What Is a Wind Turbine Technician?

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Learn more about experience requirements, the work environment, and advancement opportunities.

Alternate Titles

Wind Turbine Technician, Field Service Technician, Wind Farm Support Specialist, Wind Tech I/II/III, Turbine Maintenance Technician

Apprenticeships

Wind Turbine Technician is an approved occupation for a Registered Apprenticeship through the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), with a typical program duration of two years. Visit the DOL website to learn more about the occupation, work processes, and educational coursework covered in a Wind Turbine Technician apprenticeship program.

Education

An associate’s degree is preferred, but not necessary. To become a Wind Turbine Technician, individuals may: 

  • Complete a Wind Turbine Technician certificate or degree program.
  • Complete a Registered Apprenticeship or other on-the-job training program. 
  • Show one to two years of equivalent work experience.

Salary Range

$47,360–$90,300/year1

Wind Turbine Technicians inspect, maintain, and repair wind turbines. They test the turbines for performance and perform electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic maintenance to maintain quality and efficiency. They also work on field substations and communication and control systems related to wind turbine systems. 

Some Wind Turbine Technicians specialize in the maintenance and repair of wind turbine blades made from fiberglass and other composites. They may assist in the construction of wind turbines and wind farms. A Wind Turbine Technician’s job may look different whether they work for a small or large contractor, commercial projects, or utility-scale wind projects. 

Wind Turbine Technicians are in high demand. As renewable energy solutions become more popular, many more growing businesses are looking for skilled Wind Turbine Technicians. This is an outstanding opportunity to launch a challenging and fulfilling career.

The Job

As a Wind Turbine Technician, daily tasks may include:

  • Climb wind turbines for inspections, repairs, and maintenance. 
  • Test wind turbines for performance and perform electrical, mechanical, and hydraulic maintenance to maintain quality and efficiency. 
  • Work on field substations, transmission systems, generators, and control systems related to wind turbine systems.
  • Work with other technicians, installers, buyers, and distributors to train them on the commissioning and testing of wind turbine systems. 
  • Use a variety of tools while working including power tools, measuring devices, testing devices such as multimeters, and power construction equipment.
  • Work as part of a team to manage and train other employees.
  • Engage in physically demanding work, including climbing wind turbines and lifting heavy objects. 

Career Pathways and Advancement

Most companies that hire Wind Turbine Technicians have multiple advancement levels, i.e., Wind Tech 1, 2, & 3. Wind Turbine Technicians may have the opportunity to move into related skilled trade occupations such as Electrician or Millwright. They can also transition into positions in operations, management, or engineering. Experienced Wind Turbine Technicians may also become Trainers. For more information about career advancement opportunities and paths, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Wind Energy Career Map or the American Clean Power Clean Energy Career Pathways Catalogs for land-based wind and offshore wind

Quick Fact

Wind power makes up 10% of the electricity produced and used in the United States.

Work Environment

Land-based wind farms are typically located in rural locations. Work is largely outdoors in a variety of weather conditions, including (of course) high winds and other extreme weather. Wind Turbine Technicians must be comfortable working at heights and in confined spaces. 

Much of the work is performed inside of the “nacelle,” a box truck–sized container that sits on top of a tall tower. Wind Techs also regularly perform work outside of the nacelle and on the blades, which involves being harnessed and hanging from a rope hundreds of feet in the air. Offshore wind farms are located in the ocean and present additional challenges. 

Certification and Licensing

Certifications, such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10-hour or 30-hour certification and confined spaces and fall protection training, may be required or recommended. Industry-specific certifications, such as those offered by the Global Wind Organization, may be required. 

Workers on offshore wind projects will be required to complete additional safety training and certifications specific to the marine environment. Manufacturer-specific training may be required to perform certain maintenance and repair work in order to maintain equipment warranties.

Tips for Entry

To get a foot in the door, consider applying for entry-level positions at renewable energy companies that have wind energy as part of their portfolios. Individuals can start a Wind Turbine Technician apprenticeship or find out how their work experience can count toward hours to qualify for a licensing exam.

Connect Now

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  1. Wage data is based on information in the IREC solar career map. Information on the methodology can be found here.