Wind turbine technician salary

Wind turbine technician salary

Wind turbine technician salary

Depending on training and experience, a wind turbine maintenance technician can earn around 2000 euros net per month. The salary can include on-call bonuses, travel bonuses, etc.

I am a wind turbine maintenance technician, what a great idea!

Do you know the job of a wind turbine maintenance technician? The Enercon company allowed Baptiste Clarke and Romain Pernot, journalists from Emploi-Environnement, to follow Heddy Bouchigha during a maintenance operation.

That day, it’s a rather classic maintenance operation, lubrication, and Overspeed test. A day like any other? Not quite. “The weather conditions, the landscapes are different every day, there are also several types of intervention, it’s a job in which you never get bored,” says Heddy Bouchigha, smiling.

A wind turbine technician, also known as a windtech, installs, inspects, maintains, operates, and repairs wind turbines. They are able to diagnose and fix any problem that could cause the turbine to shut down unexpectedly. The median annual wage of a windtech is $52,260.

Wind turbine technician salary

Friends, wind turbine technicians are paid $27 an hour to do one of the most dangerous jobs in the economy. Wind technology is climbing to dizzying heights to keep wind turbines in business, and industry jobs are expected to increase 68% from 2020 to 2030.

According to the American Wind Energy Association, there are over 65,000 onshore wind turbines in the United States, with more coming online each year.

Each wind turbine that dots the landscape of a wind farm usually consists of a tower, blades, and a central unit called a nacelle. These three elements require specialists to install and maintain them throughout the life of a turbine.

These are the nacelles that have the most overactivity. Auto is about the generator box, the gearbox, the brakes, and the circuits that convert the mechanical energy into electricity to send to the electrical network.

To make repairs, wind technicians typically have to climb up to 300 feet up the narrow tower tube to the nacelle while carrying all the tools, computers, and safety gear needed to get the job done. While some tasks require climbing outside the basket, most revs work is done inside the enclosure.

Other teams are used to inspect, repair, or clean blades fiber of glass, forcing workers to rappel down the basket to complete the job while dangling hundreds of feet above the ground.

According to the United States Bureau of Labor Figures, the median salary for wind technicians is $27 an hour, which works out to about $56,000 per year, or about 33% more than the national median salary of $42,000.

Wind turbine technician salary

A community college or strategy degree is usually sufficient to qualify for the job, and many employers offer a year or more of on-the-job training. Most technicians will need to understand electrical, hydraulic, braking, mechanical, and computer systems and have first aid and rescue training.

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With 6,900 workers in 2020, the field is small but one of the fastest-growing in the economy, with BLS projections expecting a 68% increase in new jobs by 2030. That’s close to nine times faster than the projection for all other professions tracked by the agency.

Wind turbine technician salary
Wind turbine technician salary

Beyond claustrophobia and acrophobia, some things can deter someone from running for a wind job.

On the one hand, the schedule can be exhausting. Most wind farms are located in remote areas, so travel times to job sites can be time-consuming. Additionally, bad weather or other unforeseeable events can damage a turbine any second of the day or night, making repairs as quickly as possible.

Wind turbine technician salary

Importantly, the Department of Labor says wind technicians have one of the highest injury and illness rates of any occupation. In particular, a 2017 study found that falls in the energy industry are quite common (although a few are fatal), as are strains, sprains, and overuse.

As the world shifts from carbon to renewable energy resources, it will increasingly rely on wind technicians to perform the high-risk jobs that drive the modern economy forward.

If you are a wind technician or a worker who has a job that you consider to be high risk, please get in touch with us with a comment. The answers to this story will be kept confidential.

What diplomas are required to practice?

It is Professional training such as BAC PRO or BTS in the electrical or electromechanical fields. BZEE training is a plus. BZEE is a certificate of German origin recognized by wind professionals.

The wind turbine maintenance technician carries out the preventive and curative maintenance of a wind farm. Its role is to ensure the proper functioning of equipment and machines on the site. Thus, he performs various tasks: powering up and monitoring the performance of wind turbines, inspection, identification and resolution of technical problems, repairs, etc.

