Zane Wolf is a wind technician for Duke Energy Renewables. He is from Rapid City, SD, and graduated from the Mitchell Technical Institute in 2014. He was inspired to pursue his career after completing an internship as a blade repair technician in 2013.
Many people would find themselves content working in a warehouse, a factory, or an office.
But not me.
As a traveling wind turbine technician, I enjoy not having a set location. The level of independence I have in my work also makes the job that much more enjoyable. It’s just me and my crewmates.
Traveling through the country seeing beautiful views and having great benefits are just a few of the perks I get along with a good pay check.
I’ve worked in many states and driven through many more. Travel is a big part of the job. My first wind job was in West Texas. Full of cotton, cacti, and flatlands, it may it may not be for everyone, but I loved it. An endless horizon produces beautiful sunrises and sunsets, putting Texas easily in my top five favorite states. There aren’t many places where you can see a pitch black sky full of stars while witnessing the sun still sinking under the horizon.
While working in Colorado as a Wind Blade Technician, my crew sometimes couldn’t work because of bad weather. We had time to venture up into the mountains, discovering lakes and streams to test out our amateur fly fishing skills.
The first time I was up in the mountains, I got caught in a huge storm and watched as a wall of hail came across a nearby lake. As I sat there waiting for the storm to pass, I thought how amazing it was that my career brought me to beautiful places like the Rockies.
Most recently I worked in Pennsylvania. What better place to witness the fall colors? Having an office over 300 feet in the air is a great opportunity to take in the autumn trees.
Right now, I wouldn’t change my career as a Wind Turbine Technician for anything. I’m young, I get to see incredible parts of the country, and I have good benefits. I’m lucky enough to earn a great salary and was able to pay off my student loans within 9 months of graduating. This helped me overcome the huge student loan burden many people my age face.
If you’re not afraid of heights, enjoy driving across country, and are mechanically inclined, I highly recommend working in the wind industry. It’s opened so many doors for me, and put me on a path for a deeply satisfying and successful future.