Biofuels Processing Technicians
Biofuels processing technicians work in energy and manufacturing companies throughout the United States, but more jobs are available in certain areas of the country where more biofuels processing plants are located. Many ethanol production facilities, for example, are based in Indiana, Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Nebraska. There are nearly 12,270 plant and systems operators, including biofuels processing technicians, employed in the United States, according to the Department of Labor.
Many biofuels processing technicians get their start through apprenticeships, gaining knowledge and skills while on the job. Part-time and summer jobs in bioenergy and biofuels companies provide opportunities to learn more about the field. Many technicians find work by visiting the career sections of the Web sites of energy and manufacturing plants. They may also find job listings through the Clean Energy Jobs section of the U.S. Department of Energy's Web site, https://www.energy.gov/eere/education/education-homepage.
Biofuels processing technicians may advance to become senior technicians or supervisors, handling more responsibilities and overseeing and managing other technicians and related workers. They may further their education by getting certification, and pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree in bioenergy or biofuels. With advanced education and years on the job, they may move up to roles as plant or operations managers. Some may start their own consulting companies and hire their own staff. Advancement may also include getting involved in industry associations, such as holding a position on the board of directors and speaking at conferences. Some may share their knowledge with others by teaching in colleges and technical schools and writing about the field.
Tips for Entry
Read publications such as Biofuels Digest (http://biofuelsdigest.com) to learn more about trends in the industry and potential employers.
Search for job listings at the following Web sites:
Search for biotechnology-related college programs by visiting the Bio-Link Web site, https://www.bio-link.org/home2/programs.
Attend industry events such as the Renewable Fuels Association’s annual National Ethanol Conference to network with people working in the field and learn more about job opportunities.