Employment Opportunity


    WFWE EXCLUSIVE    


 

This section identifies types of occupations. Employment opportunity could be created for someone currently working in an existing occupation, a newly created position within an existing occupation or a new occupation. Based on information about the business opportunity (create link to business opportunity page) for the wind energy industry, the outlook is good for a variety of occupations focused on producing electricity as well as a potential for occupations in manufacturing equipment.  

Producing Electricity

There are many steps involved in planning, building and operating a wind farm. These steps can be loosely grouped into three phases:
1. Planning, Engineering and Design
2. Construction and Installation
3. Operations and maintenance 

Each requires various occupations.

Phase One:  Planning, Engineering, Design
This phase can create employment opportunity for these types of occupations:

  • Senior project manager
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Electrical engineer
  • Civil and geological engineer
  • Surveyor
  • Environmental technician
  • Geographic information system (GIS) specialist
  • Sales (land agent)
  • Lawyer
  • Public relations specialist
  • Financial analyst

Work in this phase is undertaken at the initial stages of establishing a wind farm.  While this phase may take several years, the on-site work required at this phase can be filled by people who may or may not normally live in the area where the wind farm is being developed  The amount of employment opportunity for people who normally live in the area of the wind farm development may be limited and will depend on how the developer structures their business model and contracts their activities.

Phase Two:  Construction & Installation
This phase can create employment opportunity for these types of occupations:

  • Construction project manager
  • Construction supervisor
  • Foreman
  • Electrician
  • Quality assurance personnel
  • Safety personnel
  • Concrete/cement worker
  • Heavy equipment operators – grader, back-hoe, bull dozer
  • Truck driver
  • Iron worker
  • Crane operator
  • Contract administrator
  • Clerical administrator

Work in this phase is temporary (most likely less than one year) in nature and most occupations are usually filled by people who normally live in the area of the wind farm development. Most often, the work is specific to the construction and installation of the wind farm; the wind farm simply provides another opportunity for area businesses and the people they employ in these occupations.

“Currently in Canada, the construction phase presents the best opportunities for local business and jobs. Other activities related to logistics, travel, lodging and material supply generate significant additional local revenue.” Source: CanWEA website

Phase Three:  Operations, Maintenance
This phase can create employment opportunity for these types of occupations:

  • Operations manager
  • Operator
  • Electrical engineer
  • Financial analyst
  • Wind turbine technician
  • Administrative assistant

Work in this phase is permanent in nature and some occupations may be initially filled by people who may be new to the area or temporarily live in the area but over time the positions are generally filled by people who live in the area.

Job Descriptions

Research suggests there are no standard or consistent occupational titles used by different wind farm developers. The Canadian Wind Energy Association – Detailed Labour Forecast – 2015 provides short job descriptions for occupations involved in producing electricity. To view a list of these short job descriptions, see Appendix 1 at the end of this document.

Another source providing descriptions of wind energy occupations is the Environmental Defence Fund’s Green Jobs Guidebook (on pages 13–14). While this is a U.S. based resource and presents occupational titles and information different from other sources, the information provided is helpful.  Click here to view

Manufacturing Equipment

Large Wind Turbine

Currently, large wind turbines are not manufactured in Canada. Research suggests that some components are.

The types of occupations found in manufacturing of large wind turbines or components would be traditional manufacturing occupations including:

  • Management
  • Sales
  • Mechanical engineers
  • Mechanical technologists and technicians
  • Mechanical trades
  • Electrical engineers
  • Electrical and electronics trades
  • General labour
  • Administration

The Canadian Wind Energy Association – Detailed Labour Forecast – 2015 provides a list of short job descriptions for occupations involved in manufacturing equipment. To view this list, see Appendix 2 at the end of this document.

Another source providing descriptions of wind energy occupations is the Environmental Defence Fund’s Green Jobs Guidebook (on page 12). While this is a U.S. based resource and presents occupational titles and information different from other sources, the information provided is helpful. Click here to view

Small Wind Turbine

Limited information was located about specific occupations in small wind manufacturing.

