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Summary Report for:
51-8099.03 - Biomass Plant Technicians

Control and monitor biomass plant activities and perform maintenance as needed.

Sample of reported job titles: Auxiliary Engineer, Auxiliary Operator, Biomass Facilitator, Boiler Operator, Control Room Operator, Equipment Operator, Fuel Handler, Fuel Quality Tech, Instrumentation and Controls Technician, Plant Operator

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings

Tasks

  • Operate biomass fuel-burning boiler or biomass fuel gasification system equipment in accordance with specifications or instructions. Green Task Statement
  • Operate valves, pumps, engines, or generators to control and adjust production of biofuels or biomass-fueled power. Green Task Statement
  • Operate equipment to start, stop, or regulate biomass-fueled generators, generator units, boilers, engines, or auxiliary systems. Green Task Statement
  • Inspect biomass power plant or processing equipment, recording or reporting damage and mechanical problems. Green Task Statement
  • Record or report operational data such as readings on meters, instruments, and gauges. Green Task Statement
  • Clean work areas to ensure compliance with safety regulations. Green Task Statement
  • Measure and monitor raw biomass feedstock, including wood, waste, or refuse materials. Green Task Statement
  • Perform routine maintenance or make minor repairs to mechanical, electrical, or electronic equipment in biomass plants. Green Task Statement
  • Read and interpret instruction manuals or technical drawings related to biomass-fueled power or biofuels production equipment or processes. Green Task Statement
  • Operate high-pressure steam boiler or water chiller equipment for electrical cogeneration operations. Green Task Statement

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

Fire tube boilers — Biomass boilers; Bubbling fluidized bed boilers; Circulating fluidized bed boilers
Front end loaders — Wheeled front end loaders
Grinding mills — Grinders; Tub grinders
Intake structures — Biomass screeners; Disc screeners
Steam generators — Heat recovery steam generators

Technology used in this occupation:

Analytical or scientific software — Energy analysis software
Industrial control software — Distributed control systems DCS software
Inventory management software — Inventory control software
Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Word processing software — Microsoft Word

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Knowledge

Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Physics — Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.

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Skills

Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.

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Abilities

Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Perceptual Speed — The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).

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Work Activities

Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

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Work Context

Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — How often does this job require working outdoors, exposed to all weather conditions?
Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — How often does this job require exposure to hazardous equipment?
Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — How often does this job require working in very hot (above 90 F degrees) or very cold (below 32 F degrees) temperatures?
Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
Exposed to Contaminants — How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?
Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in non-controlled environmental conditions (e.g., warehouse without heat)?
Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed
Education These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
Related Experience Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.
Job Training Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.
SVP Range (4.0 to < 6.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
65   High school diploma or equivalent Help
24   Post-secondary certificate Help
  Some college, no degree

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Interests

Interest code: RCI

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

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Work Styles

Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

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Work Values

Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

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Wages & Employment Trends

National

Median wages data collected from Plant and System Operators, All Other.
Employment data collected from Plant and System Operators, All Other.
Industry data collected from Plant and System Operators, All Other.

Median wages (2012) $25.55 hourly, $53,130 annual
Employment (2012) 12,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Little or no change (-2% to 2%) Little or no change (-2% to 2%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 4,500
Top industries (2012)

State & National

          CareerOneStop

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs
for Biomass Plant Technicians

          mySkills myFuture

State & National Job Banks

          CareerOneStop

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