What Does a Wind Turbine Technician Do?
If you want your career to take you to new heights, this job literally delivers.
A wind turbine technician — also called a wind technician, wind turbine service technician or windtech — installs, inspects, maintains and repairs wind turbines that generate electricity.
Turbine technicians diagnose and fix malfunctioning components — but it's where they work that's noteworthy. Wind turbine technicians work inside the turbine, in what’s called the nacelle where the electronics are located. But as our photos show, they also work outside the central hub, from a safety harness, working about 295 feet in the air.
So that’s something to consider: Are you bothered by heights or confined spaces? Both experiences are common in this line of work. (On the flip side, the views from up there are incredible!)
Wind turbines are monitored from a 24-hour, central office that’s typically in a remote location. That’s why a wind technician’s job may include on-call travel out to the field.
Wind technicians don’t just install and repair wind turbines. Wind turbine service also includes substations, underground transmission systems and fiber optic sensing control systems. Technicians may also be involved with construction of new turbines.
- Install new wind turbine equipment
- Inspect, troubleshoot and repair equipment
- Work in confined spaces inside or around the tower
- Climb to the top of wind towers
- Collect turbine data for testing and analysis
- Perform routine maintenance
- Test electrical components and mechanical and hydraulic systems
Becoming A Wind Turbine Technician: FAQs
What are the most common wind turbine technician training requirements?
Most wind turbine technicians attend technical schools and earn certificates in wind energy technology. Another path is to earn an associate degree through a community college to earn a degree.
Students receive more than 12 months of on-the-job-training in addition to coursework. Part of this may be an internship with a wind turbine servicing contractor. Apprenticeships are a less common pathway, but they are offered by unions and contractors.
Learn more, including more about training costs, time required and specific examples, by reading How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician.
What other qualifications do I need?
You don’t need a license to become a wind turbine technician, but certification is recommended because that’s a qualification employers like to see.
For the apprenticeship route, students must be at least 18 years old and have earned their high school diploma or equivalent.
Good health and physical stamina are important for anyone who wants to become a wind turbine technician.
How long does training take?
Programs differ, but most take one or two years. The 12 months of on-the-job training may happen alongside the coursework or after.
Is there a demand for wind turbine technicians?
Yes. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says employment will grow 68% from 2020 to 2030. (To put that in perspective, employment for all jobs is expected to grow 8%.) However, there aren’t as many openings as you might expect — about 1,400 job openings each year.
Is being a wind turbine technician dangerous?
It can be, yes. Because wind turbine technicians work at great heights and rappel down to reach certain equipment, this job is for someone who likes a thrill but takes safety seriously.
What skills would make someone a good fit for this job?
These are the top traits of people who become successful in this career:
• Enjoy working outdoors
• Are able to climb ladder systems, often 260 feet high
• Have excellent communication skills
• Are detail-oriented
• Have excellent mechanical skills
• Possess the physical strength to lift heavy equipment
The bottom line on becoming a wind turbine technician
So, is a wind turbine technician a good career? Definitely. Wind power is gaining steam, and more windtechs will be needed. There will be new job opportunities in this field as the technology changes and more people and companies require green energy options.