Continued growth in the U.S. wind industry requires trained and qualified workers to manufacture, construct, operate, and maintain wind turbines. Additionally, the nation will continue to need skilled scientists and engineers who can develop the next generation of wind power technologies.
The National Skills Assessment of the U.S. Wind Industry in 2012 provides the first comprehensive overview of the wind industry’s domestic workforce. Conducted by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, this research reveals the levels of education and training that employers in the wind industry require, and projects the number and types of training programs that the wind workforce will need to meet the nation’s clean energy goals.
The Wind Energy Technologies Office addresses the wind industry’s workforce needs through various targeted investments that are outlined in the program's workforce development projects report.
The Department of Energy (DOE) also works with other federal agencies that are heavily invested in training and education—such as the Smithsonian, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Education—to fill existing gaps and ensure that federally sponsored training activities and educational programs are appropriately targeted and complementary.
Collegiate Wind Competition
The U.S. Department of Energy Collegiate Wind Competition challenges undergraduate students from multiple disciplines to design and construct a wind turbine according to set specifications. The students investigate innovative wind energy concepts, gain experience designing, building, and testing a wind turbine, develop a business plan, and increase their knowledge of issues facing the wind industry in the United States. The Collegiate Wind Competition is designed to attract engineering, business, and science students to wind-related fields, provide them with practical knowledge and wind experience, and showcase tomorrow’s promising workforce to industry leaders.
Wind Career Map
The DOE Wind Career Map was developed to show the broad range of careers and skillsets across the wind industry and highlight routes of advancement between jobs within and between wind energy sector. The tool also shows current or prospective job seekers additional information such as wages, experience and skill expectations, and educational requirements for mapped occupations. The Wind Career Map was developed by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory with input from experts from the wind industry in order to assist in the recruitment, training, and advancement of skilled workers in wind energy related occupations.