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Summary

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Video transcript available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUDzupF5SdU.
Quick Facts: Wind Turbine Technicians
2022 Median Pay $57,320 per year
$27.56 per hour
Typical Entry-Level Education Postsecondary nondegree award
Work Experience in a Related Occupation None
On-the-job Training Long-term on-the-job training
Number of Jobs, 2022 11,200
Job Outlook, 2022-32 45% (Much faster than average)
Employment Change, 2022-32 5,000

What Wind Turbine Technicians Do

Wind turbine service technicians maintain and repair wind turbines.

Work Environment

Wind turbine service technicians generally work outdoors, in confined spaces, and often at great heights. Most windtechs work full time, and they also may be on call in the evening or on weekends.

How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician

Wind turbine service technicians typically need a postsecondary nondegree award to enter the occupation. They also typically receive on-the-job training.

Pay

The median annual wage for wind turbine technicians was $57,320 in May 2022.

Job Outlook

Employment of wind turbine technicians is projected to grow 45 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 1,800 openings for wind turbine technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

State & Area Data

Explore resources for employment and wages by state and area for wind turbine technicians.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of wind turbine technicians with similar occupations.

More Information, Including Links to O*NET

Learn more about wind turbine technicians by visiting additional resources, including O*NET, a source on key characteristics of workers and occupations.

What Wind Turbine Technicians Do About this section

wind turbine technicians image
Wind turbine technicians often monitor turbines from the ground.

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

Duties

Wind turbine service technicians typically do the following:

  • Assist engineers and ironworkers in installing new wind turbines 
  • Inspect the exterior and physical integrity of wind turbine towers
  • Climb wind turbine 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

Windtechs maintain and fix the components of wind turbines, large mechanical structures that convert wind energy into electricity. The three major components of each turbine are a tower; a nacelle, which contains the equipment that generates electricity; and three blades attached to the nacelle. Most of a windtech’s work focuses on maintaining the nacelle.

Windtechs typically maintain turbines by inspecting components and lubricating parts. Maintenance schedules are largely determined by the hours a turbine operates but also may vary by manufacturer. For turbines that operate year round, windtechs may do routine maintenance one to three times a year.

Turbines have electronic monitoring equipment, usually located in the nacelle, that provides an alert when a problem is detected. Although windtechs may access monitoring equipment both onsite and off, they must travel to the worksite to make repairs to turbine components.

Windtechs use a safety harness when climbing the tower, which may be 200 feet or higher, to reach the nacelle. They use a variety of handtools and power tools to make adjustments or repairs, and they use computers to diagnose electrical malfunctions.

Work Environment About this section

wind turbine technicians image
Wind turbine technicians often work outdoors.

Wind turbine technicians held about 11,200 jobs in 2022. The largest employers of wind turbine technicians were as follows:

Wind electric power generation 29%
Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment (except automotive and electronic) repair and maintenance 25
Power and communication line and related structures construction 16
Self-employed workers 11
Machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers 2

Wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, generally work outdoors, including in extreme temperatures, on rural or offshore wind farms. They must be physically able to work at great heights. For example, workers must climb ladders to reach the nacelle—which is mounted on towers that are more than 200 feet tall—while wearing a fall-protection harness and carrying tools. When repairing blades, windtechs rappel, or descend by sliding down a rope, from the nacelle to the section of the blade that needs servicing.

When maintaining mechanical systems, windtechs work in the confined space of the nacelle.

Windtechs sometimes work with another windtech or with other specialists, such as electricians, when doing major service or repairs.

Injuries and Illnesses

Wind turbine service technicians have one of the highest rates of injuries and illnesses of all occupations.

To reduce their risk of falls, windtechs follow safety protocols such as using a harness and other safety equipment during climbs. To guard against injury, they wear hard hats, gloves, and other protective gear.

Work Schedules

Most windtechs work full time, and they also may be on call in the evening or on weekends.

Windtechs may travel to wind farms in rural areas or on offshore wind farms. Working on offshore farms may require being away from home for several days or weeks at a time.

How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician About this section

wind turbine technicians image
Wind turbine technicians receive on-the-job training from experienced workers.

Wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, typically need a postsecondary nondegree award to enter the occupation. They also typically receive on-the-job training from their employer.

Education

Windtechs typically attend technical schools or community colleges, where they may complete a postsecondary certificate in wind energy technology or choose to earn an associate’s degree.

Many technical schools have onsite wind turbines that students service as part of their studies. In addition to hands-on learning, windtech coursework includes maintenance instruction for electrical and hydraulic systems, braking and mechanical systems, and programmable logic control systems. Students also receive instruction in tower climbing, along with training for rescues, safety, first aid, and CPR.

Training

Once hired, windtechs typically receive employer- or manufacturer-provided on-the-job training that is related to the specific wind turbines they will maintain and repair.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, professional certification allows workers to demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and competence. Certification subjects for windtechs include workplace electrical safety, tower climbing, and self-rescue. Employers often direct workers to the certifications they need.

Important Qualities

Ability to work at heights. Windtechs must be comfortable working at heights to maintain or repair turbines. Tower ladders are usually at least 200 feet high.

Communication skills. Windtechs must exchange information with windtechs or specialists, such as electricians, in order to work safely and effectively.

Detail oriented. Windtechs must maintain records of all of the services they perform. 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 a turbine’s various technical systems.

Physical stamina. Windtechs must be able to climb turbine towers, often with tools and equipment.

Physical strength. Windtechs must lift heavy equipment, parts, and tools, some of which weigh 50 pounds or more.

Problem-solving skills. Windtechs must diagnose and repair turbine problems. When a malfunction or other issue arises, technicians must determine the cause and make the necessary repairs.

Pay About this section

Wind Turbine Technicians

Median annual wages, May 2022

Wind turbine service technicians

$57,320

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

$50,080

Total, all occupations

$46,310

 

The median annual wage for wind turbine technicians was $57,320 in May 2022. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $45,150, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $80,170.

In May 2022, the median annual wages for wind turbine technicians in the top industries in which they worked were as follows:

Wind electric power generation $59,890
Commercial and industrial machinery and equipment (except automotive and electronic) repair and maintenance 56,660
Power and communication line and related structures construction 54,480
Machinery, equipment, and supplies merchant wholesalers 53,890

Most wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, work full time, and they also may be on call in the evening or on weekends.

Job Outlook About this section

Wind Turbine Technicians

Percent change in employment, projected 2022-32

Wind turbine service technicians

45%

Installation, maintenance, and repair occupations

4%

Total, all occupations

3%

 

Employment of wind turbine technicians is projected to grow 45 percent from 2022 to 2032, much faster than the average for all occupations.

About 1,800 openings for wind turbine technicians are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

Employment

Development of taller towers with larger blades has reduced the cost of wind power generation, making it more competitive with coal, natural gas, and other forms of power generation. As additional wind turbines are erected, more windtechs will be needed to install and maintain turbines.

Employment projections data for wind turbine technicians, 2022-32
Occupational Title SOC Code Employment, 2022 Projected Employment, 2032 Change, 2022-32 Employment by Industry
Percent Numeric

SOURCE: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections program

Wind turbine service technicians

49-9081 11,200 16,200 45 5,000 Get data

State & Area Data About this section

Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS)

The Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program produces employment and wage estimates annually for over 800 occupations. These estimates are available for the nation as a whole, for individual states, and for metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas. The link(s) below go to OEWS data maps for employment and wages by state and area.

Projections Central

Occupational employment projections are developed for all states by Labor Market Information (LMI) or individual state Employment Projections offices. All state projections data are available at www.projectionscentral.org. Information on this site allows projected employment growth for an occupation to be compared among states or to be compared within one state. In addition, states may produce projections for areas; there are links to each state’s websites where these data may be retrieved.

CareerOneStop

CareerOneStop includes hundreds of occupational profiles with data available by state and metro area. There are links in the left-hand side menu to compare occupational employment by state and occupational wages by local area or metro area. There is also a salary info tool to search for wages by zip code.

Similar Occupations About this section

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of wind turbine technicians.

