As the world’s population continues to grow, almost every nation has a growing need for electricity. However, our traditional ways of generating power have contributed to the emission of vast amounts of pollution. Our climate is now changing because of it. You’ve probably heard about this – Global Warming. This change in our climate now threatens the survival of the human species. The world is in a race against the clock to fix the damage we have done.
One of the main ways the world will fix this problem is switching our energy sources to clean, sustainable energies. These are wind, solar, hydroelectric, and geothermal energy. The silver lining in changing our entire systems of generating energy is there are lots of new jobs in these fields. So, if you are interested in a great career and want to help save the world (literally), a career as a Wind Energy Technician or a Solar Energy Technician is a great choice!
How We Ranked The Best Online Programs for Wind Energy Technicians
The OnlineSchoolsGuide editors found schools offering online or hybrid classes or certificates in wind energy. Sadly, the list was not very long, so all the ones we found are included on the list.
While there are not many online schools for Wind Energy Technician certificates, we expect this to change soon. Because of the nature of the job, a portion of the Wind Energy Technician programs will always need to be in person. However, the classroom part of the program can easily be taken online asynchronously or in a live lecture. So, if you do not find an online wind energy school that meets your needs, check back soon!
|Top 10 Online Programs for Wind Energy Technicians|
|1. Pinnacle Career Institute|
|2. NC Renewable Energy Programs at NC State|
|3. Colby Community College|
|4. Minnesota West Community and Technical College|
|5. Midwest Renewable Energy Association|
|6. Northwest Renewable Energy Institute|
|7. Airstreams Renewables|
|8. Technology Ed|
|10. Coursera / University of Colorado Boulder|
1. Pinnacle Career Institute
|Online Offerings: online Wind Turbine Certificate|
Pinnacle Career Institute offers one of the best online programs for Wind Energy Technicians. Pinnacle’s online Wind Turbine Certificate program gives a comprehensive education on wind turbines for entry-level technicians. The majority of the forty-week instruction for the Wind Turbine Certificate is online. However, at the end of the online classes, a ten-day boot camp is held in Kansas City, Missouri. At the boot camp, students learn hands-on about wind safety and basic electronics. During the boot camp, students also complete the certifications for First Aid, CPR, and OSHA.
Pinnacle also has a Wind Turbine Technician associate degree program for students who wish to continue their wind energy technician education. In addition, Pinnacle Career Institute is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
2. NC Renewable Energy Programs at NC State
|Online Offerings: Wind Energy Professional Certificate|
One of the North Carolina State University’s Renewable Energy Programs is a Wind Energy Professional certificate. The program is delivered online and takes about six months to complete. Students learn basic wind energy principles, including wind technology, wind energy anatomy, wind farm design, wind business, characteristics of energy sources, and essential electrical topics. In addition, the school recommends taking the Welder Technician course along with the wind energy technician program.
The North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center was founded as the North Carolina Solar Center in 1987. The center works with government, industry, non-profit, and education partners to advance clean energy technologies.
3. Colby Community College
|Online Offerings: Small Wind Technology Technical Certificate, Wind Technology Certificate of Completion|
Colby Community College has one of the best online Programs for Wind Energy Technicians. Colby offers a Small Wind Technology Technical Certificate and a Wind Technology Certificate of Completion for wind turbine service technicians. Both programs are entirely online. In addition, to gain hands-on training in wind energy, CCC recommends participation in on-campus boot camps every eight weeks. These boot camps offer state-of-the-art equipment and labs that are real-world systems.
Colby Community College offers more than fifty degree and certificate options. The academic programs focus on career training for high-demand fields or transfer to four-year institutions. CCC’s main campus is in Colby, Kansas. The town is close to Colorado and Nebraska and serves students living near the border in those states. The college is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
4. Minnesota West Community and Technical College
|Online Offerings: Windsmith Certificate|
The Minnesota West Community and Technical College offer an online program for Wind Energy Technicians. The MWCTC Windsmith Certificate is a sixteen-credit program that introduces students to the Wind Energy Industry. Students with previous experience in electrical and mechanical fields will get the most from this program. You can complete most Windsmith Certificate credits online. However, students will need to complete the Wind Energy OSHA Standards class and the climb lab in-person at the Canby Campus. The program start dates are in the Fall and Spring, and completion is flexible. You can take the courses over multiple semesters or complete all the credits one semester.
Minnesota West Community and Technical College is a member of the Minnesota State 54 campus system. In addition, the school has Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Accreditation.
5. Midwest Renewable Energy Association
|Online Offerings: 2 online classes for wind energy technicians|
The Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) offers online Programs for Wind Technicians. MREA is well known for its robust solar training courses. However, they now offer two online wind energy training classes for wind energy technicians. You can start the Introduction to Wind Energy Systems class anytime and work at your own pace. Once you complete the introduction class, you can move on to the Small Wind Site Assessment class. Each course is around $100, and if you join the organization, you pay a discounted rate for the classes.
MREA courses are accredited by the IREC – Interstate Renewable Energy Council. They also meet the educational credentialing requirement of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).
6. Northwest Renewable Energy Institute
|Online Offerings: Wind Turbine Technician Training Program hybrid|
At the Northwest Renewable Energy Institute, you can start your wind turbine technician training online and finish on campus. The Northwest Renewable Energy Institute online program for Wind Energy Technicians is the Wind Turbine Technician Training Program. It prepares students for employment in the green technology industry. The online part of the program teaches students the necessary bookwork and leads students to the hands-on in-person portion of the program. Students work on actual equipment during the in-person part of the program. Students must pass the practical exam to earn the certifications.
