|Position Title||Wind Technician|
|Alternate Title(s)||Wind Tech, Windsmith, Wind Turbine Service Technician|
|Education & Training Level||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Education & Training Level Description||Most wind turbine service technicians learn their trade by attending a technical school. After completing a 2-year technical program, employers usually provide on-the-job training, typically lasting over 12 months.|
|Brief job description||Wind technicians install, inspect, maintain, operate and repair wind turbines. Wind technicians are capable of diagnosing and fixing any problem that could cause the turbine to be shut down unexpectedly or fail to operate properly.|
|Preferred Level of Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|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.|
Although some wind technicians are involved in building new wind turbines, most of their work is maintaining, troubleshooting, and repairing them - particularly the nacelles—which contain the equipment that generates electricity.
Wind technicians typically do the following:
Maintenance schedules are largely determined by hours of operation, but can also vary by manufacturer. Most manufacturers now recommend annual maintenance, which involves visual inspections of components, fastener torque checks, and lubricating parts. For turbines that operate year round, typical maintenance may occur one to three times a year and turbines are monitored electronically 24 hours a day from a central office. If a problem is detected, wind technicians must travel to the worksite and perform as-needed troubleshooting, repair and service.
The average workday is spent climbing and inspecting multiple turbines. Technicians use computers to diagnose electrical malfunctions. Any problems they notice during the examination are reported and scheduled for repair.
Technicians do a majority of their maintenance work in the nacelle, where the drive train components and sensitive electronics are housed. Nacelles are built very compactly, and wind technicians must be able to work in confined spaces, inside the nacelles, hubs and rotors. Turbine technicians regularly clean and lubricate shafts, bearings, gears, and other machinery. They also use handheld power tools and electrical measuring instruments to troubleshoot any electrical faults in the control cabinets, generator, and other onboard electrical and electronic systems.
Wind technicians must work outside, on the top of the nacelle. They might, for example, have to replace the instruments that measure wind speed and direction, or work with large cranes for component repair or replacement. When outside, turbine technicians can be hundreds of feet in the air and need to have a heightened sense of safety. They wear fall protection full body harnesses that are attached to appropriately rated tie off points on the nacelle and move cautiously while working.
Wind technicians are also responsible for administration of the site. These technicians may be responsible for anywhere from one turbine to hundreds of turbines on a large wind farm. They are responsible for ordering spare parts, and ensuring there is a proper inventory of parts available for needed repairs, as well as the day to day turbine operations.
Wind technicians have familiarity with all systems of the wind turbine including structural, mechanical, electrical, controls, communications, electronic components, hydraulic systems, and environmental safety and health systems. The following skills are necessary: