Wind Turbine Technician Fastest Growing Job in AmericaJonathan Fuller | May 04, 2017
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), wind turbine service technician is the fastest growing occupation in the United States. According to the BLS, wind turbine service technicians install, maintain and repair wind turbines. The position has an average salary of around $52,000 per year and is expected to grow 108% between 2014 and 2024. The next-highest position, occupation therapy assistant, has a projected growth rate of 42.7 percent.
Of all U.S. renewable energy sources, wind power has experienced the steadiest growth. According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), wind power supply has grown from 0.264 quadrillion BTUs in 2006 to 2.152 quadrillion BTUs in 2016, an increase of over 800%. The wind power industry has followed suit with impressive job growth. The ninth edition of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), released on April 19, reported that the U.S. wind power industry surpassed 100,000 jobs in 2016. The report also noted that the industry added jobs nine times faster than the U.S. economy as a whole.
The current job pool for wind turbine technicians is proportionally minimal, so the total employment change would be positive but relatively small. In 2014 there were 4,400 wind turbine technicians in the U.S., according to the BLS, so an 108 percent increase before 2024 would net only 4,800 additional jobs.
Wind power accounts for a little over 20 percent of the U.S. renewables mix, according to 2016 EIA data, and total installed wind capacity topped 82,000 MW at the end of 2016. Most wind power development has occurred in the midwestern and southern parts of the country. Texas leads the country by far with 20,321 MW of installed capacity as of 2016.