2. Wind Turbine Service Technicians
Expected growth 2016-2026: 96.1 percent
Wind turbine technicians, or windtechs for short, install, maintain and repair wind turbines. Most learn the ropes at technical schools and receive hands-on training on the ground and in the air. The median annual wage for wind turbine technicians was $52,260 in May 2016, according to BLS data, making this a solid-paying pick for mechanically minded folks who aren't afraid of heights. Working as a windtech is a high-paying job that only requires an associate degree.
The career also offers strong growth prospects. Wind generators accounted for 8 percent of the operating electric generating capacity in the U.S. in 2016, more than any other renewable energy source, including hydroelectricity. Moreover, wind has the potential to support more than 600,000 jobs in manufacturing, installation, maintenance and supporting services by 2050, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Energy. So this isn't a trend that's going to blow over soon.