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Aloha and welcome to Hawai'i Green Jobs Initiative featuring current green job openings in Hawaii, information about local green training programs and training providers, and Hawaii's green labor market. This portal is a service of the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) which is responsible for ensuring and increasing the economic security, well-being, and productivity of Hawaii's workers.

C-FuelCellTechs

Fuel Cell Technicians

Overview | Related Occupations | Outlook | Helpful High School Courses | Preparation | Related Educational Programs | Additional Sources of Information

Overview

Fuel cell technicians install, operate, and maintain fuel cell systems.

Fuel cell technicians often work with engineers to build fuel cell prototypes.

They calibrate equipment used for testing using a variety of tools and devices.

Technicians make sure fuel cells meet requirements for energy output and long service life. They also monitor emissions. Fuel cells should make low to zero emissions.

Technicians record every step and every result. If tests show something is wrong, technicians report this to engineers and may make suggestions for modifications.

Fuel cell technicians install fuel cells in vehicles and structures. They follow plans and specifications. They make adjustments where necessary. They also perform repairs where needed. Technicians often build and test cells in electrical and power plant systems.

Technicians maintain testing equipment. They troubleshoot equipment when it is malfunctioning.

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Related Occupations

Occupational Clusters:

  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics

Related Occupations:

Hawaii Career Pathways:

  • Industrial & Engineering Technology

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Wages

Pay varies with the worker's level of education, responsibility, and experience. Those who work in manufacturing may belong to a union. When they work overtime or on holidays, they are usually paid more than their usual wage.

Full-time technologists generally receive benefits. Typical benefits are health insurance, a retirement plan, sick leave, and paid vacation. Some companies provide money for continuing education classes.

Engineering technicians, except drafters, all other

Location
Pay
Period
25%
Median
75%
Hawaii Hourly
$27.93
$33.77
$40.14
Yearly
$58,100
$70,240
$83,500

Honolulu

Hourly
$28.21
$33.81
$40.51
Yearly
$58,670
$70,320
$84,260
United States Hourly
$21.52
$28.58
$35.88
Yearly
$44,770
$59,440
$74,620

Outlook

Fuel Cell Technicians, currently do not have any information pertaining to outlook.

Engineering technicians, except drafters, all other

   
Employment
Employment Change
 
2010
2020
Number
Percent
National
70,600
73,900
3,300
4.7
State
620
600
-20
-3.2


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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 the Class of 2014 and 2015. Click here for the graduation requirements for the Class of 2016 and beyond. 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:
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Computer Applications
  • Computer Science
  • Drafting
  • Geology
  • Keyboarding
  • Natural Resources Management
  • Probability and Statistics

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.

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Preparation

To work as a fuel cell technician, you typically need to:
  • have a high school diploma or GED;
  • have at least an associate degree in environmental engineering technology or a related field;
  • have practical, hands-on skills;
  • have good math skills; and
  • be creative.

Education after high school

Most people prepare for this occupation by getting an associate degree. Many schools offer two-year programs in environmental, chemical, or mechanical engineering technology. A few schools are beginning to offer fuel cell technology programs. As an undergraduate student you study chemistry, fundamentals of engineering, and environmental science.

English courses are helpful for writing research and safety reports. Take technical, and oral and interpersonal communication courses to learn how to interpret technical materials and keep scientific report records. Algebra and statistics courses can help you solve mathematical problems.

Many vocational schools offer engineering technology programs. However, the kind and quality of these programs varies greatly. Carefully select your program. Check with employers to see which schools they prefer. In addition, ask the schools for the names of employers where they have placed graduates. Make sure the school has the type of training you want, up-to-date equipment, and qualified instructors. In addition, make sure the school's program offers courses related to your engineering specialty.

Training programs approved by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) meet standards set by the industry. Graduating from an ABET accredited program can give you an advantage with employers.

Pre-engineering programs are not the same as technology programs. Pre-engineering programs stress classroom theory. In contrast, engineering technology programs stress hands-on training.

Work experience

Working in jobs that give you practical experience in fuel cell, mechanical, or chemical engineering technology is good background for this occupation.

Many engineering companies have their own testing labs. They often need extra help during the summer when construction activities are at a peak. Getting a summer job at an "in house" laboratory is a good way to gain experience and make contacts.

On-the-job training

As a new technician, you perform routine tasks while closely supervised by an experienced technician or engineer. As you gain experience, you work on tasks that are more difficult. Training may last up to a year. Some fuel cell technicians may also receive additional training in the use of special equipment.

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Related Educational Programs:

  • Apprenticeship
  • Engineering Technologies

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Additional Sources of Information

Library References

  • "Occupational Outlook Handbook" ($19.95 paper cover to purchase; p. 141)
    Bulletin 2700
    Publication Date: 2013-2014
    Bureau of Labor Statistics
    http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Business-and-Financial/Accountants-and-auditors.htm
  • "Guide for Occupational Exploration" ($39.95 paper cover/$49.95 hard cover; pp. 283, 284)
    ISBN:9781593571795
    Publication Date: Fourth Edition, 2006
    JIST Publishing
    http://www.jist.com/
  • "Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance" ($249.95 ($224.95 for libraries); Vol. 2, p. 1)
    ISBN:0816083134
    Publication Date: Fifteenth Edition, 2010
    J.G. Ferguson Publishing Company
    http://www.fergpubco.com/

Career Information Available on the Internet

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