Wind Turbine Machinist Job
What is a Wind Turbine Machinist?
A Wind Turbine Machinist is just like a production machinist for any other industry, only in this case they specialize in the production of metal and plastic parts for wind turbines.
The career outlook for a wind turbine machinist is good. They make on average $13-$20/hour.
In this respect, it is not necessarily a "green" job in and of itself, but rather a set of job skills that can be applied to the green energy production industry.
Wind Turbine Machinist first review blueprints (written or electronic) for the specific wind turbine part needing to be made. Next, they select the tools and equipment needed to shape the piece, and calculate where cut or drill the material they are working with (steel, aluminum, titanium, plastic, etc.). They use their knowledge of metal properties and skill with machine tools to produce the part to extremely precise specifications.
Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine tools are becoming increasingly popular in production plants, and the wind turbine industry is no different. These tools use computers to control the cutting, drilling, shaping, and filing of base materials into machine parts. Production machinists are being called upon more and more to operate, maintain, and even program this CNC tools to manufacture new parts
What Are the Qualifications for a Wind Turbine Machinist?
Wind Turbine Machinists do not require a college degree. He position calls more for vocational training in the trades.
In high school, aspiring machinists should tale courses in metalworking, drafting, and especially math (especially algebra and trigonometry). Some basic computer courses are a good idea too. A high school diploma or GED is required to go on to further training.
After high school, the aspiring machinist can go one of several routes. Many community colleges and vocational training schools offer two-year Associate Degree programs for a production machinist. Another option is a formal trade apprenticeship program sponsored by a manufacturing company or a trade union (although these can be hard to get into). After completing their training, one should take the practical and written exams to be come certified as a machinist by the National Institute of Metalworking Skills (NIMS).
What Type of Person Is Good for This Position?
A good machinist will have mechanical aptitude, superior math skills, and good problem-solving abilities. Concentration, precision, and meticulous attention to detail is essential, as some machine parts need to be shaped to within 1/20,000ths of an inch. This is good job for people who thrive on being able to work independently. Finally, being a machinist requires stamina. It is partially a manual labor job, requires standing most of the workday, and may require the machinist to lift heavy materials.
Wind Turbine Machinist Resources*Wind Power, Revised Edition: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business
*Wind Energy Basics: A Guide to Small and Micro Wind Systems
*Windpower Workshop: Building Your Own Wind Turbine
*Wind Energy Explained
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