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Occupational Profile of a Wind Manufacturing Firm

April 27, 2009 by Emsi Burning Glass

After reading the National Council for Workforce Education’s paper on the role community colleges play in growing a green workforce, we thought it would be interesting to look at some data and employment trends for the sort of occupations employed at a company that manufactures wind turbines.

The NCWE report includes a typical employee profile for a 250-person wind manufacturing firm. Using EMSI’s labor market data tool, Economic Forecaster, we’ve taken the national outlook for the selected occupations in the profile and run some analysis to see how they’ve changed from 2006-2009. These are counts for all of the jobs in each 5-digit SOC area and are not necessarily to be considered “green.” The purpose is to show the national outlook in job growth/loss, earnings, and the associated training requirements for each of the 27 occupations.

Note: These are selected occupations, based off information from Management Information Services Inc., and the American Solar Energy Society.

For a PDF of the below chart click here. Click on the chart to see a full-sized image.

windmfg2.jpg

Findings

  • As the NCWE study suggests, the lion’s share of jobs in this profile are traditional manufacturing jobs.
  • Many of these occupations have experienced significant decline over the past few years. The worst percentage loss comes from:
    1. Drilling and boring machine tool setters and operators: -14%, -5,446 jobs
    2. Team assemblers: -13%, -158,365 jobs (the biggest overall loss)
    3. Tool and die makers: -12%, -11,990 jobs
  • The value of analyzing replacement jobs — those that come about because of retirement, out-migration, etc. — is important to note here. While all but three of these occupations suffered losses, many have much brighter outlooks when you look at replacements. Factoring in new and replacement jobs, the strongest growth comes from Janitors and cleaners (7%), followed by Accountants and auditors (6%) and Industrial engineers (6%).
  • Quite a few of the occupations in the profile have fairly low median hourly earnings. There are some notable exceptions (like Engineering managers at $53.43), but the majority have limited wage potential. The average is $16.56.
  • Most of the occupations require somewhere between short- and long-term on-the-job training. A bachelor’s degree is certainly useful in this area — but it’s not essential. Industrial machinery mechanics experienced modest new-and-replacement growth (4%) and solid earnings ($20.36), with long-term on-the-job training as the general rule.

If you would like to perform this or other similar occupational analysis for your own area, please contact us.

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