Recognized Skill Standards
May 11, 2010
Texas is the largest producer of wind energy in the U.S. due in part to the passage of Senate Bill 20 (SB20) by the 79th Legislature of Texas. SB20 set a target of 5,880 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy production in Texas by 2015, and 10,000 MW by 2025. As of December, 2009, Texas already produces 9,410 MW of wind energy, enough to power 2.5 million homes. Due to this growth, there is an acute shortage of technicians in Texas, where a technician can expect a basic salary of $36,000 per year.
The project goals were:
- Identify voluntary skill standards for the wind turbine technician occupational area to serve as benchmark for entry into this occupational area and to serve as guides for curriculum development of community and technical college programs of study that will effectively meet the needs of both the newly graduated entry-level worker and the seasoned professional returning to education to upgrade his or her workplace skills.
- Publish and promote the results and support the use of skill standards by educators, businesses, unions, students, workers, and government agencies.
Development and Validation Methods
A job analysis was conducted in the summer of 2009 in conjunction with the Texas Wind Energy Institute’s development of an assessment and certification system for wind turbine technicians. The skill standards developed in this project used the outcome of this extensive job analysis. Texas skill standards staff worked under the direction of project sponsor Texas State Technical College (West Texas) and with industry subject matter experts to develop skill standards elements based on the job analysis data. Staff coordinated online surveys to engage subject matter experts to complete and validate the resulting skill standards.
The Wind Turbine Technician Skill Standards contain six critical work functions in the areas of turbine equipment operation, diagnostic and repair activities, general maintenance, mechanical maintenance, electrical system maintenance, and safety procedures.