Geothermal Production Managers
Overview | Related Occupations | Outlook | Helpful High School Courses | Preparation | Related Educational Programs | Licensing/Certification/Designation/Registration | Additional Sources of Information | Back to Green Careers
Geothermal production managers oversee operations at geothermal power plants. They maintain and monitor geothermal equipment for efficient and safe plant operations.
Areas where there is a lot of volcanic activity generate more heat in the earth, and thus are ideal places for geothermal energy. However, geothermal systems can be used anywhere but they may need to be used with traditional heating and cooling sources.
Installing and maintaining geothermal energy systems is a big job. It involves digging deep trenches and wells and installing pipes, pumps, and controls. While technicians perform much of the work, production managers oversee the entire operation. This is true whether it is at a power plant or at a home site.
Geothermal production managers spend a lot of time inspecting installations of new systems. This means they travel to different work sites. They make sure that everything is going according to plan, on time, and on budget. They check with technicians, excavators, and other workers to determine what work has been completed and if there are any problems.
Managers also travel to different sites to check on existing geothermal systems. They check to see that they are functioning properly. They also check that all maintenance and repairs have been done and recorded. They inspect equipment and procedures to locate any inefficiency that may negatively impact how well the system heats and cools. They also look for ways to improve equipment and controls.
Developing budgets, timelines, and schedules is a big part of a manager's job. Once a budget and funding is in place, they must negotiate with landowners, utilities, and local government officials. This is usually in the case of installing a new system. Whenever a new installation or construction is planned, geothermal production managers have to obtain the necessary permits. They must also write and update reports. This is to show that they are complying with rules and regulations.
Geothermal production managers supervise and communicate with technicians and power plant employees. Managers must oversee the work done by others. They offer technical assistance where needed. In some cases, they perform or demonstrate minor repairs themselves.
Managers must also maintain records and files of both big projects and daily operations.
- Construction and Building Inspectors
- General and Operations Managers
- Geothermal Technicians
- Industrial Production Managers
- Power Plant Operators
Hawaii Career Pathways:
- Industrial & Engineering Technology
Analysts expect that the geothermal energy industry will continue to grow rapidly. This is due to government incentives and increased consumer interest.
Helpful High School Courses
In high school, take classes that prepare you for college. A college preparatory curriculum may be different from our state's graduation requirements. Click here for public school graduation requirements for students graduating in 2011 or 2012. Click here for public school graduation requirements for students graduating in 2013 or later. If you attend a private school, check with your school counselor for graduation requirements.
You should also consider taking some advanced courses in high school. This includes Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses if they are available in your school. If you do well in these courses, you may receive college credit for them. Advanced courses can also strengthen your college application.
Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this occupation include:
- Computer Applications
- Introduction to Business
- Manufacturing Systems
The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.
You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.
Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Click here for examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.
To work as a fuel cell engineer, you must:
- have a high school diploma or GED;
- have at least a two-year degree;
- have work experience in your area;
- be self-confident and persuasive;
- have strong communication skills; and
- be able to direct and motivate people.
Education after high school
Geothermal production managers usually have an associate or bachelor's degree and related work experience. However, because of the specialized nature of this job, ideal candidates have a bachelor’s degree in engineering or business. A bachelor's degree in engineering and a master's degree in business administration (MBA) is good preparation for this occupation.
In general, employers prefer to hire people who have several years of experience in the heating and cooling industry. It helps if some of your time is spent as a supervisor.
Many employers offer training specific to geothermal energy as well as the company's products and policies. The length of training varies by employer.
Related Educational Programs:
- Business Management and Administration
- Engineering Technologies
Licensing / Certification / Designation / Registration
Typically, workers who install, test, and maintain electrical systems are required to have an electrician's license.
Additional Sources of Information
- "Green Careers: Choosing Work for a Sustainable Future" ($19.95 paper cover, p. 368)
By Jim Cassio and Alice Rush, MA, RPCC, MCC
Publication date: 2009
New Society Publishers
Career Information Available on the Internet
© Copyright Hawaii Green Jobs Initiative, LMI Innovation Grant, Research and Statistics Office, Department of Labor & Industrial Relations, State of Hawaii. All Rights Reserved.