In this article, we will be covering...
The wind turbine sector is rapidly evolving. However, many students struggle while navigating career paths in this sector. Don’t worry; we have sorted everything for you with an in-depth look at wind turbine degrees.
With research from different aspects, we have highlighted multiple career options in this field and the path to achieving them. Let’s get straight into them.
An In-Depth Look at Wind Turbine Degrees
Wind turbines (WT) are the focus of many sustainable development organizations. It is estimated that wind power may supply about 20% of the United States’ electricity by 2032. This is great news for all candidates considering pursuing degrees in it.
It might be confusing for you to find out what you can do to get a wind turbine degree, your options, and the sector’s scope. This is what we have covered in this article. By the time you finish going through this guide, you will be ready to take a major step towards enrolling in a degree. Let’s get started:
What Does a Wind Turbine Engineer Do?
Wind turbine engineers design and build windmills that are mostly in wind farms. The main purpose is to generate electricity through these turbines effectively.
Let’s take a quick look at their general work:
- They are mostly involved in the design of turbines. They must design and fix the components needed to create optimum electricity.
- Site selection is also important to an engineer’s job. Working as an engineer in this industry is very prestigious as the success of the process depends on you. Identifying a site that can capture maximum wind energy isn’t too simple, so these engineers get handsome salaries.
- Maintenance of the WT is another responsibility of these engineers.
- Data analysis for research purposes can also be done by these engineers, mostly by those in senior positions.
Every wind energy project depends on an engineer. That’s why they are paid an average of $85,000 annually. This high pay comes with the enjoyment of contributing to sustainable resource creation, making it a lucrative and satisfying career for many.
How to Become a Wind Turbine Engineer
Becoming a wind turbine engineer is not difficult. Depending on the position you are aiming for, you would need a specific degree (Bachelors or Masters). On top of that, you might need relevant experience and certifications to grow in this occupation. Here is how to become one:
- Get the required academic degrees or apprenticeships in related wind energy fields.
- Work during your degree with any company that is somehow linked to the wind energy sector.
- Gain skills that would help you get a good engineering job, like critical thinking, construction skills, and mathematics abilities.
- If you’re living in a state that mandates a license for the working of an engineer, then make sure that your qualifications and experience fulfill that requirement.
What Degree Do I Need to Work on a Wind Turbine?
It actually depends on what role and position you are eyeing. To work in the wind turbine sector, you would need an associate degree for a job as a technician or field worker. To become an engineer, a bachelor’s or master’s degree with field experience is generally required.
A senior position such as the VP would be more likely given to you if you have a master’s degree. However, entering the wind turbine field requires a bachelor’s or associate’s degree. You can then continue to study further and move to higher positions.
Associate Degrees for Wind Turbine Technicians
If you want to enter this sector without much effort or time, you can pursue an associate degree in wind energy-related fields. Here is a general overview of what you need to know about this degree path:
- It will take you two years to complete this degree. The credit hours are typically 60 hours.
- You need to have a high school diploma to be eligible for this associate degree.
- During this degree, you will be introduced to foundational skills like electronics, mechanics, and the safety procedures one must take care of during work at the site.
After getting the degree, you can easily secure a job as a technician. The employment rates for wind turbine technicians will see a 45% increase by 2032, which solidifies your chances of getting a good job.
Bachelor’s Degrees for Wind Turbine Engineers
For more advanced career opportunities and high salaries, a bachelor’s degree in WTs is the best path to take. Here’s a quick overview of this degree:
- It will take you four years to complete this degree, involving around 120 to 130 credit hours.
- Generally, you need a high school diploma with a background in science and math to be eligible for this degree.
- During this degree, you will study advanced engineering principles, including fluid mechanics, turbine design, and structural analysis.
It is best to gain relevant experience during your bachelor’s study. Once you get a job, you should continue further studies and certifications, as it will improve your portfolio and expose you to more opportunities.
Advantages of Becoming a Wind Turbine Engineer
With the general public showing a deep interest in renewable energy, the government seems convinced and ready to start different projects in this sector. An approximate 50 to 60% of total support for wind projects alone is a good sign for all of you interested in pursuing this career.
Job Outlooks for Wind Turbine Engineers
The job outlook for WT engineers is quite promising. With the technological advancement that this world is seeing, the size of turbines is continuously increasing. This has significantly raised the need for more engineers. In fact, the wind energy industry is projected to support half a million jobs specifically for engineers.
Salary for Wind Turbine Engineers
One of the major advantages of becoming a WT engineer is the salary packages different companies offer. Based on education level and total experience, your salary will continue to increase:
- An entry-level position salary for an engineer is approximately $61,000 per year.
- If you get a mid-level wind engineer position, your salary will be about $86,300 annually.
- The most senior-level wind engineer has an average hourly salary of $51, which amounts to almost $105,000 per year!
This is just an estimate and can vary from state to state. It is said that California offers the highest salary packages, which exceed the national average salary of $85,000 by an average of $17,906 annually.
Finding Colleges For These Degrees
Now that you know of these degrees, you might be thinking about which colleges in the United States are best to pursue an associate, bachelor’s, or master’s degree in this field. There are hundreds of universities around the state that offer affordable quality education in this sector.
To find the colleges that offer degrees in renewable energy (WT included), you should have a rough estimate of your budget, housing, and other needs. This way, you won’t have any financial strain during your studies.
If you don’t have any financial restraints, it’s best to think about getting into a college that has a good global ranking. Getting a WT degree from a top institution can increase your chances of getting early jobs with wonderful salaries.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Money Can a Wind Turbine Technician Make?
A wind turbine technician can make a handsome amount of money. It depends on your experience. The hourly salary for a technician is $25. You can even be eligible for a $45 per hour rate in a senior-level position.
Does the Wind Turbine Sector Have a Future?
Yes, the future of the wind turbine sector is quite promising. Green energy solutions are getting the limelight. The world is now focused on renewable sources, with wind energy being one of the most prioritized resources. This upcoming decade will show increased growth for engineer jobs and many more career openings in the solar power and renewable energy industry.
What Careers Are There in the Wind Energy Industry?
There are many career options in the wind energy industry. A wind turbine technician and engineer are the most popular roles. Apart from these common ones, project managers, maintenance workers, research analysts, and wind energy sales specialists are also quite in demand.
The wind turbine industry is an ideal career option as we can see a major shift towards sustainable energy sources. A related degree such as pursuing programs in the solar industry, or acquiring renewable energy degrees will help you quickly enter this industry and grab a good role.