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Career Definition of a Wind Energy Analyst
Wind energy analysts combine a range of skills in order to produce effective wind farms. They need to be able to assess weather patterns so that they can determine the best places to locate wind farms, and their duties include traveling to sites and assessing the conditions. They also need to review technical information related to wind turbines and how they're constructed so that they can be certain the equipment will perform as desired.
Once they've determined where a wind farm will be built and named specific construction requirements for that farm, they are responsible for projecting how much energy the farm will produce. When the farm is operational, these analysts will assess its actual production levels, and they may help identify ways to improve production levels, if needed.
|Educational Requirements||Bachelor's degree at minimum; master's may be preferred|
|Job Skills||Knowledge of wind turbines and wind energy production systems, ability to predict weather patterns, analytical skills, communication skills, ability to work independently, organizational skills|
|Median Salary (2016)*||$97,300 (engineers, all other)|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)*||4% (engineers, all other)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Wind energy analysts need to have a combination of technical and weather-related knowledge. A bachelor's degree is required, and employers consider those who've studied in subject areas such as engineering or meteorology. Although it's possible to enter this career field with a bachelor's degree, many employers prefer applicants who have a master's degree in a relevant field.
Wind energy analysts work with a lot of data and need to be able to analyze information and form conclusions based off that information. Since wind production relies on wind, it is also important that those in this field have experience with forecasting weather patterns or assessing prior weather patterns for specific regions. They must also have computer skills, because they may use computer programs for forecasting and assessing the expected production levels.
These tasks may also require wind energy analysts to have mathematical skills so that they can perform calculations. Wind energy analysts need to be able to explain their conclusions about prospective wind farm sites and specific requirements for the sites they recommend, so they need to have good communication skills as well.
Career Outlook and Salary
Wind energy analysts are grouped as part of the engineering career field by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS reported that 'engineers, all other' earned a median annual salary of $97,300 in 2016. From 2014 to 2024, the BLS expects those in this career field to see a 4% increase in job opportunities.
Individuals who are interested in a career in wind energy may also want to consider being a wind farm site manager or turbine cooling engineer. These professionals are involved with ensuring that wind turbines operate as expected. Those considering a career in this field may also be interested in working with other renewable energy sources and may consider a career as a solar energy engineer. You can learn more about these career options through the links provided here.