Where the Wind Blows

Notes from a Wind Technician

By   |     |  Clean Power Guide

Brian Rhoades

I’ve always enjoyed hard work, but I’m always surprised at how tired but rewarded I feel at the end of the day. I’m a resource wind technician for Vestas Americas. This year I have been in Montana, Missouri, California, Oregon, Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and more, so I live in hotels. We replace big parts of the turbines when they go down and rebuild the turbines. I work six days a week, usually 10 to 12 hour days. You do that for two months and then you get some time off.  

I reinvented myself at the age of 40. I was a bartender for 20 years, worked in big cities in upscale dining. I went back to school for six months, to Kalamazoo Wind Technician Academy. It was an immersion experience, using the tools and working on turbines. I graduated in mid-June and was working by July. There is a lot of learning through the work as well, especially in the bigger jobs. The majority of the people I work with are younger; some came out of the military or wandered around for a bit, but some of my co-workers are in their 50s and the most knowledgeable people I’ve ever met. There’s a lot of mentoring in our company and a process you can learn through. 

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