A Breath of Fresh Air: The Future of Wind Tech Careers


It’s indisputable that the field of technology is one of the most promising and future-proof fields of employment there is. Of course, it’s rarely as simple as ‘having a job in tech’ what with the hundreds and even thousands of different career-paths available here.

There are plenty of different areas within tech as well – from security to transportation, financial or entertainment, technology is everywhere, and there are plenty of jobs in each of them. Renewable energy is one of these areas as well.

We will always need energy

It’s easy to see why this part of the energy industry is experiencing a rapid rise – after all, people need more and more energy every year, and renewable wind energy is one of the most environmentally safe ways of providing it.

Damien Cuello uses the more than 110-foot high view from a 900kW wind turbine to get a better visual inspection of the other turbines.

This increase of interest and investments has also led to a flurry of new career and job opportunities appearing, and qualified talent in the sector is actually much sought after. So much so in fact, that an organization in the US is launching a project at high school level in order to teach kids the skills they later need in order to become wind turbine technicians for example. Webb CISD is the name of the organization, and their idea of starting at high school level is far from outrageous.

Professional education is key to obtain that

Similar efforts in STEM fields have proven highly successful, showing kids career opportunities they usually weren’t even aware of. At university level, such things are often already too late, though scholarships specific to this sector exist as well, they are a more specific and more exclusive measure.

Related story: GE Acquires LM Wind Power to Boost Renewable Energy Business

In the US especially, there is quite a shortage of qualified manpower in the field – ‘wind turbine technician’ is the second fastest growing job in the entire country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The only one ahead of it is ‘solar photovoltaic installer’, another job in the field of renewable energy of course.

Darrell Richards is a desalination plant operator which is another interesting means to generate power.

This phenomenon isn’t unique to the US either, though the sheer space available in the country is certainly a big factor in why wind energy is so coveted. That is not to say that smaller countries around the world don’t also go to great lengths to generate as much energy as possible this way – more do so every year.

It’s a global market after all

Damien Cuello takes a break from the climb up the tower that holds the power generation portion of this wind turbine.

With that also comes the worldwide demand for skilled workers, from those capable of engineering and improving existing turbines to those capable of repairing or installing them, and those skilled at finding new ways to harvest wind energy altogether. Easily one of the most future- and environment-focused career areas possible, wind energy has great potential.

Using, once again, the example of the US, there is another, less obvious advantage: Wind energy is best harvested where there is lots of open and unused space. This means around small and often remote communities. That type of community often has stagnant to negative job growth which, in turn, means that new wind farms create a lot of jobs where there otherwise wouldn’t be any at all, showing the potential to at least alleviate the rising amounts of teenagers and young adults that struggle to find employment without relocating, often several states away.

If that’s not a breath of fresh air, nothing is!
Photo credit: All images (1, 2, 3, 4) have been taken by Lance Cheung.
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics report
Editorial notice: The photo captions have been provided by the photographer as referenced and were edited for length.

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Melanie Hawthorne
Melanie Hawthorne
Mel is a UK-based journalist that has been writing about tech, science and video games for a few years now. After studying in Vienna, Austria she followed her dreams and moved to London. Said dreams took her through a few different jobs before she settled on what she really wanted to do – write about the exciting world of technology and the delightfully strange things it sometimes produces.
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