Careers in Offshore Wind Power
In recent years the UK’s renewable energy sector has been growing rapidly. In what has been dubbed ‘the windrush’, the need to develop green, renewable energy is providing many varied opportunities for careers in the high tech industry of offshore wind.
Do I need qualifications?
Not necessarily. Careers available in offshore wind range from those requiring specific relevant qualifications to those for the more hands-on people.
If you’re more the hands-on type and have relevant GCSEs or equivalent, you might prefer to focus on technical and craft careers, receiving training on the job and up to NVQ level.
If you’re looking to work toward a graduate career in offshore wind, employers will likely be expecting you to hold a relevant degree or even post graduate qualification. Many universities now offer modules in renewable energy as part of relevant degrees, which will give those exploring a career in offshore wind a better understanding of the sector and strengthen their applications to future potential employers.
Onshore or offshore?
Whether you’re keen to get out on the open sea or suffer from sea sickness and have family responsibilities you can’t leave onshore, there are opportunities for you in offshore wind.
Offshore projects rely on excellent onshore workers to be successful, so you don’t need to be a seasoned sea dog to enjoy a career in offshore wind. You might want to explore opportunities in planning, management, engineering or design.
If you’re set on the adventure of a life on the waves, you’ll need to be ready to face the elements and be willing to work away from home for significant periods, but the opportunities are there for a challenging and rewarding career, including jobs in survey, installation or maintenance.
Development and consent
Before offshore wind developments are built, there are years spent on planning, development and achieving the necessary consent, providing many onshore opportunities for those looking for a career in wind power.
Proposed sites must be surveyed and assessed before work can get underway, so there are also offshore jobs in this stage of development.
Design and manufacture
UK businesses are among the world’s leaders in design and research of wind farms and turbine components. The wind sector offer great opportunities for a career in precision engineering and manufacturing.
Construction and installation
Many of the entry points in construction and installation of wind turbines offer both apprenticeships and graduate programmes and don’t necessarily require entry qualifications. If you can demonstrate strong practical and technical ability, you will enjoy a varied and challenging career in this area of offshore wind power.
Maintenance and operations
The work doesn’t stop once a wind farm is installed and generating power; there is ongoing maintenance and operation to oversee throughout the life of the turbines. There is a range of offshore apprenticeship schemes available and suited to many skills, including electricians, plumbers, mechanics and ex-military personnel, with good GCSEs in core subjects and solid, relevant experience.
James Andreson is a Freelance Copywriter writing for Wind Power Offshore.