Occupation Job Duties ENTRY-LEVEL EDUCATION Help on Entry-Level Education 2022 MEDIAN PAY Help on Median Pay
Electrical and electronics installers and repairers Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers

Electrical and electronics installers and repairers install or repair a variety of electrical equipment.

See How to Become One $64,190
Electricians Electricians

Electricians install, maintain, and repair electrical power, communications, lighting, and control systems.

High school diploma or equivalent $60,240
Elevator installers and repairers Elevator and Escalator Installers and Repairers

Elevator and escalator installers and repairers install, maintain, and fix elevators, escalators, moving walkways, and other lifts.

High school diploma or equivalent $99,000
Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration and mechanics and installers Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration Mechanics and Installers

Heating, air conditioning, and refrigeration mechanics and installers work on heating, ventilation, cooling, and refrigeration systems.

Postsecondary nondegree award $51,390
Industrial machinery mechanics and maintenance workers Industrial Machinery Mechanics, Machinery Maintenance Workers, and Millwrights

Industrial machinery mechanics, machinery maintenance workers, and millwrights install, maintain, and repair factory equipment and other industrial machinery.

High school diploma or equivalent $59,470
Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters Plumbers, Pipefitters, and Steamfitters

Plumbers, pipefitters, and steamfitters install and repair piping fixtures and systems.

High school diploma or equivalent $60,090
Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Wind Turbine Technicians,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/installation-maintenance-and-repair/wind-turbine-technicians.htm (visited March 22, 2024).

Last Modified Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2023

What They Do

The What They Do tab describes the typical duties and responsibilities of workers in the occupation, including what tools and equipment they use and how closely they are supervised. This tab also covers different types of occupational specialties.

Work Environment

The Work Environment tab includes the number of jobs held in the occupation and describes the workplace, the level of physical activity expected, and typical hours worked. It may also discuss the major industries that employed the occupation. This tab may also describe opportunities for part-time work, the amount and type of travel required, any safety equipment that is used, and the risk of injury that workers may face.

How to Become One

The How to Become One tab describes how to prepare for a job in the occupation. This tab can include information on education, training, work experience, licensing and certification, and important qualities that are required or helpful for entering or working in the occupation.

Pay

The Pay tab describes typical earnings and how workers in the occupation are compensated—annual salaries, hourly wages, commissions, tips, or bonuses. Within every occupation, earnings vary by experience, responsibility, performance, tenure, and geographic area. For most profiles, this tab has a table with wages in the major industries employing the occupation. It does not include pay for self-employed workers, agriculture workers, or workers in private households because these data are not collected by the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) survey, the source of BLS wage data in the OOH.

State & Area Data

The State and Area Data tab provides links to state and area occupational data from the Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics (OEWS) program, state projections data from Projections Central, and occupational information from the Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.

Job Outlook

The Job Outlook tab describes the factors that affect employment growth or decline in the occupation, and in some instances, describes the relationship between the number of job seekers and the number of job openings.

Similar Occupations

The Similar Occupations tab describes occupations that share similar duties, skills, interests, education, or training with the occupation covered in the profile.

Contacts for More Information

The More Information tab provides the Internet addresses of associations, government agencies, unions, and other organizations that can provide additional information on the occupation. This tab also includes links to relevant occupational information from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET).

2022 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2022, the median annual wage for all workers was $46,310.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

Work experience in a related occupation

Work experience that is commonly considered necessary by employers, or is a commonly accepted substitute for more formal types of training or education.

Number of Jobs, 2022

The employment, or size, of this occupation in 2022, which is the base year of the 2022-32 employment projections.

Job Outlook, 2022-32

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032. The average growth rate for all occupations is 3 percent.

Employment Change, 2022-32

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Entry-level Education

Typical level of education that most workers need to enter this occupation.

On-the-job Training

Additional training needed (postemployment) to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

Employment Change, projected 2022-32

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Growth Rate (Projected)

The percent change of employment for each occupation from 2022 to 2032.

Projected Number of New Jobs

The projected numeric change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

Projected Growth Rate

The projected percent change in employment from 2022 to 2032.

2022 Median Pay

The wage at which half of the workers in the occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. Median wage data are from the BLS Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics survey. In May 2022, the median annual wage for all workers was $46,310.