Wind energy is a huge industry with lots of opportunities and jobs with high income. This factor makes it the most promising industry for most aspiring professionals. The wind power industry offers a plethora of job options where individuals can apply according to their qualifications and expertise. One of the most adventurous, as well as a dangerous job in the wind industry, is the job profile of a wind turbine technician. Wind technicians are responsible for maintaining, servicing, and repairing of the wind turbine. This article will help in answering the question, how to become a Wind Turbine Technician?
Required Education for a Wind Turbine Technician
Typically a postsecondary training after clearing a high school diploma exam is necessary to become a wind turbine technician. The diploma holder can attend a program designed by a technical school following the guidelines and job profile of a wind turbine technician. After completing the training, an associate’s degree is awarded to the student, which means that the individual is ready for the wind power industry.
Training – How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician
Wind turbine technician training is divided into three parts and usually takes two years. The course offers both theory and practical on-site training for the trainees. The on-site training is conducted on an actual wind farm where students are exposed to real conditions of the wind farm. Part of the practical training consists of working under a manufacturing unit, which helps in a better understanding of the wind turbine components and parts.
Phase I Training
Phase I training mostly consists of indoor theory classes and education of different components and the logic behind wind turbine operations. The following courses are offered under phase I of the training.
- Workplace Safety course for better knowledge of the working environment
- Electrical Theory classes for understanding the principles of basic voltage and power generation
- Laboratory fundamentals course to practice electrical theory session in a lab setting
- Wind Turbine Safety module I to identify potential dangers while on a wind turbine and proper use of safety gears
- Wind Turbine Mechanical course to understand the maintenance and functioning of components of a wind turbine
- Wind Energy Theory course which helps the students to understand the basic science behind wind energy
Phase II Training
Phase II focuses more on components of a wind turbine and about construction methods. The courses offered include:
- Wind Turbine Rotor Blades course explains the method of blade production and the functions
- Motor Control & Programmable Controllers course offers knowledge in Programmable Logic Controllers (PLC)
- Wind Turbine Hydraulics is a course about hydraulic systems used in a wind turbine
- Wind Park Construction course
- Wind Turbine Safety Module II
- Wind Turbine Electrical
- Wind Turbine Maintenance
- Wind Turbine Industry Communication to develop proficiency in communication in the wind industry
Phase III On-Site Training
After completing phase II training, students are exposed to the real-life working conditions on a wind farm. They are trained in maintenance, servicing, and repairing of wind turbines. The training spans for over 12 months, where trainees are allowed to experience equipment, climbing the towers for service checks, and power transmission procedures. The proper use of safety gear is also a part of this practical training.
Other aspects of the on-site training include:
- Safety features such as first aid and CPR training
- Electrical maintenance training
- Hydraulic maintenance training
- Braking systems
- Rotor blade maintenance and inspection of mechanical systems
- Physical fitness
Required skills – How to Become a wind Turbine Technician
Some specific qualities are required by the students to become a wind turbine technician. These set of skills include:
- Mechanical Skills: Wind turbine professionals should be able to maintain and repair the components of the turbine. Maintenance of hydraulic and electrical systems is also a part of the job.
- Physical Stamina: As wind turbines are huge structures, technicians often have to climb high. These towers can sometimes measure up to 260 feet or even taller. Physical stamina is an essential aspect as technicians climb up carrying heavy equipment while performing maintenance and repair services.
- Physical strength: Most of the equipment is very heavy and sometimes components such as small parts are lifted manually by hand, and technicians should be physically fit. Often for rotor blade services, technicians have to climb up to dangerous positions where the need for physical strength is very much required as some tools weigh over 50 pounds.
- Troubleshooting Skills: Wind technicians must be able to diagnose and repair issues in the wind turbine. Troubleshooting electrical problems is also the responsibility of a wind technician.
- Work efficiently in confined spaces: To repair some components of the wind turbine, technicians often have to work in confined spaces.
Conclusion – How to Become a Wind Turbine Technician
A two-year associate’s degree and 12 months of on-site training are all that is required for aspiring students to become a wind turbine technician. According to a report, wind techs can earn an average salary between $36,970, and that increases with experience, which stands at $76,250 per year. These figures also are significant if the dangers of working at such high altitudes are considered with many accidents reported per year. But still, this lucrative industry always tends to be having the upper hand and makes aspiring professionals query, How to become a wind turbine technician?