Job Outlook & Careers
Wind is the fastest growing energy source in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Wind energy production increased by 21 percent in 2007 and could contribute 20 percent of the nation's electricity by 2030, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy.
Wind farms - a group of wind turbines connected to a central utility - now operate in 34 states across the nation.
According to the American Wind Energy Association, wind power is a job creation dynamo, creating 35,000 jobs in 2008 alone despite the economic downturn, and providing a broad range of business and employment opportunities in different regions of the country. About 85,000 people worked in the wind energy industry as of the end of December 2008, up from 50,000 in 2007.
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect data specifically on wind energy employment, the American Solar Energy Society estimates that in 2006, there were 16,000 jobs in wind turbine construction and maintenance.
Community colleges are brimming with wind energy program applicants and students.