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Offshore wind jobs: where do you fit?

Jay Hearne our consultant managing the role
Posted by Jay Hearne
Published on 5 June 2023

Over the next decade, the offshore wind industry is expected to undergo a huge expansion, with a growing group of countries identifying it as a key technology to reach climate targets. Despite being considered as having the greatest growth potential of any renewable technology, the current offshore wind market stands at only 2% of what is needed to reach net zero by 2050 . With that in mind, many new wind farms are being built, and new career opportunities are aplenty.

Are you intrigued by a new career in offshore wind? Find where you would fit in:

Where in the life cycle?

Installing a wind farm is no small feat; a staggering amount of labour goes into the build and maintenance of offshore wind farms. With an average life span of around 30 years, extensive efforts are needed for its upkeep. The roles available in offshore wind are diverse and available throughout a farm’s lifecycle. Consider which stage it is that your unique experiences and skillsets best fit in an offshore wind farm:

Planning and development: Responsibilities in this stage include identifying a site for the wind farms to be placed, ensuring the environment is appropriate, assessing the needs of the project ahead, documenting the plans and submitting an application to the local government. Roles include project managers, graphic design assistants, offshore processors, and geophysicists.

Construction and Installation: This stage is concerned with preparing the site, manufacturing components and the physical construction of the farm. Roles recruited for are highly transferrable from wider construction backgrounds, and include site managers, commissioning operators, quality management, scaffolders and many more.

Operation and Maintenance: With an average of 30 years for a farm to reach the end of its lifecycle, roles in this life stage of a wind farm are typically long term and permanent. To maximise the farm’s efficiency and safety of processes, regular inspections and maintenance work must be carried out. Some offshore operations career avenues include electrical engineers, warehouse operative, field service engineer and more.

Decommissioning and Re-powering: As the majority of wind farms were constructed at the turn of the 21 st century, jobs in this area are expected to grow exponentially across the next decade. Responsibilities in this stage include reviewing the turbines, making decision on the farm’s future, re-powering and carrying out decommissioning projects.

What contract?

Large scale projects such as the construction of wind farms are hotbeds for both long and short term career opportunities; in fact, the Global Wind Energy Council predict 900,000 jobs to be generated across the various life stages of a wind farm in the next decade. Before applying for your next role in offshore wind, consider what contract length will suit your lifestyle and specialism and where this fits into a farm’s lifecycle. Whether you prefer contract or permanent work, there can be great benefits to either working pattern depending on your circumstances at the time.

What location?

Europe’s windiest island, the UK is home to the world’s largest offshore wind farm and is the world leader with more offshore power capacity installed than any other country. Even so, the industry can take you all over the globe, from Norway, to China, and the United States. The realities of working in an offshore wind farm will mean time spent away from home – be it weeks or months living on a vessel or flotel on the water nearby. Depending on where in the world you are located, and the wind farm’s distance from the coast, you may want to consider the lengths of travel for your application.

What’s next?

There are many factors to consider when it comes to applying for an offshore wind farm role, and great benefits to be gained: competitive rates, extended periods of time off in between contracts, invaluable skills, and experience. Do you want to find the offshore wind role that suits you? Get in contact with our team who have expert knowledge on the roles that are to offer in the industry and will talk you through discovering a career in offshore wind.