Wind Turbines in a field of sunflowers are maintained and repaired by graduates on Northeastern's Wind Technology program.
Area of Study

Wind Energy Technology

Wind Technician


The renewable energy field is a fast growing and sustainable industry. Eastern Colorado is host to the fastest growing renewable power generation technology-wind turbines. The Wind Energy Technician program is designed to prepare students for energy level positions in the power generation and related industries.

Students will have the opportunity to build, troubleshoot, and repair combined electrical-mechanical-hydraulic systems that are found in wind turbines, but these same systems are also found in most industrial facilities that have automated equipment such as advanced manufacturing, building controls, and food processing.

There is a strong emphasis on safety throughout the program. The student will learn how to identify  hazards in the work environment and take steps to eliminate or reduce the risk that exists.

Wind Technicians typically work with heavy motors and gear drives in confined spaces, electrical systems up to 690 VAC, and automated electrical control systems in the heat of the summer or cold of the winter while working at heights approaching 300 feet. Most technicians are required to work with limited supervision so a strong work ethic and technical competence are highly sought qualities of entry-level employees in the wind industry.

Essential Functions

  • Must be able to work outdoors in inclement weather, climb ladders without assistance, and work at heights greater than 80 meters (250 feet).
  • While performing the duties of this job the employee is regularly required to stand, use hands, reach with hands and arms, and hear.
  • The employee is frequently required to stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee is occasionally required to walk, sit, talk, smell, and lift and/or move up to 50 to 100 pounds.
  • Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. The employee must be able to distinguish colors. 
  • Employees must meet specific weight requirements dictated by required safety equipment and weigh less than 250 to 310 pounds when fully equipped with tools and safety gear.
  • Employees must possess a valid driver's license, a clean driving record, and proof of insurance coverage.
  • Employees must be able to follow written and spoken work instructions and procedures in English.

The certificate is part of the Industrial Automation Associate of Applied Science degree with additional course work. The additional training prepares students for careers in industries that range from automated bakeries to advanced manufacturing with jobs that range from Quality Control Technician, Industrial Electrician, or PLC Technician.

Graduates of the Wind Energy Technician program are prepared for employment with wind farm developers, owners, wind turbine manufacturers, warranty service companies, and other specialty support companies.

Program Requirements

Total Credits 9
Course Number Course Title Credits Details
Career Math: Program Emphasis 3

Agriculture Emphasis - Covers material designed for career and technical students who need to study particular mathematical topics. Topics include measurement, algebra, geometry, statistics, and graphs. These are presented at an introductory level and the emphasis is on applications. Prerequisite: Successful completion of MAT0250 or MAT0300 with a "C" grade or better or appropriate placement scores. (3-0)

Wind/Welding Emphasis - Covers material designed for career and technical students who need to study particular mathematical topics. Topics include measurement, algebra, geometry, and graphs. These are presented at an introductory level and the emphasis is on applications. Prerequisite: Successful completion of MAT0250 or MAT0300 with a "C" grade or better or appropriate placement scores. (3-0)

Technical English & Communication 3

Focuses on the written and oral communication needs of students in vocational and technical fields. Enables the student to practice written, oral, reading, reasoning, and interpersonal communication skills in order to become successful (or to remain successful) in the workplace. (3-0)

Introduction to PC Applications 3

This course introduces basic computer terminology, file management, and PC system components. Provides an overview of office application software including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, and presentation graphics. Includes the use of a web browser to access the Internet. (3-0)

Program Requirements

Total Credits 30
Course Number Course Title Credits Details
Job Training and Safety 3

Studies first aid, CDL, basic use and care of personal protective equipment, use and care of climbing equipment, daily inspection and basic use of motorized equipment. (1-3.5)

Lifting Devices 1

Introduces the student to the types of rigging/lifting devices used in industry. Skills include the correct use of slings and common rigging hardware, including safe loading practices and the use of ANSI hand signals. (0.5-1)

