Companies need qualified technicians now.
If you are considering a career in the North American wind industry, it is worth spending time looking at the types of training you will need to complete before you begin.
One place to start for those considering a career in the wind industry is the WINDExchange, which has a database of nearly 200 community colleges, universities, and other institutions across the U.S. offering specialized training. The WINDExchange is supported by the Wind Energy Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy.
The fact is, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics, employment of wind turbine technicians will grow 61 percent through 2029, much faster than the average for other occupations.
Today, the top 10 states for wind energy and, therefore, careers are Texas, Iowa, Oklahoma, Kansas, Illinois, North Dakota, California, Minnesota, Colorado, and Nebraska.
For example, High Plains Technology Center located in Woodward, Oklahoma, is listed in the WindExchange and offers a renewable wind energy technician program. The overall goal of the technology center is to support businesses and, located in the panhandle of Oklahoma, it can serve the wind industry in that state as well as Texas, Kansas, and Colorado – all in the top 10.
The keys to success are a 20-week program for wind technicians that is offered twice each year, with students oftentimes offered jobs before they graduate, as well as standardized courses of Global Wind Organisation (GWO) that is provided every two weeks in basic safety and technical training. High Plains has seven instructors focused on wind turbines and GWO modules. The majority of instructors also bring hands-on experience working as technicians on wind turbines.
“We team up with wind turbine contractors and subcontractors to offer GWO training,” says Taylor Burnett, assistant superintendent, business and industry services, High Plains Technology Center. “Companies need qualified technicians now, and GWO training is successful because everyone has the same certifications.”
In looking for a career, it is easy to find relevant, current information to search for jobs and build a career in the wind industry now and for the future.
The Safety & Training Forum 2023 was GWO’s first event in the United States.151 Training Providers, Certification Bodies, Auditors, vendors, and Industry associations gathered to discuss safety training in the industry. The Forum aimed to increase engagement with North America’s Network and bring the different stakeholders to the table in a conversation about the roles standards play in the workforce challenge.
New member Skyborn will bring its international expertise to GWO, as they work together to strive for an injury free work environment in the offshore wind industry.
The latest GWO North American Market Briefing forecasts high growth of the wind industry and the associated need for more standardised training.
The MOU, signed at the Global Offshore Wind Summit, emphasizes GWO's role in developing entry-level skills. This collaboration aims to reshape workforce development, addressing Japan's labor challenges and carbon neutrality goals. A pivotal move for the growth of Japan's wind industry, especially in offshore projects.
Workforce safety and training were the subject of GWO's Wind Workforce Masterclass in Busan, South Korea, where over 100 delegates witnessed strong support for international standards.