How do you become a Wind Turbine Technician?

Becoming a Wind turbine technician requires a combination of education, hands-on training, and a genuine interest in renewable energy.

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The wind industry is one of the fastest-growing industries worldwide. Consequently, the demand for wind turbine technicians is rapidly increasing.

However, it is a demanding job. Therefore, there is a set of requirements and skills that you need to be aware of before embarking on the journey to become a wind turbine technician.

What is a wind turbine technician?

A wind turbine technician is responsible for the assembly, installation, inspection, maintenance, safety, and repair of wind turbines, both onshore and offshore. In this role, you possess the ability to diagnose and fix nearly any issue that might lead to the turbine unexpectedly shutting down or failing to operate correctly.

Most technicians specialise in either installation, maintenance, or blade management, either offshore or onshore. Some technicians have expertise in multiple areas.

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Skills and general requirements for a wind turbine technician

High work ethic and team spirit

The combination of a challenging role, both physically and mentally, coupled with stringent safety protocols, in addition to working in diverse weather conditions and frequently in remote areas or alone, necessitates a strong work ethic and team spirit to get the job done. It is only when every team member fulfils their responsibilities that the wind farm can operate at its peak efficiency.
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Mechanical and technical skills

Wind turbine technicians understand and possess the ability to maintain, troubleshoot, and repair all mechanical, hydraulic, braking, and electrical systems of a turbine. These skills must be refined through education, training, and a knack for craftsmanship.
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Ability to work alone or in remote areas

Since wind turbines are commonly placed in remote locations, both onshore and offshore, technicians often work independently or in small teams. They must cover substantial distances and carry out their tasks in all types of weather conditions, which can necessitate extended work periods followed by breaks. Possessing a valid driver’s license and passport is often essential due to these demands.
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Comfort with heights and confined spaces

The average modern multi-MW wind turbine currently stands at a hub height of at least 90 - 100 meters, with the majority of tasks occurring within or at the turbine's apex. Consequently, you will frequently work in restricted spaces to reach the mechanical components of the turbine. Additionally, certain tasks entail working at considerable heights to access the blades or other outer regions of the wind turbine.
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Troubleshooting skills

A key aspect of the role is to diagnose and repair issues that arise suddenly. When a turbine stops generating electricity, the technician must determine the cause and then make the necessary repairs as swiftly as possible to sustain production. Discovering solutions demands attention to detail and creative problem-solving, given that the solution is not always immediately evident.
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Documentation

Wind turbine technicians must record and submit reports regarding the results of inspections, tests, repairs, or issues identified during the course of their inspections and repairs. Depending on the turbine, this documentation can take the form of either a digital or handwritten log. These reports should be easily legible and comprehensible, enabling others to understand the information and take appropriate action.
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Strength and stamina

Wind turbine technicians must lift and climb with heavy equipment, parts, and tools. The combined weight of the equipment often surpasses 5 - 15 kilograms. Technicians must also be able to climb on narrow ladders to reach the top of the turbine nacelle, often with tools and equipment. Tower ladders can reach heights of 120 meters or more, demanding both strength and agility. In many newer turbines, an elevator will be available.
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Language

Fluency in English is essential for the role. Technicians need to be proficient in communicating effectively in both professional and everyday contexts. This is crucial due to interactions with diverse nationalities on-site and the prevalence of English in documentation and training.
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Education

While there is no specific or mandatory educational route to become a wind turbine technician, possessing a background in craftsmanship or as a mechanic or electrician can serve as a valuable foundation.

For those without direct relevant education or experience, possessing robust craftsmanship skills alongside a willingness to learn can equally establish a solid foundation.

Initial Certifications

Certifications can significantly enhance your employability and underscore your commitment to professional growth. The Global Wind Organization (GWO) offers an array of widely recognised certifications, including Basic Technical Training (BTT), Basic Safety Training, Working at Heights, and First Aid.

These certifications not only validate your comprehension of safety protocols but also equip you with the necessary expertise to navigate the wind turbine environment safely and effectively. Many employers demand that you have obtained GWO’s Basic Technical Training and Basic Safety Training to be considered for employment. Therefore, this is a good place to start.

There are many GWO providers worldwide, so it is worthwhile to explore options with your local GWO provider.

