Renewable-energy technicians install and maintain sustainable energy systems in homes and commercial buildings. These systems rely on energy from wind, geothermal, biofuels and solar sources rather than traditional fossil fuels like gas and oil. Renewable-energy technicians have excellent job prospects, and the American Solar Energy Society predicts that by 2030, one out of four jobs in the U.S. will be in the renewable-energy field.
Renewable-Energy Technician Salaries
As of 2011, graduates of the renewable-energy technician certificate program at Bramson ORT College in New York report an average starting salary range of $25,000 to $35,000.
The NECA-IBEW Electrical Training Center in Oregon offers a union apprenticeship for renewable-energy technicians. As of 2011, the Center reports a training wage ranging from $10.28 to $16.44 per hour, which increases to $20.55 per hour upon graduation.
Front Range Community College indicates that electromechanical wine turbine technicians earn an average annual salary of $35,000 as of 2011. Wind generator installers average $31,000 per year, while junior renewable energy technicians in the wind industry earn $30,000. Wind field service technicians, who service and repairs these systems, earn $44,000 annually.
Colorado's Front Range Community College estimates that technicians who install commercial solar systems earn $47,000 per year as of 2011, while photovoltaic fabrication and testing technicians earn $45,000. Solar lab technicians average $41,000, while employees who manufacture and install solar control systems earn $35,000.
Geothermal heating systems draw heat from deep within the earth to heat water or homes. Technicians in the geothermal field earn a median salary of $35,000 as of 2011, according to Mid-State Technical College of Wisconsin.
Biofuel consists of fuel sources made from plants and animal byproducts. Technicians in this field collect and process these materials into fuel that can be used to power cars, farm equipment and other machinery. Mid-State Technical College estimates that biorefinery technicians earn a median starting salary of $38,000 as of 2011.