Fuel Cell Engineers
Education and Training Requirements
Take mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer science, and shop classes. Strong reading comprehension and writing and presentation skills are essential in engineering work, so be sure to also take English and speech classes.
Most fuel cell engineers typically have bachelor’s degrees in chemical, electrical, industrial, materials, or mechanical engineering, with course work in fuel cell technology. Those in managerial, research, and college-level teaching positions usually have master’s degrees or doctorates. Many colleges and universities offer courses in fuel cell or hydrogen technology. Some colleges—including Hocking College, Kettering University, Rensselaer Polytechnic University, Stark State College, Texas State Technical College-Waco, and Wayne State University—offer degrees or specializations in fuel cell technology.
Other Education or Training
Fuel cell engineers are continually learning throughout their careers. They keep up with industry developments and technology by attending conferences, workshops, webinars, and other events offered by organizations such as the Association of Energy Engineers, Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association, and SAE International.
Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements
Certification or Licensing
Fuel cell engineers may earn the certified manufacturing engineer credential from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Applicants must have a minimum of eight combined years of manufacturing-related education and work experience (a minimum of four years work experience). Visit http://www.sme.org/certification for more information.
Licensure is usually required to practice engineering that affects the property, health, or life of the public. The two levels of licensing for engineers are Professional Engineers (PEs) and Engineers in Training (EITs). PEs have graduated from an accredited engineering curriculum, have four years of engineering experience, and have passed a written exam. Engineering graduates need not wait until they have four years experience, however, to start the licensure process. EITs have passed the Fundamentals of Engineering examination; they may also be Engineer Interns. The EIT certification usually is valid for 10 years. After acquiring suitable work experience, EITs can take the second examination, the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam, for full PE licensure. Find licensing and exam requirements at the Web site of the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying, https://ncees.org.
Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits
Fuel cell engineers have internship experience in fuel-cell related technology. Many employers prefer to hire engineers with four or more years of prior work experience.
Fuel cell engineers have strong problem-solving skills and enjoy developing logical plans and designing products and systems. They have a strong background in science and mathematics. In addition to critical thinking and analytical skills, they have good reading, writing, and listening abilities, which are required for researching and gathering information from a wide variety of sources. They are able to work independently as well as part of a team for different projects.