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Wind Career Map Shows Wind Industry Career Opportunities, Paths

February 25, 2015

In 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), created a Wind Career Map—the first of its kind in the wind industry—to inform people interested in wind energy career opportunities.

To meet DOE’s wind deployment goal, the United States will require an expanded and highly qualified workforce; however, a 2013 national study showed that many employers experience difficulty in recruiting qualified applicants. At the same time, few resources exist for interested applicants to educate themselves on wind energy career requirements. The Wind Career Map addresses these challenges for employers and prospective employees.

Based on data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Wind Career Map is divided into categories of project development; component manufacturing; construction; operations; and education, training, and research. The jobs are further divided by levels of education necessary for each position. Careers featured include wind technicians, managers in engineering and construction, research scientists, regulators, design engineers, educators, and trade workers. Information such as wages, experience expectations, and educational requirements is available for each mapped occupation.

The Wind Career Map also provides a pathway that shows how a worker in one job can move to a different part of the wind industry. The pathways show possible routes to advancement for people at all stages of their careers.

The Wind Career Map was developed by a working group of experts including industry representatives, educators, government agencies, and wind energy scientists, convened by NREL.

—Kelly Yaker