Biomass Plant Technicians


Exploring this Job

Read publications such as Biomass Magazine (http://biomassmagazine.com/) and Biomass & Bioenergy (https://www.journals.elsevier.com/biomass-and-bioenergy) to keep up with the biomass industry news and developments.

Explore the biomass field by volunteering with a company that provides biomass-based fuel or energy. Find volunteer opportunities and part-time jobs, as well as other ways to get involved, by contacting professional associations such as the Biomass Power Association. Volunteering and part-time work will give you the chance to speak with others in the industry and see if this is a good fit for you. You can also search for job openings on employment Web sites such as Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com.

Join a professional association for membership benefits such as career development support, mentoring, internships, scholarship information, networking opportunities, among other resources. If you are a college student, you may become part of an association's student chapter, such as through the National Society of Professional Engineers.

The Job

Biomass plant technicians work at companies that produce renewable energy from biomass materials such as plant matter (tree stumps, wood chips or pellets, for example) or animal waste or fats. Technicians have a variety of responsibilities, including controlling and monitoring the electrical and mechanical equipment for production processes. They operate biomass fuel gasification system equipment or biomass fuel-burning boilers according to operation instructions and specifications. They make sure machinery is functioning correctly by watching gauges, dials, or other indicators and adjusting the controls and settings when needed. They take readings on all machinery and processes and record their findings.

Technicians perform routine maintenance on biomass production machinery. They are also responsible for quality control analysis. They inspect and conduct tests of the biomass products and processes to make sure the quality and operation is up to standards. Depending on the job and employer, some technicians may also be responsible for calculating and mixing additives in the fermentation process.

Biomass plant technicians work on small teams, under the supervision of managing plant technicians and sometimes biologists. They have strong knowledge of computers and electronics, production and manufacturing processes, and machinery and tools. They use energy analysis software, development environment software such as National Instruments LabVIEW, and Microsoft software for Word processing and spreadsheets.