Fuel Cell Engineers
Overview | Related Occupations
| Outlook | Helpful High School Courses
| Preparation | Related Educational
Programs | Licensing/Certification/Designation/Registration
| Additional Sources of Information
Fuel cell engineers design and test fuel cell technology to generate power.
Fuel cell technology can be used to power a variety of devices and equipment such as:
- Mobile devices
- Large buildings
When designing fuel cells for a new application, engineers usually work in teams to come up with an overall concept. They develop prototypes (models) of the technology.
Engineers work with clients to determine the type of fuel cell required for products. They take into account where it needs to function, and how long it needs to last. This helps to determine the materials used to build the fuel cell.
Engineers use computer models to simulate how a fuel cell works before they test a prototype. Engineers test for:
- How much energy is produced
- How to reduce emissions
- How to make the fuel cell more efficient
During testing, engineers make adjustments if necessary and repeat the testing process.
Engineers in this field must read literature and attend conferences to keep up with developments in the field.
- Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Hawaii Career Pathways:
- Industrial & Engineering Technology
Fuel Cell Engineers, currently does not have any information pertaining to outlook.
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
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
- Computer Science
- Physical Science
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
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
and groups that may be available in your high school or community.
To work as a fuel cell engineer, you typically need to:
- have a high school diploma or GED; and
- have a college degree in chemical or mechanical
Most students prepare for this field by earning a bachelor's
degree in chemical or mechanical engineering. Many four-year colleges and universities
offer these programs of study. You may need between four and five years to complete
one of these programs. Some two-year colleges have agreements with the engineering
departments at four-year schools. These agreements allow you to take your first
two years of courses at the two-year college. Then you move to the university
for the last two years. Some liberal arts schools have similar programs to prepare
you for engineering schools.
Right now there are very few dedicated fuel cell engineering
programs of study. As the field grows, it is likely that more courses will be
offered to provide college-level training in this area.
Some jobs require a master's or doctoral degree (Ph.D.). For
instance, if you are interested in teaching fuel cell engineering at a college
you need a Ph.D. Also, many student engineers go to graduate school to specialize
or work in advanced positions.
It is helpful to have technical or related engineering work experience. Working as an intern during college is a great way to gain experience.
New workers often learn additional skills on the job. The length of training may vary.
- Engineering Technologies
Licensing / Certification
/ Designation / Registration
In Hawaii, engineers (except those employed by the federal government) whose work involves the safety or health of the public must be licensed by the Hawaii board of professional engineers, architects, surveyors, and landscape architects. In Hawaii, licenses are offered in seven disciplines of engineering which include agriculture, chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, mechanical, and structural. Licensure requires meeting educational and experience requirements, passing an exam, and paying fees.
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.