So You Want to Be a Wind Tech? Don't Look Down

By Donald Sears  |  Posted 2009-03-16 Print this article Print

Today, I thought I'd take a little break from the normal IT salary and career reporting and share a green jobs video I happened upon.

Talk about on-location reporting. Check out how nervous this scared-of-heights journalist is atop a wind turbine in California. This is part of CNN's "Road to Rescue" coverage this week--which is all about the economy and jobs the average American might want to think about for the future.

It's pretty amazing how high up you actually are if you have to work on one of these giant windmills. The poor reporter up there is being laughed at (and essentially called a wussie) by his in-studio counterpart. I kind of felt bad for the guy, but he was a trooper and made it through. Considering he was about 200 feet in the air, you can hardly blame him.

The video interviews both a worker and representative from a company that trains wind technicians known as Airstreams. The company rep talks about how the training program (partnered with junior colleges in California) takes about 4 to 6 weeks, and costs roughly $1,000. You need some electrical and mechanical background, but for a lot of folks in IT, that shouldn't be much of an issue.

By most accounts, wind turbine farms are going to get a huge boost from U.S. economic stimulus and clean energy policies of the Obama administration and that wacky oil man from Texas, T. Boone Pickens.

Pickens, Obama or otherwise, it's an interesting job prospect for those who might be stuck in a data center 50 hours a week who want to get away from servers, routers and systems management. I certainly don't see those of you who love to design and architect code necessarily falling for this kind of gig, but for the more hardware-centric or telecom field workers who want something different than what you have now (or had). This might work for you.

As this video shows pretty clearly, this is not for the faint of heart. |

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