Missions

• Manage any problem that may arise about the products. • Start up wind turbines • Install control devices • Take readings • Plan and carry out preventive maintenance activities • Perform repairs • Write reports

Skills

• Ability to work at height • Good physical condition • Mobility • Autonomy • Precision

Training

With Bac +2 training, the wind turbine maintenance technician has completed a BTS Industrial Maintenance or a BTS Electrotechnics salary. Compensation ranges from € 19,000 to € 25,000 gross per year career developments.

With experience, the wind turbine maintenance technician may be offered the position of technical team manager.

What are the required qualities?

  • Knowing how to work in a team, be versatile. Good physical conditions and the absence of vertigo are essential.
  • Availability and flexibility are also necessary.
  • A correct level of English is desired for occasional use.

How many wind turbine maintenance technicians do you employ?

Enercon employs around 350 wind turbine maintenance technicians in France, and 17 positions are currently available.

What are the different missions?

  • Perform preventive and curative maintenance on our wind turbines.
  • Diagnose and resolve faults.
  • Perform technical upgrades.
  • To be an interface between customers and the various internal departments.
  • Report on actions carried out to the regional coordinator.

What is the possible career development?

There are several gateways to other trades such as wind turbine commissioning technicians, technicians specializing in blades and generator repair, network technicians to ensure the maintenance of high voltage transformers, and HSE technicians. Positions of inventory manager, technical coordinator, regional coordinator, and quality inspector are also possible developments.

What is the generally observed salary?

According to diplomas and experiences. [Editor’s note: around 2,000 euros.]

How is this a profession of the future?

Wind maintenance jobs have a secure future because wind farms must maintain for at least 20 years. We have 1,700 wind turbines in France and have growth prospects.

The wind turbine maintenance technician is responsible for start-up operations and mechanical verification before delivery and preventive (upkeep, upgrading) or corrective (repair, replacement of parts) maintenance operations. Although versatile, it can be specialized in a particular field: electricity, mechanics, hydraulics.

For the assembly and start-up of the elements, he works from the foundation, and the pouring of a concrete base, then rises the mast with the help of the crane operator and fixes the base of the mast on the base. Depending on the height of the wind turbine, he fixes a ladder or installs an elevator. The technician- assembler then installs the nacelle, which contains all the electronic and mechanical equipment of the wind turbine at the top of the mast.

BZEE certificate
Wind turbine technician salary

He assembles the wind turbine electricity and engages the rotor with three blades in the nacelle. Finally, he puts down the nose, protecting the rotor. It also makes all the electrical and pneumatic connections in the nacelle. And It puts wind under tension and performs a series of tests. It connects the electrical system to the local network.

But his work does not end there. Once the installation is complete, it carries out its regular inspection (generally twice a year) to maintain and upkeep and ensure that the wind turbine is operating optimally. He checks the mechanisms, performs lubrication, performs mechanical/electrical/hydraulic tests, and replaces parts. He reports on all actions taken to his manager.

Wind turbine technician salary

The monitoring of wind turbines is now done remotely by computer. When the operating teams detect a problem via the control screens, they intervene on-site if necessary. Interventions take place either at the base of the machine or at the height of 80 meters.

The maintenance technician on a wind turbine works in a metal construction company, composite materials, electrical engineering, in a building company, civil engineering, in a subsidiary company of a brand of equipment.

Perched more than 80 meters high, the wind turbine maintenance technician must not be subject to heights and be in excellent physical condition (BZEE certificate). For safety reasons, wind turbine maintenance technicians always work in pairs under the direction of a sector manager. It is subject to climatic changes: sun, wind, rain. He moves from site to site (farm or wind farm) and is subject to periodic penalty payments. He applies very strict security rules. 

Friends, he wears full protective equipment (helmet, glove, safety shoe, glasses, harness).

Studies / Training to Become a Wind Turbine Maintenance Technician.

