Biomass Power Plant Managers


Education and Training Requirements

High School

A strong background in science and mathematics is required for biomass power plant management work. Take classes in biology, chemistry, earth science, agriculture, algebra, geometry, and physics. Knowledge of various computer software programs is also essential, so take computer classes. Business, English, communications, and foreign language classes are also beneficial.

Postsecondary Training

Most biomass power plant manager jobs require a bachelor's degree. Many managers have a degree in engineering, such as industrial engineering. Courses that provide a good foundation for future power plant management work include calculus, applied math, physics, biology, chemistry, physical science, and social science. Other useful courses include mechanics, computers, and English.

Many colleges offer classes, certificates, and degrees in renewable energy, such as Tech, Oregon State University, Purdue University, the University of California (at both Davis and Irvine), and the University of Wisconsin. The Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies offers a master's degree (an MEM) in energy and the environment.

Find programs listed on these Web sites: and

Postsecondary Training

The Renewable Fuels Association offers workshops, lectures, and other continuing education opportunities (CE) at its annual National Ethanol Conference. The annual International Biomass Conference & Expo offers panels on various biomass topics, from feedstock procurement strategies and biomass harvesting processes to regulatory and emission compliance strategies and managing operating costs.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

Certification is not required to work as a biomass power plant manager. Those who receive certification in specialized areas, however, prove to employers that their knowledge and skill levels are up to date. For instance, power plant managers who work with electrical equipment can get certification through the North American Electric Reliability Corporation's System Operator Certification Program. The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) offers certification in a wide variety of specialties. AEE certification candidates must meet specific requirements for work experience and be a member of a professional organization. The American Society of Quality offers certification programs in areas such as quality management and quality inspection.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

A bachelor's degree and several years of work-related experience, vocational training, and/or on-the-job training are required for biomass power plant manager jobs. Any experience, whether a part-time job or internship, at a renewable energy power plant is useful preparation for future management work. Biomass power plant managers have strong interpersonal skills and are able to motivate and guide the workers they oversee. They work independently and with groups and teams, so solid communication, organization, and decision-making skills are essential. The job entails reviewing reports and disseminating information to share with others; strong reading and writing comprehension is required. Knowledge of manufacturing processes, machinery, engineering, technology, and business and management principles is inherent in this management role. People who have a take-charge attitude, are persistent and dependable, pay attention to details, and who have integrity do well as biomass power plant managers.