Day five of my Colorado wind power tour brought me to the Ecotech Institute, where I met students training to become wind technicians.
The news is good for students interested in entering the field- the U.S. Department of Labor has named wind turbine technician the country’s fastest growing job. It’s expected to increase in size 108 percent over the next 10 years. For reference, the second fastest growing job is only expected to increase 42 percent.
These factors are evident for Ecotech’s student body. The school has a placement rate exceeding 90 percent for graduating students. However, students don’t just find jobs; they find well-paying jobs with ample opportunity for career advancement. Ecotech told us many of their students get promoted and gain more responsibility in short order.
We heard a variety of motivations from the student body about why a career in wind is attractive. Some students enjoyed working with their hands to solve mechanical problems, while others wanted to be a part of a sector that’s helping to transform the way electricity is produced in the U.S. Some students traveled halfway across the country to join the program at Ecotech.
All of them were excited to begin their new careers. With over 50,000 turbines in the United States- a number that’s only increasing- there’s going to be strong demand for students possessing this unique skill set.
Keep an eye on AWEA’s Facebook page for video interviews with students and instructors.