The development of alternative energy production relies on a backbone of technicians to operate energy generation systems and equipment. Alternative energy plant and system technicians operate machinery such as valves, pumps, and generators to produce energy. They monitor gauges and meters to ensure safe, efficient production, and adjust equipment as needed. They also inspect equipment, and perform maintenance and repairs. These technicians work with a variety of fuel sources: Corn, sugarcane, soybeans and other plants are used to produce biofuels. Technicians operate centrifuges and other equipment to produce biofuels at a steady rate of production; they later lab-test fuel to ensure quality and consistency. Methane gas is collected from landfills, where it rises from solid waste decomposing in municipal stations. Technicians monitor the environment, maintain pumps and blower systems, and troubleshoot problems that occur as gases are captured, converted, and used as a renewable energy resource. Woody materials and animal manure are the primary sources of biomass that technicians convert into energy. They adjust energy production, and record readings on meters and gauges. At hydropower stations, the force of water released from a dam turns the blades of a turbine, generating electricity. Technicians keep generators and other equipment functioning properly. Jobs in these fields usually require a high school diploma, although hydroelectric plant technicians may need related technical training or an associate's degree.
What they do:
Control and monitor biomass plant activities and perform maintenance as needed.
On the job, you would:
Operate biomass fuel-burning boiler or biomass fuel gasification system equipment in accordance with specifications or instructions.
Perform tests of water chemistry in boilers.
Operate high-pressure steam boiler or water chiller equipment for electrical cogeneration operations.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
Math and Science
Arts and Humanities
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
order or arrange things
pay attention to something without being distracted
do two or more things at the same time
read and understand what is written
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Electronic mail software
Development environment software
National Instruments LabVIEW
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.