How to start a career in wind energy

You know that wind you enjoy on a hot summer day? Well it is the oldest source of energy in the world. And guess what? Harnessing this energy is a job that keeps you from being trapped at a desk. Oh, and you'll also feel good knowing you're doing something good for the Earth every day. This e-book is your complete guide to wind power careers. Ever wonder what a typical day is like? We've got you covered. Want to know how much you'll earn? That's in here too. What about where those jobs are? Yep, all that, and more, is in here.

Turning wind into power

We have come a long way since using windmills to pump water. Today, wind power comes from turbines set up in areas with strong winds. There are several different types out there, but the most common is a tower with blades that harness the wind and send the power to a utility station. This simple design produces no greenhouse gases and provides us with a lot of clean energy. Pretty simple, huh? Good thing we're building more and more each day.

Working in the wind industry

What type of person works in this industry? Well, wind power professionals come from a variety of backgrounds: mechanics, former military, construction, office jobs and others. According to the American Wind Energy Association, the U.S. has more than 550 manufacturing facilities, producing more than two thirds of the materials for wind turbines domestically. Because of this growth, the wind industry employs a record 75,000 Americans. Also, unlike that song on the radio this morning, its popularity is only going to increase over time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports employment of wind turbine service technicians is expected to grow 24 percent from 2012 to 2022.

Career options in wind power

As for actual jobs, wind power employs all types of people. If you like adventure, you could work on a wind farm, climbing up the turbines and maintaining the equipment. Scared of heights? You might enjoy working in production, assembling materials for wind energy manufacturers. If research is your thing, there is a growing demand for engineers and scientists in this field focused on designing wind turbines and scouting the right place to build them.

Here are a few examples of job titles in the wind industry:

  • Wind Technician I/II/III
  • Data Analyst
  • Electrical Specialist
  • Site Supervisor
  • Site Manager

How much do wind technicians get paid?

Wind technicians get to be outside all day, create their own schedule, work with their hands and help make the world a little better. But what do they get paid?

Pay always depends on experience, job location and the current economy. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the middle point of pay for wind turbine technicians is $45,970. When comparing the full range of pay, the lowest 10 percent of workers earn $33,170 and the top 10 percent earn $66,960.

  • Top 10 percent: $66,960
  • Midpoint: $45,970
  • Lowest 10 percent: $33,170

The future

As long as the wind keeps on blowing, we'll have a tremendous resource for electricity. And, more and more people are realizing the importance of investing in this energy, making wind power cheaper and pushing those in the industry to make it more efficient. From the existing land-based wind farms to the future of offshore wind technology, the future of the industry is strong.