We often get asked this question by our Academy course attendees and many of the people who are interested in training with us. It’s a valid and fair question. If you’re making an investment in specialist training, you want to know that it will pay off.
The way the industry is headed, we are confident that it will. Turbine rotor blade technicians are in high demand. Just in the UK, there are over 7000 wind turbines onshore and offshore to be inspected and maintained. Industry growth means blade inspection and repair skills are in high demand, and there is a shortage of qualified technicians worldwide.
There are good rates of pay available to qualified turbine rotor blade technicians, so the cost of training can be comfortably made back in a month or so of work.
How do I actually get a job as a turbine blade technician?
Altitec isn’t able to hire everyone who comes through the academy. Usually this happens because of a couple of reasons: either it isn’t the right time for Altitec to be hiring, or we might not be the best place for a technician to work.
The wind energy industry is a competitive market, with multiple businesses competing for work through a tendering process. And, even when one business is ultimately successful in winning the work, rain, wind and other natural seasonal variables can influence whether teams can safely work on site, making scheduling work and the technician teams needed to complete it a challenge.
Overall, the specialized service of blade repair is growing, so if Altitec isn’t looking to recruit to its teams at the moment you apply, you will be able to find other places offering work. A good place to start looking for work is on the rope access trade network rigg-access, where jobs from across the industry are often advertised. Equally, there is more than one blade repair specialist out there, giving you a better chance of finding one that suits your needs.
Who does Altitec hire?
Not all rotor blade service businesses are like Altitec, and Altitec is not like all rotor blade service businesses. At Altitec we are committed to two things, and though they may see obvious, they do sit at the heart of who we are. Our team is strongly committed to reducing carbon across our business, not just supporting clean energy production. This goal motivates our teams to do great work for our clients and ensure that the job isn’t just done, but done properly.
We appreciate that we aren’t always hiring blade repair veterans – whilst many people new to the industry may have rope access experience, that’s just one part of the job, the knowledge of composites is important too. Beyond that, we are looking for attitude. For instance, should the worst happen and an earthquake hits while you’re up-tower, you need to be able to do the right things, for your teammate, your client and yourself.
Success in the industry is about more than just completing a training qualification. Repairing rotor blades is a great job, and the technicians that do it care about the work they do and cleaning up the way electricity is generated. This attitude serves as a solid base for becoming a successful turbine blade technician, whether with Altitec or with anyone else. A positive attitude to learning is essential. Formal training in blade repair skills is only the start of your blade tech journey.
What is working for Altitec like?
Altitec is committed to helping people find their roles within the wind energy industry, whether that’s with us or with a different turbine blade repair and maintenance specialist.
As a qualified turbine blade technician, you can expect a well-paid career that allows you to travel the world and also provides a good work-life balance. Plus, there is ample opportunity as you gain more experience to move up the ranks and take on further responsibility as a team leader.
Technicians working on behalf of Altitec will often be called on to travel out to wind farms in the likes of Mexico, Australia and South Africa to conduct inspections, repairs and maintenance.
In addition to the views across beautiful swathes of the Outback, the Veld or even the Sierra Madre, historically one of the most attractive aspects of a career as a turbine rotor blade repair technician has been the seasonal nature of the work.
After completing a course with the Altitec Academy you will have the skills and knowledge to find a great job in a growing industry. Choosing to retrain shows the kind of attitude many employers in the industry are looking for. And while you may or may not find work with Altitec, the industry offers an ever-growing number of roles out there for fully qualified technicians.