Transforming America from fossil fuel-powered to running on renewables is no small feat. But, this vision is becoming more and more a reality each day. A clean energy future is on the horizon because people are creating it. Astoundingly, the solar and wind industries are adding jobs twelve times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy.
Let’s take a look at just the wind industry for this blog… You might be wondering what kind of jobs are moving wind energy forward?
Engineers: The most obvious answer is to become an engineer or a researcher. Engineers of every stripe including aerospace, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical, industrial, software, and structural engineers are crucial to a wind energy farm or company. They fill roles from researcher to expert salesperson to project managers and quality assurance supervisors.
Analysts: Setting up and managing a wind farm takes all sorts of analysis: from studying the patterns of economics that will determine the success of the company, to studying the wind and landscape to determine exactly where turbines and infrastructure might be most effectively placed. Wind energy companies need analysts with expertise in geographic information systems (GIS), meteorology, finances, safety, and electrical systems. Analysts can come from science backgrounds but may also, or instead, have degrees in business, accounting, or other liberal arts.
Turbine Technicians and Site Managers: Wind farms need people to install, run, and maintain them. In fact, “wind turbine technician” is the fastest growing job in the United States. The number of wind turbine technicians is confidently expected to double by 2024. Becoming one of these high-demand professionals means seeking out appropriate training and education, which many area and community colleges offer.
Legal and Business: Like any other company, wind energy companies need legal expertise and business acumen on staff to be efficient, effective, and successful. Someone with experience in renewable energy issues is often a plus, but not always a necessity.
Marketing and Sales: Wind energy companies can’t operate in a vacuum. They need to publicize their business offerings and spread enthusiasm for the opportunities wind energy offers. In these fields, experience in sales, marketing, advertising, or communication tends to be more important than experience in the wind energy field itself, though of course that’s always a bonus.
Project Managers: A wind energy company can succeed or fail based on how well its project managers do, so a good project manager is key. These people tend to have business or management backgrounds, though they can also have engineering expertise. More important than an educational field, though, is prior successful experience managing large, diverse teams of people to complete complex and exacting projects. These people tend to be experts in logistics, communication, and time and resource management.
Real Estate, Permitting, and Acquisitions: Without a place to put a wind turbine, even the best company can’t generate any electricity. Companies need people with real estate, buying, and permitting expertise before they can even begin to think about building their first turbine. These experts can come from all sorts of backgrounds, but usually have experience and on-the-ground training.
Administration, Executive Assistants, and Office Managers: No company, wind companies included, can function without their administrative team. A highly competent admin team keeps an office, and an organization, functioning and effective.
To learn more about job growth and trends in the wind industry, visit the Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or the American Wind Energy Association.
You can support local clean energy jobs and the American economy by making the switch to solar and wind power. CleanChoice Energy supplies customers with 100% renewable energy. Learn more about how to make the switch today.