.

How To Become a Wind Turbine Technician

Most wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, learn their trade by attending a technical school. They are also trained by their employer after hiring.

Education

Most windtechs learn their trade by attending technical schools. Many workers complete their coursework, although strong demand leads some employers to hire windtech interns before they graduate. Associate’s degree programs for wind turbine service technicians usually take 2 years and are offered at technical schools and community colleges.

Many technical schools have onsite wind turbines that students can work on as part of their studies. In addition to lab coursework, other areas of focus that reflect the various skill sets needed to do the job include the following:

  • High angle rescue, safety, first aid, and CPR training
  • Electrical maintenance
  • Hydraulic maintenance
  • Braking systems
  • Mechanical systems, including blade inspection and maintenance
  • Computers and programmable logic control systems
Training

In addition to associate’s degree coursework, windtechs typically receive more than 12 months of on-the-job training related to the specific wind turbines they will maintain and service. Part of this training is manufacturer training. Other training may include an internship with a wind turbine servicing contractor.

Some windtechs are former electricians. Regardless of experience, all candidates must complete wind turbine training in addition to any other construction training they may already have. For example, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers offers intensive courses that provide wind turbine training specifically for journey electricians. 

Other windtechs learn their trade through an apprenticeship. For each year of the program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of related technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. With prior experience or training, the time spent in apprenticeship may be reduced. Apprenticeships focus on safety, first aid, and CPR training; electrical, hydraulic, and mechanical systems maintenance; braking systems; and computers and programmable logic control systems.

Unions and individual contractors offer apprenticeship programs. The basic qualifications for workers to enter an apprenticeship program are the following:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Physically and mentally able to do the job
  • One year of high school or equivalent algebra with at least a grade of “C”
Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, certification can demonstrate a basic level of knowledge and professionalism. The Electronics Technicians Association, International offers certification for those who install small wind towers, such as backyard turbines.

Important Qualities

Detail oriented. Windtechs must maintain records of all of the services that are performed. Turbine maintenance requires precise measurements, a strict order of operations, and numerous safety procedures.

Mechanical skills. Windtechs must understand and be able to maintain and repair all mechanical, hydraulic, braking, and electrical systems of a turbine.

Physical stamina. Windtechs must be able to climb to the tops of turbines, often with tools and equipment. Some tower ladders may be 260 feet high or taller.

Physical strength. Windtechs must lift heavy equipment, parts, and tools, some of which weigh in excess of 45 pounds.

Troubleshooting skills. Windtechs must diagnose and repair problems. When a turbine performs abnormally, technicians must determine the cause and make the necessary repairs.

Unafraid of heights and confined spaces. Windtechs repair turbines that are often at least 260 feet high, and they must work in confined spaces in order to access mechanical components of the turbine.

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Average Salary
$41,456
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
56%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
4,435
Job Openings

Wind Turbine Technician Career Paths

Top Careers Before Wind Turbine Technician

Top Careers After Wind Turbine Technician

Wind Turbine Technician Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for a Wind Turbine Technician

Wind Turbine Technicians in America make an average salary of $41,456 per year or $20 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $65,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $26,000 per year.
Average Salary
$41,456
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Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Combustion Turbine Technician
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Bradley-Morris, Inc.
Bradley-Morris, Inc.
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10/30/2020
$56,28610/30/2020
$56,286
Wind Turbine Technician
Wind Turbine Technician
Bullfrog Power
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$43,82710/11/2020
$43,827
Wind Turbine Technician
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Spark Power Corp
Spark Power Corp
10/10/2020
10/10/2020
$43,82710/10/2020
$43,827
Combustion Turbine Technician (Sarpy County Station)
Combustion Turbine Technician (Sarpy County Station)
Omaha Public Power District
Omaha Public Power District
07/03/2020
07/03/2020
$102,49307/03/2020
$102,493
Wind Turbine Technician
Wind Turbine Technician
System One Services
System One Services
09/11/2019
09/11/2019
$39,65309/11/2019
$39,653

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Wind Turbine Technician Demographics

Gender

male

93.5 %

female

4.1 %

unknown

2.4 %

Ethnicity

White

65.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

20.9 %

Black or African American

7.8 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

85.0 %

Dakota

5.0 %

Mandarin

5.0 %
See More Demographics

Wind Turbine Technician Education

Degrees

Certificate

32.7 %

Associate

28.9 %

High School Diploma

13.4 %

Top Colleges for Wind Turbine Technicians

1. SUNY College of Technology at Alfred

Alfred, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,570
Enrollment
3,721

2. Ferris State University

Big Rapids, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,788
Enrollment
11,008

3. Northern Michigan University

Marquette, MI • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,729
Enrollment
6,722

4. New Mexico State University

Las Cruces, NM • Private

In-State Tuition
$6,686
Enrollment
11,139

5. University of Alaska Anchorage

Anchorage, AK • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,580
Enrollment
10,482

6. Duke University

Durham, NC • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,695
Enrollment
6,596

7. SUNY College of Technology at Canton

Canton, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$8,389
Enrollment
3,127

8. The University of Montana

Missoula, MT • Private

In-State Tuition
$7,244
Enrollment
8,173

9. Bucknell University

Lewisburg, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,092
Enrollment
3,583

10. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Troy, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,880
Enrollment
6,590
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Wind Turbine Technician That You May Like

Wind Energy
coursera

How tall is a modern wind turbine and how can it possibly generate power from the wind? This course gives an overview of key aspects in wind energy engineering. Whether you are looking for general insight in this green technology or your ambition is to pursue a career in wind energy engineering, 'Wind Energy' is an excellent starting point. Experts located in the wind pioneering country of Denmark will take you on a tour through the most fundamental disciplines of wind energy research such as wi...

Wind resources for renewable energies
coursera

The main goal of this course is to get the necessary knowledge on atmospheric and fluid dynamics in order to quantify the wind resource of a local or regional area. We'll learn about basic meteorology, the specific dynamics of turbulent boundary layers and some standard techniques to estimate wind resources regardless of the type of turbine used or the level of efficiency achieved. Then, we will see what are the turbines characteristics to consider in order to estimate the electricity production...

Electrical Technician
ed2go

Electrical Technician...

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Top Skills For a Wind Turbine Technician

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 14.2% of wind turbine technicians listed loto on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and detail oriented are important as well.

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Top Wind Turbine Technician Employers

1. Florida Power and Light
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$45,886
Wind Turbine Technicians Hired: 
63+
2. Airways
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$37,094
Wind Turbine Technicians Hired: 
56+
3. Siemens
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$64,627
Wind Turbine Technicians Hired: 
55+
4. Gemini
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$56,354
Wind Turbine Technicians Hired: 
46+
5. General Electric
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$77,231
Wind Turbine Technicians Hired: 
35+
6. Granite Services
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$32,300
Wind Turbine Technicians Hired: 
32+

Wind Turbine Technician Videos

Updated October 2, 2020