|Position Title||Construction Worker|
|Alternate Title(s)||Laborer and Helper, Equipment Operator, Crane Operator|
|Education & Training Level||High school diploma or equivalent. Some training may be preferred. Equipment operators must hold a driver’s license.|
|Education & Training Level Description||Most construction workers learn their trade through short-term on-the-job training. There are generally no formal education requirements, although previous work experience may be preferred. Crane operators and excavating machine operators usually have several years of experience in related occupations.|
|Brief job description||Construction workers in the wind industry are responsible for building local access roads and the foundations that support wind turbines. They operate heavy equipment and work to put the wind turbine tower, nacelle, and blade segments together.|
|Preferred Level of Education||No preferred level of education. However, some employers prefer training levels depending on the job being performed, such as an electrician’s helper with previous on-the-job experience.|
|Preferred Level of Experience||See the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.|
|Estimated/Expected Salary||See the Bureau of Labor Statistics for more information.|
Erecting wind turbines requires many skilled construction workers. The work begins before the turbine components arrive on site. Construction laborers and construction equipment operators are responsible for preparing the site and building the surrounding infrastructure by building local access roads and the foundations that support the turbines. This involves clearing trees and debris for bulldozer operators, compaction of the native soil for crane paths and roadways, placement of gravel road base, cleaning machines, construction of fences, gates, cattle guards, and culverts. They also do many basic tasks that require physical labor on construction sites.
Construction equipment operators, with the help of construction laborers, are also responsible for building accessible roads directly to the construction site, helping ensure that the wind turbine components can arrive without damage or delay. They use bulldozers, road graders, and other equipment to set up the construction site. This job can require an additional driver license (commercial driver’s license) obtained through training.
Crane operators are necessary in building a wind farm because the components are so large. After the turbine components arrive, they use cranes to lift the pieces of the turbine off the trucks. The first tower segment is set vertically onto the ground, where other workers secure it to the foundation. The remaining tower segments are then stacked atop one another and fastened together. When the tower has been erected, crane operators carefully lift the nacelle and the blades. The nacelle is placed on the top of the tower, and the blades are attached to the turbine's hub.