Introduction to Industrial Maintenance 3

Provides an overall perspective and foundation for the person entering the industrial maintenance field. The fundamentals of machine operations commonly utilized in the process and energy industry will be presented. Maintenance personnel duties and responsibilities, general maintenance procedures, basic maintenance tools and equipment, basic fastening and securing and machine operating specifications will be covered. Emphasis will be placed upon the understanding of machine documentation. The student will be introduced to the logical process utilized in the diagnosis machinery and control system troubleshooting. Workplace safety will be stressed throughout the course. (1-3.5)

Industrial Rotating Equipment 3

Explains the theory, operation, and maintenance of rotating equipment found in industrial environments such as gears, bearings, pumps, and compressors. Mechanical power transmission systems including direct coupling, belt drives, and chain drives are studied. Alignment techniques are practiced and related to the impact on machine vibration and equipment failures. The principals involved in the operation of centrifugal and positive displacement pumps and compressors will be discussed along with the function of connected components. (1-3.5)

Basic Fluid Power 3

Provides a basic understanding of fluid power through an exploration of its fundamental principles, how it’s used in the process control industry, and how fluid power components are depicted in drawings and schematics. System inefficiencies are also covered. (1-3.5)

Fundamentals of DC/AC 4

Introduces the basic skills needed for many careers in electronics and related fields. Covers the operations and applications of basic DC and AC circuits consisting of resistors, capacitors, inductors, transformers and diodes. Emphasizes the use of common test instruments in troubleshooting. Prerequisite: Successful completion of MAT1140 or higher with a "C" grade or better. (1-5)

Motors & Controls 3

Enables the student to study, construct, test, and evaluate basic industrial control systems, including AC/DC motors, stepper motors, power sources, generators, tachometers, line diagrams, and logic functions. Covers safety standards and preventive maintenance. Prerequisite: Successful completion of ELT1206 or EIC1201 with a "C" grade or better. (1-3.5)

Wind Turbine Generator Power & Control Systems 3

Provides a comprehensive overview of the wind turbine generator systems. Focus will be on the power distribution and systems controls including theory, application, component identification, and schematics. Safety and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment will be emphasized in lab environment. Prerequisite: Successful completion of ELT1206 or EIC1201 with a "C" grade or better. (1-3.5)

Wind Turbine Generator Troubleshooting & Repair 4

Introduces students to standards and techniques of wind turbine technician operations, maintenance, troubleshooting, and repair. Emphasis on teamwork, safety, accuracy, and efficiency as well as basic troubleshooting techniques. Discussion will cover building, commissioning, warranty, operations and maintenance, and hotshot troubleshooting crews and work environments. Prerequisite: Successful completion of ELT1206 or EIC1201 with a "C" grade or better. (1-5)

Wind Technician Capstone 2

Provides a comprehensive overview of the Wind Technician Program, giving the student a unified picture of the wind industry and the role of the wind technician. Students are further prepared for entering industry by developing their own resume, introduced to online job services, and industry organizations. Current and future wind industry niches and trends will be discussed to give the students possible career paths to look further into and plan for. Prerequisite: Permission of Chair or Instructor. (2-0)

Community First Aid and CPR 1

Prepares the student for certification in CPR and Basic First Aid. Skills will include basic life support, airway obstruction, control of bleeding, shock, and patient care for the unconscious. (1-0)


Total Credits 3
Course Number Course Title Credits Details
Emergency Medical Responder 3

Provides the student with core knowledge and skills to function in the capacity of a first responder arriving at the scene of an emergency and providing supportive care until advanced EMS help arrives. (2-1.5)

Principles of Management 3

Provides an overview of the principles of management. Emphasis is on the primary functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading and controlling with a balance between the behavioral and operational approaches. (3-0)

Oxyfuel and Plasma Cutting 2

Outlines the skills needed to set up equipment and perform cutting and gouging operations utilizing the oxyacetylene and plasma arc cutting processes. (1-2)