Turbine rotor blade technicians have a pretty awesome job. Footage of technicians at work usually shows them doing amazing things on the end of a rope, half-way up giant wind turbines in exotic and exciting landscapes. It’s a career to envy, combining breath-taking views of adventurous locations with a skilled rope access job in a growing industry that offers good rates of pay.
It’s no wonder then that one of the most common questions asked by people watching these films is how can they get to do that every day? More to the point, do they need to have experience in the industry to begin as a rotor blade technician?
The simple answer to this question is no. To start as a turbine blade technician you will need to learn the essential skills in a training course – there are a few out there to choose from. When we hire blade technicians we aren’t looking for previous wind energy experience, we are looking for attitude, and transferable skills and experience.
A solid foundation
An important attribute of a good rotor blade technician is their attitude to working in the industry. It’s a good job that pays well, but it’s also a challenging and demanding job, so at the bottom of it all, you need to have the necessary motivation for the work.
We look for people who care about the job they do, people who want to get a good job done, and people who care about cleaning up the way electricity is generated. This attitude serves as a solid base for becoming a successful turbine blade technician. But you will also need to build on the skills base you already possess – a positive attitude to learning is therefore essential, as training in the blade repair skills themselves is only the start of your journey of development.
Turbine blade technicians are experienced rope access technicians. All technicians have an IRATA recognised qualification – and many of them have a background working in one of the several industries that make extensive use of rope access skills. As well as a positive attitude to doing the job, experience working as a rope access technician is an advantage. Whether you qualified as an IRATA L1 in the past year, or you’re revalidating your L3 for the umpteenth time, the rope work you’ve been doing to date will stand you in good stead for a career in turbine blade repair.
But even if you only achieved your LI last week, the wind energy industry could be the right place to start your career. If you’ve chosen to develop your skills by going into rope access work, you have the right attitude. If you are hungry to keep learning, you are halfway there. Rotor blade technician is one of those rope access jobs that demands specialist skills on top of your IRATA training. For those that obtain those skills, and continue to develop them, the turbine blade repair industry offers good rewards.
A background in the wind industry isn’t essential. But if you find satisfaction in doing a good job that makes a difference and enjoy working at heights or on the ropes, then a rotor blade technician job is a great place to develop new skills and apply the ones you have.