New Offshore Wind Jobs: Industry, Schools Must Prepare Now

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News

The offshore wind industry in the United States is growing exponentially, with multiple projects in the development stages off of the Atlantic coast. The total megawatt capacity of U.S. offshore wind farms is anticipated to reach 22,000 by 2030 and 43,000 by 2050. To support this growth, U.S. Department of Energy reports estimate over 40,000 new jobs will be created by 2030.

The new jobs anticipated to support the offshore wind industry include a wide range of types, including engineers, trade workers, surveyors, scientists, technicians, managers, and seafarers. Wind turbine technician has been one of the fastest growing occupations in the United States in recent years. The educational requirements for these new jobs also varies widely from high school diploma to Ph.D. There is a growing concern that the United States will not have a sufficiently trained workforce capable to support offshore wind farm development, construction, and maintenance. A recent Department of Energy study focused on the Wind Energy Workforce in the United States highlighted the workforce gap issue. Although focused on land-based wind farms, the study identified significant gaps in wind and renewable energy educational programs and hiring percentages from those programs.

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“New Offshore Wind Jobs: Industry, Schools Must Prepare Now,” by Joan M. Bondareff and Dana S. Merkel* was published in the November 2019 edition of Maritime Reporter and Engineering News.

This article was reprinted in Maritime Logistics Professional on December 9, 2019.

* Dana Merkel is an associate in Blank Rome LLP's Maritime group.