Biomass Plant Technicians
Biomass plant technicians work for companies that convert plant or animal matter into renewable energy. Biomass power plants are located throughout the United States, however, many are based in areas where biomass crops are grown because biomass is bulky and can be expensive to transport. Companies such as Covanta, ReEnergy Holdings LLC, Sierra Pacific Industries, and Wheelabrator Technologies employ biomass plant technicians. The Department of Labor reports that there are 12,270 plant and system operators, including biomass plant technicians, working in the United States.
Many biomass plant technicians find their first jobs through job postings on professional association Web sites. Biomass power plants also post job openings on their Web sites. School career services offices also provide help with locating internships and job listings with biomass companies. An internship is a good way to get a foot in the door, gain valuable experience, and make work-related contacts. Another way to find out about employment opportunities is by attending job fairs, which are often held at school campuses.
After several years of on-the-job training, entry-level biomass plant technicians advance by working with less supervision and gradually more decision-making authority. They move up to become supervisors, overseeing the work of junior technicians and managing biomass plant technician teams. They may expand their knowledge by pursuing higher education through a bachelor's or master's degree programs and securing certification. Experienced biomass plant technicians may teach in vocational schools and colleges, and speak at industry-related conferences and events.
Tips for Entry
Learn more about the biomass industry and careers by reading publications such as Biomass Magazine (http://biomassmagazine.com) and Biofuels Digest (http://biofuelsdigest.com).
Gain valuable firsthand experience through an internship or part-time job in a biomass power plant or biomass-related company. Talk with your career services office for help finding job listings, and also search for internships and other resources on the Department of Energy's Web site, https://www.energy.gov/eere/education/clean-energy-jobs-and-planning.
Attend industry conferences, such as the International Biomass Conference & Expo (http://biomassconference.com), to gain insights into industry news, meet others working in the field, and learn about potential employment opportunities.
Find a list of U.S. biomass power plants by visiting this link on Biomass Magazine's Web site, http://biomassmagazine.com/plants/listplants/biomass/US/.