Articles in the Windsor Star over the past 8 months about a company recently located in Windsor that will build small wind turbines, quotes the following occupations:

  • Managers in quality assurance, purchasing, manufacturing, industrial engineering and human resources
  • Logistics, parts production, installation and inspection

Appendix 1

Management, Administration and Sales

Business Planning Specialist

Involved in the financing and business planning of wind projects

Technical Management and Administration

Involved in the management and administration of mechanical and electrical technicians performing maintenance and repair services

Experienced Wind Farm Project Construction Supervisor

Involved in the supervision and management of wind project construction

Wind Farm Operation Management and Administration

Involved in the management of day-to-day operation of installed wind projects

Electricity Sales and Marketing

Involved in the marketing and sale of electricity generated from active wind projects

Mechanical Engineers

Wind Project Engineer

Involved in the design, layout and planning of wind projects

Wind Resource Assessment/Specialist

Involved in characterization and validation of the wind resource at a project site

Project Due Diligence Specialist

Involved in due diligence evaluation of proposed wind projects on behalf of project financers

Electrical Engineers – with electrical and control system design skills

Power Engineer

Involved in the planning, design and certification of wind project power transmission and conditioning systems

Wind Measurement Equipment Designer

Involved in the design, testing and certification of anemometric equipment

Civil/and Geological Engineers

Civil Engineer

Involved in the planning and design of foundations, roads, buildings and other support infrastructure of wind farm projects

Civil/Geological Engineer

Involved in the testing and characterization of ground conditions for wind turbine foundation planning

Mechanical Trades and Technologists

Wind Turbine Technician (mechanical)

Involved in assembly, commissioning, maintenance and repair of wind turbines mechanical systems and components for existing wind projects

Measurement Tower Installer/Technician/Builder

Involved in the construction, installation and maintenance of anemometric equipment

Electrical Trades

Wind Turbine Electrical and Systems Technicians

Involved in assembly, commissioning, maintenance and repair of wind turbine electrical and control systems and components for existing wind projects

Power Technician/Tradesmen

Involved in the maintenance and repair of power transmission and conditioning equipment for existing wind projects

Construction Labour and Tradesman

Description

Involved in general construction activities such as road, foundation and transmission corridor building

Transport and Installation Trades

Large Equipment Transportation Specialist

Involved in the transport of large wind turbine components such as tower segments, rotor blades and assemble nacelles

Large Equipment Craning Specialist

Involved in the craning, assembly and installation of large wind turbine components

Other Specialized Professions

Community Communications Specialist

Involved in communicating with community stakeholders during project permitting and throughout the operation of wind projects

Wind Experienced Lawyers

Involved in drafting of legal agreements for various aspects of wind farm projects such as power purchase agreements, land leases etc

Civil Engineering Technician

Involved in surveying and field measurements for infrastructure planning

Civil/Geological Technician

Involved in drilling for field tests for characterizing ground conditions for turbine foundation planning

Environmental Scientist

Involved in completion of wind project environmental impact assessment

Environmental Technician

Involved in gathering data for conducting field studies for environmental impact assessments

Biologist (Flight Path and Habitat Specialization)

Involved in wildlife impact assessment for overall wind project environmental impact assessment

The complete Canadian Wind Energy Association – Detailed Labour Forecast – 2015 is available for viewing – Click here to view (create link to PDF document assumed to be stored on local web server, copy of PDF document save in Project Deliverable\Wind Energy folder).

Appendix 2

Management, Administration and Sales

Involved in supervision and business administration of manufacturing operations and marketing of wind turbines and turbine components

Mechanical Engineers – with design skills

Involved in the design, testing and certification of mechanical components of wind turbines including towers, gearboxes, nacelles blades, etc

Electrical Engineers – with electrical and control system design skills

Involved in the design, testing and certification of turbine electrical systems including controllers, generators, grid interconnection systems, substation design, etc

Mechanical Trades and Technologists

Involved in manufacturing of mechanical component of wind turbines including towers, gearboxes, nacelles, blades, etc

Electrical Trades

Involved in manufacturing and assembly of turbine electrical systems including controllers, generators, grid interconnection systems, substation design etc

General Labor – with on the job training

Involved in general preparation, assembly and inventory management of manufactured electrical and mechanical wind turbine components

The complete Canadian Wind Energy Association – Detailed Labour Forecast – 2015 is available for viewing – Click here to view.

Click Here to Watch: Employment Opportunities in the Wind Energy Sector

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