What Do Wind Turbine Service Technicians Do?
Wind turbine service technicians are part of a niche, yet growing industry that helps fuel the country’s need for alternative energy sources. If you enter this field of service, you can expect a job that entails being on top of the machination and inner workings of wind turbines and wind energy. Specifically, those in this line of work inspect, diagnose, adjust and repair wind turbines, including resolving electrical, mechanical and hydraulic issues. There has been a 25% growth in the field; still, on average, there are only approximately 130 openings for this type of position annually.
Wind Turbine Service Technicians Skills and Abilities
Servicing wind turbines is a highly specialized field that requires intricate skills and abilities. Among these are engineering and technological know-how as well as a solid grasp of physics, which, in addition to the practical application of engineering and science technology, includes applying the principles and procedures to design and produce goods and services. Wind turbine service technicians must possess equipment maintenance and critical thinking and operation monitoring skills in addition to being adept at deductive reasoning, oral comprehension and problem sensitivity.
Wind Turbine Service Technicians Duties
Although there are numerous tasks involved with being a wind turbine service technician, the primary objective of the profession is to diagnose problems involving wind turbine generators or control systems. To this end, technicians climb wind turbine towers to inspect, maintain or repair equipment. In addition, they may perform the following functions:
- Troubleshoot or repair mechanical, hydraulic or electrical malfunctions related to variable pitch systems, variable speed control systems and converter systems
- Test electrical components of wind systems with voltage testers, multimeters, oscilloscopes, infrared testers and fiber optic equipment.
- Perform routine maintenance on wind turbine equipment, underground transmission systems, wind fields substations or fiber optic sensing and control system
- Generally assist in the assembly of individual wind generators or wind farms
Wind Turbine Service Technicians Tools and Technology
Actual tools that are an essential part of the performance traits of this position include torque wrenches, voltage or current meters, screwdrivers, wattmeters and adjustable widemouth pliers. If you are serious about getting into the field, it is also advantageous to be familiar with the following software:
- Analytical or scientific software
- Electronic mail software
- Facilities management software
- Industrial control software
- Internet browser software
Education and Training for Wind Turbine Service Technicians
Almost all wind turbine service technicians have a high school diploma and most have earned an associate’s degree. To a lesser extent, those in this profession who have earned bachelor’s degrees may realize more rapid advancement in the field. Apprenticeships and work-in-training programs also exist that can be invaluable. The bottom line is to go with a program that is aligned with your career goals.
Wind Turbine Service Technicians Salary
The median average annual salary for a wind turbine technician is $48,800. This figure varies based on a number of factors, including experience, education and location. The low end of the annual salary range is approximately $35,000 and the high end is approximately $71,000. Hourly, that breaks down to between $17.48 and $31.03. Regardless of the exact salary or hourly rate, a solid wage is guaranteed with this profession.
Wind Turbine Service Technicians Jobs by Geography
Not surprisingly, the states that have wide-open expanses of land that are ready and eager for wind energy boast the best annual wages for wind turbine service technicians. These states include North Dakota, Kansas, Ohio and Washington, which are rapidly embracing this energy technology. Other states that are following suit in a hurry are Texas, Minnesota and Colorado. Focusing on these states if you want to enter the occupation is a solid place to start.