One of the fastest growing sectors of employment is in the renewable energy industry. There are thousands of job openings across the country in specific industries ranging from wind turbine technicians to solar installers. Luckily, many of these jobs can be obtained through a technical training school or program as opposed to a traditional four-year university. This can help students get their degrees or certifications faster and save them thousands of dollars in the process. So, before you make the decision to begin a technical program with the intention of getting a job in the renewable energy industry, what are some important questions to consider?
Question #1 – Why are Renewable Energy Jobs on the Rise?
There are three main reasons that wind and solar energy jobs are on the rise. The first is because the price of wind and solar energy implementation has fallen so low that it is now cost competitive with other, more traditional forms of electricity generation. The second is due to the implementation of renewable portfolio standards by state governments. These legislative actions mandate that a certain amount of energy in that state come from a renewable resource and are at times created to directly address the issue of climate change. These mandates typically drive the creation of financial incentives for homeowners and businesses alike to adopt renewable technologies. The final reason wind and solar energy jobs are on the rise is because of a rise in demand from consumers hoping to live a more sustainable lifestyle. With more information available to them than ever before on climate change, consumers are thinking about ways to preserve the environment for future generations.
Question #2 – What Types of Jobs are Available in the Wind and Solar Energy Sector?
Perhaps the single fastest growing job in the wind and solar energy industry right now is solar installer. These workers are in charge of installing solar modules onto racking that has been mounted either on the rooftop of a home or in a field adjacent to the home. Because large solar arrays, which are used to power large businesses or feed utility grids directly, require thousands upon thousands of panels, it is easy to see why there are so many job openings. Additionally, wind industry technicians are required to maintain the thousands of wind turbines across the country. In addition to wind technicians, jobs are also available in the field of wind turbine siting. These workers will typically take many wind measurements to identify the ideal location to site a wind turbine in order to produce the maximum amount of electricity.
Question #3 – Are These Jobs Expected to Stick Around in the Future?
While many see the construction of renewable energy projects such as wind farms and solar arrays as a very real source of job growth, others worry that these jobs are unsustainable over a long period of time. This is largely due to the myth that once renewable energy projects are built, they simply keep producing electricity for the entirety of their usable lives without any human interference. Luckily for those already working in this industry, this couldn’t be further from the truth. For example, currently wind turbine technicians must frequently maintain wind turbines to ensure that they continue to operate normally. Because wind turbines are just one giant mechanical part, they need to be heavily lubricated as to minimize wear and tear. Additionally, wind turbine technicians are required to change worn out parts with new ones to extend the lifespan of these giant machines.
Another example, is the job of a solar array service technician. These workers, often solar installers as well, are tasked with troubleshooting issues within a solar array, which include but are not limited to the following: wiring issues, broken solar modules, faulty inverters and loose connections. The role of the solar technician is vital and necessary to keeping renewable energy projects up and running over the course of their respective lifetimes.
The climate around renewables is certainly changing. As more states make the commitment to renewable energy, the demand for jobs in this sector will only increase. Making the decision to participate in a program that prepares you for work in this field is not only a safe bet, but could open doors for future employment for decades to come.
Does a career as a solar panel installer, solar array technician or wind turbine technician interest you? Want to have the power of an entire nation at your fingertips? The Energy Programs from MIAT College of Technology range from 7-16 months and provide the hands-on training, practical experience, and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding technical career. Classes are interactive and led by industry professionals with years of experience working in the field. You will get personalized, hands-on instruction in whichever energy program you pursue.
MIAT’s goal is to produce graduates who are in the top echelon of their initial on-the-job training due to the foundational knowledge they receive at MIAT. To learn more about Energy Technology career training and to explore if MIAT is right for you, fill out the form on this page.
Contact us if you are interested in becoming an energy technician today.
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