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Wind Technician Jobs: Manufacturing and Remanufacturing

Wind Technician Jobs: Manufacturing and Remanufacturing

Image: Tuey/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

When most people think of jobs in wind energy, the first image that comes to mind is sky-high wind turbines. But before these energy-generating giants are installed, the work begins at ground level.

Wind energy technicians who work for manufacturing and remanufacturing companies are the people who get wind technology off the ground. They are responsible for the assembly of turbines and components before they make it from the factory to the farm.

These wind technicians play a big role in the business — commercial and industrial machinery and equipment repair and maintenance employees make up 52 percent of wind energy industry jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Manufacturing vs. Remanufacturing: What’s the Difference?

While these occupations have their differences, there are some fundamental similarities between working in manufacturing and remanufacturing. Obviously, both jobs involve working as part of an assembly process. Wind energy technician positions in these areas are also generally located near cities (unlike wind farm jobs, which are located in rural areas).

That said, here are some key differences between manufacturing and remanufacturing that may play a factor in deciding on whether either position is right for you:

  • Working in remanufacturing requires a deeper knowledge of how a wind turbine functions, as part of the job is to help diagnose failure modes in components.
  • Remanufacturing technicians are likely to be responsible for solving multiple types of problems in a day, depending on which components pass through their station, while manufacturing technicians may spend an entire day performing a specific task on an assembly line.
  • Remanufacturing tends to be a messier job — disassembling failed or run-down components requires a lot of clean up.
  • Manufacturing technicians generally work with a large team of managers, while remanufacturing technicians tend to work with a much smaller team.
  • Manufacturing technicians have more opportunities to learn about all of the components of a wind turbine, while those working in remanufacturing focus on specific components that are more prone to failure.

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