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:
Monitor and control activities associated with hydropower generation. Operate plant equipment, such as turbines, pumps, valves, gates, fans, electric control boards, and battery banks. Monitor equipment operation and performance and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance. Perform equipment maintenance and repair as necessary.
On the job, you would:
Operate high voltage switches or related devices in hydropower stations.
Identify or address malfunctions of hydroelectric plant operational equipment, such as generators, transformers, or turbines.
Inspect water-powered electric generators or auxiliary equipment in hydroelectric plants to verify proper operation or to determine maintenance or repair needs.
Engineering and Technology
product and service development
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Safety and Government
public safety and security
Arts and Humanities
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Ideas and Logic
notice when problems happen
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
listen and understand what people say
communicate by speaking
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
put together small parts with your fingers
pay attention to something without being distracted
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
IBM Lotus Notes
Industrial control software
Distributed control system DCS
Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
certificate after high school or high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.
You might like a career in one of these industries: