How to: A guide to starting your career in Offshore Wind

How to: A guide to starting your career in Offshore Wind
Ian Davies

How to: A guide to starting your career in Offshore Wind

As Offshore Wind experiences continued, rapid and large-scale growth, the sector is presenting exciting career opportunities aplenty. If you're looking to take such an opportunity, be sure to take a look at our handy guide to starting a career in offshore wind.

As the world works towards creating a safer, more efficient, and less damaging future for the planet, wind power has become one of the fastest growing and most important renewable energy sectors. 

Offshore wind in particular is, driven by Government objectives to ensure every home across the nation is powered by wind energy by 2030, at the forefront of the UK’s renewable energy goals. In fact, the UK already is the global leader in offshore wind energy, with more capacity installed than any other country, and plans for continued development and growth across the sector.

And as the offshore wind sector grows, so will the demand for talented individuals who can design, build, and maintain the offshore wind farms needed to achieve UK and global environmental goals, leading to exciting offshore wind career opportunities.

Read on to find out more about the types of roles available in offshore wind, a few reasons why you might want to consider a career in offshore wind, and – if you do – some tips on how to get started.

Examples of Offshore Wind jobs

Designing, building, maintaining, and operating a single offshore wind farm, its parts, and systems – never mind the number of farms planned to be created in UK waters and worldwide – requires a large scale, long-lifespan project driven by a large scale, widely-skilled workforce. Which is why, perhaps, it is no surprise that half of the wind energy jobs in the UK are for offshore wind.

On a wider scale, the Global Wind Energy Council predicts that at least 900,000 jobs will be created within the industry worldwide in the coming years, including short and long-term specialist roles such as:

  • Site Managers and Supervisors
  • Project Engineers
  • Quality Control and Assurance Specialists
  • Electrical Technicians
  • Oceanographers
  • Geophysicists
  • Technical Trainers

Why consider a career in Offshore Wind? 

There are many reasons why you – whether you’re looking to start an engineering career or simply change industry – might want to consider offshore wind as the industry for you.

Here are just a few of those reasons, to help you be sure of offshore:

  • Renewable energy, especially offshore wind, is experiencing continued, rapid, and large-scale growth, as the world moves towards a more sustainable, safer future for the planet. This creates a greater demand for talent, more role availability, and a high level of job security.
  • Many roles are high-skill, high-responsibility and often offer high salaries and excellent benefits to ensure the very best, most talented people are attracted to the offshore sector.
  • There are offshore wind farms being built and operated around the world. So, if it is a dream of yours to travel and work somewhere beyond British borders and waters, you’ll likely find an opportunity elsewhere that suits.
  • You’ll be working in a role and industry that’s making a wide-reaching impact on the planet and everyone – and everything – living on it, promoting a sense of pride and satisfaction that you’re doing something that’s making a difference to current and future generations.
  • You may already have skills, experience and expertise that can easily be transferred into a career in renewable energy and offshore wind, putting you in high demand and in a great position to negotiate with potential employers.

How to begin your Offshore Wind career

As we’ve explored, there are plenty of job and career opportunities in offshore wind, demand for talent is high and the benefits of working in the industry can be very appealing.

However, it is still important to make sure you’re ready to take the step into an offshore wind career, to ensure you find and get the role that’s right for you.

So, to help you prepare, we have pulled together a few tips to help you begin your career in offshore wind:

Identify the specific area of offshore wind you want to work in

Do you want to work in offshore wind farm design or installation? Or perhaps do you feel you’d be better suited to operations or maintenance? What specific area or role would be suited to your skill set, experience and the direction you wish to take your career?

These are just a few of the factors you need to consider before you start looking and applying for offshore wind jobs. It may even come down to what specific company you feel would be perfect for you.

Consider upgrading your skill set, qualifications and certifications

There may potentially be plenty of jobs available in offshore wind, but it is still a very competitive market, with a likely a high number of applicants looking for a career in the industry too. Plus, companies and employers will always be looking for that perfect candidate.

Therefore, it pays to upgrade skills, get the proper certifications, and build relevant experience to get a foot in the door at offshore wind’s top companies – even if you’ve existing, transferrable skills and expertise.

Think about your availability now and in the future

Many roles on offshore wind farms are based on specific working schedules. For example, some roles are rolling, shift-based positions – i.e a worker will be expected to work two weeks on site, then have two weeks off and so on. Additionally, some roles may only be temporary, or require relocation altogether.

When thinking about a career in offshore wind, it is important to consider whether the working patterns and potential unpredictability suit your lifestyle and availability, both now and into the future. If so, and it does for many people, it’ll give you a greater chance of being successful in any applications.

Be ‘application and interview ready’

It may sound obvious, and it really should go without saying, but when looking to secure yourself a role in offshore wind – as with any job or career search – it is vital to ensure that you are ready to represent yourself, your skills and what you bring to the table in the very best way possible.

This involves doing your research on the industry, the roles and companies within it; carefully reading through the specs and requirements of any roles you apply for, to make sure you have any required qualifications and certifications; looking into current projects going on within offshore wind and specific projects the company you’re applying at are involved in; and, of course, ensuring that your CV is up-to-date and up-to-scratch and preparing yourself to nail any interviews you’re invited to attend.

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