The very nature of wind power dictates that it is much more labor-intensive than our present traditional forms of energy, therefore the number of jobs wind power is presently creating in the areas of manufacturing, skilled scientific, service and engineering is steadily increasing. The commitment to wind power by the U.S. government is becoming more solid and serious with each passing year, yet compared to other regional wind markets, the U.S. has yet to even scratch the surface of its full job creation potential in today’s wind industry.
What Are Wind Farms?
Wind farms are at the top of the list as a source of green energy—after all, they harness the natural power of our wind and give us back electricity. Wind turbines don’t emit harmful greenhouse gases, and provide a clean energy alternative to traditional fossil fuels. Wind is free and renewable and has the potential to substantially boost local economies with no damage to the environment. It appears as though there is little not to love about wind farms and the wind-power industry!
What Does a Wind Analyst Do?
In short, wind analysts measure wind output. Beyond the simple definition, wind analysts have a much more complex job description. They are meteorological professionals who measure wind flow and become an integral part of planning and maintaining wind farms throughout the United States. A wind analyst is highly trained to study and analyze wind rate and wind patterns, resulting in the most desirable sites for potential wind farms. The skilled wind analyst will also be able to implement strategies to maximize the ability of existing wind farms to produce low-impact wind power.
Once you have completed the necessary training and become a certified wind analyst, you will create “wind maps” as a result of your research, which will detail all the factors taken under consideration when choosing the very best location.
How Can I Become a Wind Analyst?
There are numerous careers possible for those who are passionate about the wind industry, and a wind analyst is near the top as far as possible earnings and job satisfaction in an industry projected to grow substantially in the next decade. You will need a bachelor’s of science degree in meteorology, environmental science or engineering with a background in meteorology in order to obtain the best wind analyst positions. The starting salary for a wind analyst is generally around $57,000, and can go up to $74,000 with only a few years’ on-the-job experience.
In addition to your applicable degree, you will need strong analytical skills and the ability to balance your engineering judgment with superb attention to detail. You will likely travel to many different areas, so will need to be flexible with your schedule as well as a great communicator who has well-developed interpersonal skills. Although your background will be very technology-oriented, you must be able to communicate to others who do not have a similar background; high levels of energy and motivation are also helpful attributes in this industry, as well as a passion for creating a better world.
**Fast Fact: In 2008 alone, 55 new facilities which produce wind turbines and turbine components opened across the United States. There are currently 11 global wind turbine manufacturers who sell significant numbers of turbines in the U.S. and are planning to open production facilities in our country starting in late 2010.
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