The Northwest Renewable Energy Institute is in Vancouver, Washington, and has provided career training programs since 1979. NWREI is a part of the family of International Air and Hospitality Academy’s technical schools, which are accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
7. Airstreams Renewables
|Online Offerings: Renewable Energy and Communications Tower Technician Program|
Airstreams Renewables, Inc. offers an online Program for Wind Energy Technicians. The Renewable Energy and Communications Tower Technician Program is for students with no previous experience. The program has two parts, and each section is three weeks long. The first part of the wind energy technician program is online with live classes. The second half is a residential program at the main campus in Tehachapi, CA.
After completing the six-week program, students will earn the ARI Renewable Energy and Communications Tower Technician Certificate and these additional certifications.
- Authorized Climber and Rescue Certificate and ID Card
- Electrical Safety Certificate
- Fasteners, Torque and Tension Certificate
- OSHA 10 Hour Construction Safety Card
- American Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED Card
- Level 1 Crane Rigging Certificate
- Crane Signalperson Certificate
- Capstan Hoist Certificate
- CADWELD Certificate
Airstreams Renewables, Inc was founded in 2003 by the wind industry pioneer Dave Schulgen. Airstream is a private institution accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training and approved to operate by the Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education in compliance with the minimum state standards outlined in the California Education Code and 5, California Code of Regulations.
8. Technology Ed
|Online Offerings: Wind Energy and Power online course|
Online Programs for Wind Energy Technicians at Technology Ed are available at your convenience. The Wind Energy and Power online course is a wind energy basics class designed for anyone interested in wind energy. There is no prerequisite or experience needed to sign up for the wind energy class. The Wind Energy and Power course is an introduction to wind turbine systems. The class teaches a broad overview of wind energy principles, wind site assessment, wind turbine components, power generation machinery, control systems, connection to the electric grid, and maintenance.
Technology Ed is based in Virginia and provides instructor-led courses in science, engineering, and technology. In addition, they offer over 100 online continuing education courses and partner with numerous colleges and corporations. Technology Ed is a member of the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education.
|Online Offerings: 3 online classes for Wind Energy Technicians|
Udemy is a global online learning platform that offers over 130,000 individual online courses. The company is well known as an option for classes in a specific area or subject. Udemy offers online classes for Wind Energy Technicians, including Wind Energy Fundamentals: Renewable Energy Power Course, the Ultimate WIND ENERGY Masterclass. Beginner to Advanced Level, and Basics of Wind Energy: A promising Renewable Energy Tech. These courses do not offer any credit towards a certification or degree. Still, they have a wealth of essential knowledge for anyone interested in the wind energy sector.
Udemy, Inc. is a private education provider based in San Francisco, California. It was founded in May 2010 and is one of the world’s most extensive Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) providers. Most courses are designed for students to improve job skills, and some offer credit toward technical certification.
10. Coursera / University of Colorado Boulder
|Online Offerings: 2 online classes in Wind Energy|
Coursera and the University of Colorado Boulder online program with Wind Energy courses do not offer any credit towards a certification or degree. However, they can provide an excellent overview of the basic knowledge needed to understand the wind energy industry. Anyone interested in entering the field will benefit from the material. The Renewable Energy Technology Fundamentals course and the Renewable Power and Electricity Systems course are offered in partnership with the University of Colorado Boulder. The first class is a beginner level for individuals interested in renewable energy. It teaches the essential physical characteristics of renewable energy and electricity.
Coursera is an online learning platform that partners with more than 200 universities and companies. They offer affordable and relevant online learning to individuals and organizations worldwide. Some classes and micro degrees offer degree credit, and those programs are accredited through the partner university. However, many classes are for individuals interested in improving skills and gaining new knowledge.
Wind turbine service technicians maintain and repair wind turbines used to produce wind-powered electricity. They respond when a wind turbine isn’t working correctly and are responsible for performing repairs once they determine the cause of the problem.
What Is The Job Outlook For A Wind Energy Technician?
Wind turbine technology is one of the fastest-growing employment sectors in the country. Employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that Wind Turbine Technician jobs will grow 61% between 2019 and 2029.
You can expect jobs prospects to be excellent for wind energy technicians. As more wind farms are built, the demand for Windtechs increases. Job opportunities for Wind Turbine Technicians vary from state to state. However, the states with wind farms are generally in the plains and on the coast, where the wind speeds are faster. The states with the most wind turbines are Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa, and Illinois. Therefore, there are more jobs available in these states.
How Much Can I Earn As A Wind Energy Technician?
The Bureau of Labor and Employment Statistics data from 2020 shows the average yearly pay of a wind turbine technician in America was $56,230.00. And the highest earners in the wind energy trade made $83,580. Traveling Wind Turbine Technicians and Wind Energy Technicians with experience can make more than the average.
The entry-level Wind Turbine Technician’s salary ranges from $35,000-$49,000. However, with more experience and education, technicians can advance and increased their pay. Many community colleges offer associate’s degrees, and universities offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees for those interested in more education.
How Long Does It Take To Become A Wind Energy Technician?
Wind energy technician training does not take very long. The most comprehensive Windtech training can take between eighteen months and two years. However, most certificate programs take three months to a year to finish. So, in a short time, you can attain career-ready skills that employers in the wind power industry are looking for and start making money.
In addition to the coursework for a wind turbine certificate, most of the training is hands-on. Wind turbine technician apprenticeships train wind techs for about twelve months of on-the-job training with an employer before they can work independently. Safety training is also a part of certification. There are numerous safety trainings that wind turbine technicians must complete and maintain. These include first aid, CPR, and rescue training. Typically, windtechs that work over the water have maritime training as well.
A Wind Energy Technician Career
If the wind industry interest you, now is a great time to start a career as a Wind Energy Technician. After gaining experience as a Wind Turbine Technician, you can earn an associate’s degree and then a bachelor’s and master’s degree in wind energy, sustainable energy, or engineering. The sky is the limit!