Wind turbine maintenance technicians are recruited at the bac level. However, the most popular training courses for this profession are at the bac + 2 levels. Examples of training: 

baccalaureate standard 

  • Bac pro-MSPC – maintenance of connected production systems (ex bac pro-MEI – maintenance of industrial equipment) wind power option
  • Bac pro-MELEC – trades in electricity and its connected environments
  • BP electrician 

bac + 2 level

  • BTS electrical engineering
  • BTS MS – Maintenance of wind power option systems
  • MC technician in renewable energies options electric energy
  • FCIL wind farm maintenance technician

bac + 3 level

  • Professional license in energy, environment, and climatic engineering
  • Different courses
  • Professional license in electricity and energy
  • Different courses: assistant and technical advisor in electrical and renewable energy – ACTEER (Rennes 1)
  • Professional license in maintenance and technology: organization of maintenance
  • Different courses: maintenance operations manager in offshore wind farms (IUT de Saint Nazaire)
  • Professional license in maintenance and technology: multi-technical systems
  • Different courses: wind energy (University of Reims)
  • GOAL MP – physical measurements
  • GOAL GEII – electrical engineering and industrial IT

The sector also offers a CQP wind energy maintenance technician. 

Once hired, they receive additional training: first aid worker (OHS), electrical accreditation, specific training for the maintenance of wind turbines in maritime environments. 

Wages

The wind turbine fitter starts at the minimum wage, to which bonuses are added. Compensation rises rapidly with experience.

Career developments

After a few years of experience, the maintenance technician can become a team leader or wind farm maintenance manager. He can also choose to specialize in the maintenance of marine wind turbines.

Career developments
Wind turbine technician salary

Switching to technical-commercial functions (account manager, technical advisor), consulting (advisor in renewable energies and energy management), or assistant engineer (in the design office, production) are also other alternatives in terms of business development terms. 

Wind turbine technician salary

In 2015, there will be more than 400 maintenance technicians in Quebec alone. They will work with turbine manufacturers (e.g., GE, Enercon, Senvion), owners/operators (e.g., Cartier Énergie Éolienne, Northland Power, TransAlta), or subcontractors in operation and maintenance (e.g., Vent de East, Techéol, Suspender). This job offers base wages over $ 20 / hour with the possibility of working overtime paid. Several paths are possible to work as a wind turbine maintenance technician; here are four.

Industry needs: Operation and maintenance of wind turbines and meteorological tools, commissioning, supervision of the “Balance of Plant,” supervision of the work of the turbine maker, deconstruction, manufacture of converters

Training: Attestation of collegial studies (AEC) in wind turbine maintenance

The AEC in wind turbine maintenance of the Collegia Group is strongly recognized by Quebec companies active in operation and maintenance. This training lasts 12 months. To be eligible, you must have a secondary school diploma (DES) or have training deemed sufficient for the College and have interrupted your studies for at least two consecutive sessions or one school year.

It is also possible to access training by completing at least one year of post-secondary studies spread over one year or more. A cohort began in May 2014 in Rivière-du-Loup and will be completed in Gaspé in May 2015. A new cohort will begin in April 2015 in Beauce.

Training: Technical in industrial maintenance (DEC)

It is a three-year college-level technical training offered by various CEGEPs, including the Gaspé and the Islands. In Gaspé, the student learns the upkeep and maintenance of equipment in the industrial and wind power sectors. With his training, he will work in the wind energy sector and petrochemicals, the wood processing industry, transport equipment, etc.

Training: Electromechanics of automated systems (DEP)

In Gaspé, Matane Training in Electromechanics of automated systems (DEP) is offered in the vocational training centers of Gaspé and Matane. It is a training course of 1,800 hours covering various aspects useful in the industrial field, including wind power. This training does not include specific courses on safety in wind turbines (to be taken separately).

Recognition of Acquisitions and Skills (RAC) in Wind Turbine Maintenance

A Collegia Group recently set up a RAC program in wind turbine maintenance. Thanks to this program, certain skills related to the profession of wind turbine maintenance technician can recognize. Skills not acquired may be followed in the context of individual or group continuing education.

Wind turbine technician salary

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