As the wind energy industry continues to grow, it will provide many opportunities for workers in search of new careers. These careers extend beyond operations & maintenance (O&M) positions on the wind farms. The wind industry employs people in areas such as manufacturing, consulting, transportation, legal, finance, meteorology, sales, marketing, logistics, communications, public relations, policy, and more. According to the American Wind Energy Association, at the end of 2012, the U.S. wind energy industry supported 80,700 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs directly associated with wind energy project planning, siting, development, construction, manufacturing and supply chain, and operations. Of the 80,700 jobs, approximately 25,500 were in the manufacturing sector. The U.S. Department of Energy's 2012 Wind Technologies Market Report (PDF 3.4 MB) estimates that 72% of the wind turbine equipment (including towers, blades, and gears) installed in the United States during the year was made in America.
Wind farms, which are frequently located in the Midwest, Southwest, and Northeast regions of the United States, employ many people. Texas, California, and Iowa are the leading states in wind power generating capacity, but many other states are substantially increasing their wind generating capacity, which will employ more people. Texas leads the nation in wind jobs with more than 10,000 employed in the wind industry, followed by California, Iowa, Illinois, and Kansas.
And the future of employment in the wind industry can be bright as well. To achieve 20% wind power by 2030, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the United States will require more than 100,000 additional wind turbines, creating more than 500,000 new jobs.
Source: 20% Wind Energy by 2030 (PDF 3.6 MB)