Workforce Development and Education

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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.


WINDExchange is the DOE Wind Energy Technologies Office's platform for disseminating credible information about wind energy. Find higher education and continuing education wind programs or training located throughout the United States with the Wind Energy Education and Training Programs map.

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Workforce Development and Education News

CWC Opens Doors for New Grads Seeking Jobs in Wind
The competition includes two multi-faceted challenges: design, build, and test a wind turbine; and plan and financially analyze a wind plant.
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Collegiate Wind Competition Provides Students with Opportunities
This competition challenges interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate students to create unique solutions to complex wind energy projects.
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CWC Wind Tunnel Engineered to Last
In 2018, a team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory designed and built the CWC's second-generation wind tunnel.
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National Renewable Energy Laboratory Releases Request for Proposal (RFP) for Collegiate Wind Competition 2020
NREL has issued a Request for Proposal for colleges and universities interested in participating in the DOE Collegiate Wind Competition 2020.
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Wind Project Neighbor Attitudes Mostly Positive, National Survey Reveals
A study led by LBNL provides unprecedented insight into the attitudes of Americans who live near U.S. wind turbines.
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Meet the Collegiate Wind Competition 2018 Teams: Part 2
Twelve talented teams from across the United States will put their wind turbines to the test at the 2018 Collegiate Wind Competition.
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Meet the Collegiate Wind Competition 2018 Teams: Part 1
Twelve talented teams from across the United States will put their wind turbines to the test at the 2018 Collegiate Wind Competition.
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Collegiate Wind Competition Teams Collaborate with Industry
Collegiate Wind Competition students are implementing lessons learned from industry partnerships to hone their wind turbines.
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What to Expect at the 2018 Collegiate Wind Competition
On May 8, twelve collegiate wind teams from across the country will be gathering in Chicago to participate in the Collegiate Wind Competition.
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Everything You Need to Know about Wind Turbine Technicians
Want to hover hundreds of feet in the air on an average work day? Then being a wind technician may be just for you.
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