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

Wind and Industrial Technology

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.

The Wind & Industrial program at Northeastern prepares students for careers in a variety of industries. The program began in 2009 with the help of our local wind companies to provide Wind technicians in Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Kansas. The Wind industry has grown and the technology has advanced significantly since the program was started. Northeastern works hand-in-hand with the local wind sites adapting and constantly upgrading to match the needs of the industry.  The college has a strong relationship with industry partners and meets with them regularly to improve the program.

Students find the courses fun, challenging, and rewarding. Students are drawn to the wind industry for its unique challenges and role in improving energy access. They are also extremely likely to step right into their new profession. 

Upon completion of the certificates and/or Associate of Applied Science degree, students are well qualified for careers in many industries inside and outside power generation. The core electrical, mechanical, hydraulic/pneumatic, and system control skills allow students to pursue employment in advanced manufacturing, material or food processing, and industrial system repair.

 

The Wind & Industrial faculty have work experience that range from wind turbine repair and maintenance, wind site construction, industrial repair and maintenance, manufacturing and fabrication, programmable logic controller (PLC) integration, site safety lead, management, and team leadership. The instructors have brought that day-to-day work ethic and safety culture to the classroom.

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

Check out the Applied Technology Campus Expansion

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

Sharon White
970-521-6740
sharon.white@njc.edu

Jason Winter
970-521-6737
jason.winter@njc.edu

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

The only items we require are steel-toe or composite-toe boots, work gloves, and safety glasses. Students are allowed bring their own hard hats if they prefer.

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 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: College Scorecard

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: College Scorecard

 

American Wind Energy Association

AWEA

www.cleanpower.org

Winston Brower
Student Profile
Winston Brower

Wind and Industrial Technology is a good challenge and there are lots of jobs on the market in this field.

Michael Chavez
Student Profile
Michael Chavez

I am actually interested in what I am learning. I learn something new every day and the teachers are willing to help us take our education wherever we want to go.

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