Invenergy Blog: March 01, 2017
Invenergy Employee Perspectives:
Q&A with Wind Technician Brian Marshall
Invenergy Employee Perspectives:
Q&A with wind technician Brian Marshall about his experience working in the fastest-growing profession in America!
Brian Marshall, Lead Wind Technician at Invenergy Services’ Wake Wind Energy Center (257 MW) in Floyd County, Texas, shares about his work experience, the training and certification process he completed, and his advice for others pursuing a career as a wind technician -- the fastest-growing job in America!
What led you to pursue a job in the wind industry and specifically to work for Invenergy?
Brian: I had been self-employed for nearly 20 years, but when the economy took a bad turn, I began to keep my eyes open for a good job in the area. I was working on a ranch in Dickens County, Texas close to Invenergy’s McAdoo wind facility and was watching the wind turbines turning one day when the thought occurred to me that I could possibly fit in as a wind technician. That evening I drove to the McAdoo Operations and Maintenance office and asked to speak with the manager. As I visited with the manager, it was apparent that my skills in mechanical and electrical work could apply well to wind technician work. I was fortunate to get the job that was open at that site, and I’ve now been working with Invenergy for almost seven years.
What was the training process like to become a wind technician?
Brian: The training process for becoming a wind tech at Invenergy at that time (2010) was one year on-the-job training and then three weeks of intense training at the General Electric training facility in Schenectady, New York. Invenergy also sent me to other wind sites to receive further on-site training. Most of the safety training is done in-house, and Invenergy also uses a five-year, web-based, progressive training program that is very intensive.
What excites you most about your job?
Brian: What’s exciting is that it’s not your ordinary job, and there are many aspects that can be very rewarding. I love a good challenge and enjoy solving difficult problems. It’s also exciting to work in an industry that is growing and one that’s driving change in the energy sector to bring more renewable energy sources online. I think the wind industry is playing an important role to create positive change that will last into the future. Also, there is just something about working 300 feet in the air that is exciting.
What are you most proud of in the work that you do?
Brian: I am most proud of being promoted to Lead Wind Technician last year at Invenergy’s new site, Wake Wind Energy Center. Wake, a 257 megawatt wind facility, became operational in 2016 and is located only 10 miles from the McAdoo facility where I was working before. I am most proud of the fact that I am trusted enough to be a lead technician and was given the opportunity to lead a group of 15 technicians at this new site. I really enjoy teaching new technicians the business and leading younger people into a great career.
What advice would you give those who are interested in becoming wind technicians, either as a career change or in starting their careers?
Brian: My advice to those interested in the wind industry is to go out and visit a wind farm and get a feel for what goes on. Set up a time to visit with a technician and ask lots of questions about the day-to-day work involved. It can be very challenging as well as very rewarding, and in my experience with Invenergy, the rewards are well worth the challenges!
Are you interested in opportunities in the wind industry? Learn more about career opportunities at Invenergy here!