Wind Turbines and Sunflowers
Area of Study

Wind and Industrial Technology

Overview

Northeastern has built one of the premier wind programs in the country. Our program is designed specifically to meet the needs and demands of the wind industry.

Northeastern has built one of the premier wind programs in the country. Our program is designed specifically to meet the needs and demands of the wind industry. Northeastern works hand-in-hand with the local wind industry adapting and constantly upgrading to match the needs of the industry. Students find the wind program fun, challenging, and rewarding.

Northeastern, located in Sterling, Colorado has been training wind technicians since 2009 and is leading the way in wind industry learning. Our wind program is continuing to grow and advance the training to match the changing wind industry. The college has a strong relationship with industry partners and meets with them regularly to discuss and improve the program to meet the needs of the industry. Our wind program is result driven.

The college's two instructors came straight from the industry with a combined 7 years of wind experience and 15 years of teaching experience. Both instructors were field technicians performing troubleshooting and maintenance activities daily on GE, Siemens and Vestas turbines.

The instructors worked in the field and have brought that day-to-day work ethic and a strong safety culture to the lab and the classroom. “When our students graduate they are able to start and contribute on day one in a safe and effective manner.” Jim Lenzen - Wind Instructor.

Students join the program for one reason: to have a profession when they graduate. The success of the students has been high, with most students getting jobs with the owner or operators of a wind site within a few weeks of graduation.

Employers specifically seek out our students because they recognize that they're getting the safety culture and knowledge they need to be quality technicians. 

Call and talk with one of the instructors before registering for classes.

Jason Hazlett
970-521-6798
jason.hazlett@njc.edu

Jim Lenzen
970-521-6740
james.lenzen@njc.edu

Our approach is simple; put the industry components, operating systems, and tools in the student’s hands and make sure they know how to solve problems. We use industry tooling such as Fluke meters and E-RADs to perform the same jobs that will be performed in the field. We believe that students must be able to apply what they have learned in the classroom to the real world. Our training approach accomplishes two things; it gives the students firsthand knowledge of the equipment they will be using and it teaches them how to safely and efficiently use the equipment. We have a strong safety culture and that is the single most important thing to take away from the program. 

Wind turbine technicians often work at great heights. When a wind turbine is not functioning, technicians must find the problem and make the necessary repairs as quickly as possible. Wind turbine service technicians generally work outdoors, often at great heights and with a partner. To reach the mechanical equipment, workers must climb ladders—sometimes more than 260 feet tall—while wearing a fall protection harness and carrying tools. When maintaining mechanical systems, wind technicians work in the confined space of the nacelle. For major service or repairs, additional Wind Technicians and other specialists, such as electricians, may be needed to complete the job quickly. Wind Technicians often live and travel to rural areas, where many wind farms are located.

Wind turbine technicians held about 5,800 jobs in 2016. The largest employers of wind turbine technicians were as follows:

  • Electric power generation 31%
  • Repair and maintenance 23%
  • Self-employed workers 17%
  • Utility system construction 15%
  • Professional, scientific, and technical services 5%

Work Schedules: Although the majority of Wind Technicians work full time, they may also be on call to handle emergencies during evenings and weekends.

Injuries and Illnesses:

Wind Technicians are exposed to hazards such as falling, falling tools, electrical shock and arc flash, and large rotating equipment. A Wind Technician wears a safety harness, hard hat, gloves, steel toed boots, safety glasses, arc flash resistant clothing. Wind Technicians use electrically insulated tools and equipment to minimize shock hazards. Soft muscle sprains and strains are the most common injury due to the strenuous nature of climbing and working in the wind turbine.

Wind Tech Freshman build the Christmas Float with the help of Auto, Diesel, and Welding students for the Parade of Lights.

No tools are necessary besides steel toe boots, gloves, and safety glasses. Students can bring their own hard hats.

Wind technicians, on average start at $18-$22 an hour. The average work week is 50 hours and with overtime, it will average to $50,000 or more a year. The wind industry is growing and the demand for quality technicians is on the rise. In 2014, Colorado added over 400 wind turbines. The skills taught in the NJC Wind Program aren't just wind specific they will easily apply to any industrial maintenance or electrical profession. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment of wind turbine service technicians, also known as windtechs, is projected to grow 96 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast growth will result in only about 5,600 new jobs over the 10-year period.

Development of taller towers with larger blades has reduced the cost of wind power generation, making it more competitive with coal, natural gas, and other forms of power generation. As additional wind turbines are erected, more windtechs will be needed to install and maintain turbines.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the median annual wage for wind turbine technicians at $54,370 for May 2018.

Gainful Employment Disclosures – 2019

Program Name: Industrial Maintenance

This program is designed to be completed in 30 weejs.

This program will cost $4,590 if completed within normal time.  There may be additional costs for living expenses. These costs were accurate at the time of posting, but may have changed.

Of the students who completed this program within normal time, the typical graduate leaves with $5,750 of debt.

  1. Program meets licensure requirements in the following States: N/A
  2. Program does not meet licensure requirements in the following States: N/A
  3. Program qualifies students to sit for licensure exam in the following States: N/A
  4. Program does not qualify students to sit for licensure exam in the following States: N/A
  5. The following States do not have licensure requirements for this profession: Colorado

For more information about graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and post-enrollment earnings about this institution and other postsecondary institutions please click here: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/

Gainful Employment Disclosures – 2019

Program Name: Industrial Motor Control

This program is designed to be completed in 30 weeks.

This program will cost $6,699 if completed within normal time.  There may be additional costs for living expenses. These costs were accurate at the time of posting, but may have changed.

Of the students who completed this program within normal time, the typical graduate leaves with $2,750 of debt.

  1. Program meets licensure requirements in the following States: N/A
  2. Program does not meet licensure requirements in the following States: N/A
  3. Program qualifies students to sit for licensure exam in the following States: N/A
  4. Program does not qualify students to sit for licensure exam in the following States: N/A
  5. The following States do not have licensure requirements for this profession: Colorado

For more information about graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and post-enrollment earnings about this institution and other postsecondary institutions please click here: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/

Gainful Employment Disclosures – 2019

Program Name: Wind Technician Core

This program is designed to be completed in 45 weeks.

This program will cost $7,690 if completed within normal time.  There may be additional costs for living expenses. These costs were accurate at the time of posting, but may have changed.

Of the students who completed this program within normal time, the typical graduate leaves with $2,750 of debt.

  1. Program meets licensure requirements in the following States: N/A
  2. Program does not meet licensure requirements in the following States: N/A
  3. Program qualifies students to sit for licensure exam in the following States: N/A
  4. Program does not qualify students to sit for licensure exam in the following States: Colorado
  5. The following States do not have licensure requirements for this profession:

For more information about graduation rates, loan repayment rates, and post-enrollment earnings about this institution and other postsecondary institutions please click here: https://collegescorecard.ed.gov/

 

American Wind Energy Association

AWEA