Biofuels Production Managers
Education and Training Requirements
Useful courses for future biofuels production managers include biology, chemistry, math, earth science, environmental science, physics, history, and English. Be sure to take computer software classes. Knowledge of a foreign language is helpful for working with people from different countries. Take electronics, mechanics, and shop classes also.
The educational backgrounds of biofuels production managers may vary. Most companies prefer to hire production managers with a four-year degree. Some may have a bachelor's degree in industrial technology or engineering, management, or business administration. Others may have a liberal arts degree and prior work experience in biofuels or related manufacturing facilities. Biofuels production managers typically receive training while on the job and through vocational schools.
The U.S. Department of Energy offers information on clean energy educational programs and internships at https://www.energy.gov/eere/education/clean-energy-jobs-and-planning. The National Science Foundation offers a list of college programs that offer biofuels-related degrees and certificates at https://www.bio-link.org/home2/home/degrees.
Other Education or Training
Biofuels production managers continue their education through workshops and conferences offered by professional associations such as the Renewable Fuels Association, which has an annual National Ethanol Conference.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Biofuels production managers may receive voluntary certification to show employers they have achieved a higher level of skills and knowledge in production management systems and/or quality control. APICS–The Association for Supply Chain Management offers the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) credential and the American Society for Quality offers certification programs in quality control. Certification candidates must meet specific requirements, including prior work experience.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Many companies prefer to hire bioefuels production managers with a bachelor's degree and three or more years of prior biofuels production experience. Production manager work requires the ability to think critically, gather and evaluate information, and solve problems as they arise. In addition to overseeing production processes and equipment, managers are responsible for hiring, developing, and guiding staff members. Leadership skills are essential for keeping workers motivated and productive. Strong communication skills are needed to listen to personnel and answer questions and give clear directions. Managers also create budgets, write reports, and present information to staff members and upper management, so good writing and speaking skills are essential.
Biofuels production managers use computers in their work and are familiar with software programs such as MS Office and Excel, as well as facilities management and industrial control software. The work requires knowledge of production and processing, administration and management, machines and tools, chemistry, and engineering and technology. People who do best in this field are dependable, detail oriented, responsible, have integrity, and are able to identify and effectively solve problems.