It is important to note that while GWO certifications such as BTT and Safety Training serve as entry points into the industry, further training is often required due to the diverse range of wind turbine models, which can vary in age up to approximately 30 years.

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Practical experience: Bridging theory and application

While theoretical knowledge is crucial, practical hands-on experience is equally invaluable in the wind energy industry. Exploring internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions within wind farms or renewable energy firms provides an opportunity to familiarise yourself with equipment, maintenance procedures, and troubleshooting techniques commonly encountered in the field.

Beginning your journey with asset managers or energy companies can be especially advantageous, as they frequently offer internal training programs and own a diverse range of wind turbines from various manufacturers, facilitating comprehensive skill development.

Specialisation and further training

The wind industry is dynamic, and your career as a wind turbine technician will be a fusion of learning, practical experience, and continuous growth.

After gaining initial experience, advancing your career involves specialisation. Focusing on platform-specific training and refining your troubleshooting skills are great strategies to establish yourself as a highly sought-after professional in the field.

Specialised training programs delve deeper into specific aspects of wind turbine technology, maintenance, and troubleshooting, allowing you to acquire specialised knowledge and skills.

In this regard, dwpa is one of the leading providers of advanced and specialised training and education. You can find more information about our courses here.

Continuous Learning and Industry Updates

Stay updated with industry trends, technological advancements, and regulatory changes through online courses, webinars, and industry publications. Demonstrating a commitment to ongoing learning and staying informed about the latest developments will position you as a knowledgeable professional in the wind energy sector.

 

There are also several LinkedIn groups that are relevant to follow, as well as signing up for manufacturer newsletters, to remain informed.


Here are a couple of examples of LinkedIn Groups:

 

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/2546031/

 

https://www.linkedin.com/groups/5024016/

The main responsibilities and job duties of a Wind Turbine Technician

As a Wind turbine technician, you will play a crucial role in the operation, maintenance, and repair of wind turbines.

While some technicians help construct new turbines, most of your time will be spent on the maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair of existing ones.

Specific tasks can vary based on turbine types and companies. However, you will generally be responsible for:

Inspections and Maintenance

Regular checks are key to turbine performance. You will identify wear, damage, or issues through visual inspections and diagnostic tools, and perform regular maintenance tasks.
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Troubleshooting & repairs

When issues arise, you are accountable for troubleshooting and diagnosing problems. This may involve visual inspections, using diagnostic tools, analysing data, and performing repairs on the mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic components of the turbines.
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Safety compliance – high safety awareness

Adhering to strict safety protocols is paramount in the wind energy industry. Wind turbine technicians are required to follow safety procedures during maintenance, repairs, and inspections. This includes working at heights, operating machinery safely, and consistently using personal protective equipment (PPE).
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Documentation and Reporting

Maintaining accurate records of maintenance activities, repairs, and any other relevant information is vital for efficient operations. You will keep detailed records of your work, including tasks completed, parts used, and any unusual findings. This practice helps keep operations smooth and everyone informed.
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Communication and Cooperation

Your role blends individual expertise with teamwork. You will collaborate with engineers, supervisors, and fellow technicians to accomplish tasks. Effective communication skills are essential for coordinating activities, sharing knowledge, and guaranteeing seamless operations within the wind farm.
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Online wind turbine training
Wind farm technician

What to do next?

There are many ways into the wind turbine industry, and none holds greater validity. The following steps may enhance your chances if you’re considering entering the industry.

Examine the wind farms situated near you and consider visiting them. This demonstrates dedication and interest. Explore the possibility of arranging a meeting, perhaps over coffee, with an employee.

Revise your CV to encompass all elements that could be of interest to a company within the wind industry.

Investigate the entry-level courses that are advantageous for a career in the field of wind energy. You can find a training provider and the most relevant courses here – https://www.globalwindsafety.org/trainingproviders/findttraningprovider

Some of the highly valued courses are:

  • Basic Safety Training
  • Basic Technical Training
  • Advanced Rescue Training Standard

Find them all here – https://www.globalwindsafety.org/trainingstandards/trainingstandards

 

Explore dwpa trainings and courses

If you already have some experience as a wind turbine technician, consider exploring our range of courses and training programs to further enhance your skills and advance your career.

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If you are already aware of what you need then let us write a non-binding offer to you, that gives you an overview of the investment to get us to your wind farm to train your staff.
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