Wind turbine service technicians, also knowns as windtechs, install, maintain, and repair wind turbines. This involves inspecting the physical integrity of the towers and blades, performing routine maintenance, and replacing old or defective components. They may also troubleshoot the electrical and mechanical components of wind turbine systems, as well as collect data for research and analysis. An aptitude for learning about mechanics and machinery is crucial for success in the position. Windtechs work outdoors, in remote, rural locations, since windfarms are built far away from urban areas. They are required to work from great heights, climbing extremely tall ladders or often rappelling – descending by sliding down a rope – to where they need to work. Generally, wind turbine service technicians learn their trade through technical school and associate degree programs. A bachelor’s degree is not usually a requirement for the position.
The employment of wind turbine service technicians has one of the largest projected growth rates for the next 10 years, at 96%. This is much higher than the national average of 7%, partially because there are so few wind turbine service technician jobs presently. Though the number of windtech jobs is expected to nearly double, the predicted increase in actual jobs is 5,600.
There are two tests recommended when hiring for wind turbine service technicians. The Wiesen Test of Mechanical Aptitude (WTMA) measures a candidate’s mechanical aptude and looks at their ability to learn, operate, maintain, and repair machinery and equipment. Additionally, since windtechs work in dangerous situations, including with dangerous machinery and at great heights, a behavioral risk assessment is also recommended. The Workplace Productivity Profile (WPP) is used to evaluate an applicant's reliability and attitudes toward rule following and adherence to safety procedures.
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Median wage in U.S.:
Expected growth rate 2016-2026:
Number employed (2016): 5,800
Education level of Wind Turbine Service Technicians: