Summary Report for:
51-8099.01 - Biofuels Processing Technicians
Calculate, measure, load, mix, and process refined feedstock with additives in fermentation or reaction process vessels and monitor production process. Perform, and keep records of, plant maintenance, repairs, and safety inspections.
Sample of reported job titles: Biofuels Processing Technician, Board Operator, Chemical Operator, Ethanol Operator, Kettle Operator, Mash Preparatory Operator, Process Operator, Process Technician, Production Operator
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Monitor batch, continuous flow, or hybrid biofuels production processes.
- Operate valves, pumps, engines, or generators to control and adjust biofuels production.
- Monitor and record biofuels processing data.
- Collect biofuels samples and perform routine laboratory tests or analyses to assess biofuels quality.
- Operate equipment, such as a centrifuge, to extract biofuels products and secondary by-products or reusable fractions.
- Process refined feedstock with additives in fermentation or reaction process vessels.
- Operate chemical processing equipment for the production of biofuels.
- Monitor and record flow meter performance.
- Inspect biofuels plant or processing equipment regularly, recording or reporting damage and mechanical problems.
- Measure and monitor raw biofuels feedstock.
- Preprocess feedstock in preparation for physical, chemical, or biological fuel production processes.
- Calculate, measure, load, or mix refined feedstock used in biofuels production.
- Monitor stored biofuels products or secondary by-products until reused or transferred to users.
- Assess the quality of biofuels additives for reprocessing.
- Clean biofuels processing work area, ensuring compliance with safety regulations.
- Perform routine maintenance on mechanical, electrical, or electronic equipment or instruments used in the processing of biofuels.
- Calibrate liquid flow devices and meters, including fuel, chemical, and water meters.
- Rebuild, repair, or replace biofuels processing equipment components.
- Coordinate raw product sourcing or collection.
- Analytical or scientific software — Data visualization software; SAS
- Business intelligence and data analysis software — Tableau
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software
- Facilities management software — Computerized maintenance management system CMMS
- Industrial control software — Digital control systems DCS; Human machine interface HMI software
- Inventory management software — Inventory control software
- Object or component oriented development software — Python ; R
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Adjustable widemouth pliers
- Adjustable wrenches — Adjustable hand wrenches
- Air compressors
- Air conveyors — Pneumatic conveyor systems
- Air dryers — Materials dryers
- Air samplers or collectors — Air monitoring equipment; Emissions monitoring systems
- Alarm systems — Emergency alarm systems
- Ball valves
- Belt conveyors — Belt conveyor systems
- Benchtop centrifuges
- Binocular light compound microscopes
- Clock timers — Electric timing devices
- Control valves — Flow control valves FCV; Throttle control valves TCV
- Deionization or demineralization equipment — Demineralizers
- Desktop computers
- Digestion systems — Methanators
- Distillation pipings or columns or fittings — Distillation columns; Stripper columns
- Ear plugs — Protective ear plugs
- Evaporative coolers — Cooling towers
- Filtering machinery — Belt filters
- Flow transmitters
- Front end loaders — Wheeled front end loaders
- Gas chromatographs — Gas chromatographs GC
- Gate valves — Gate butterfly valves
- Globe valves — Stop valves
- Grinding mills — Milling equipment
- Hand pumps — Hand sampling pumps
- Handheld refractometers or polarimeters — Portable refractometers
- Heat exchangers
- High pressure liquid chromatograph chromatography — High pressure liquid chromatograph HPLC equipment
- Hoists — Chain hoists
- Hydrometers — Digital hydrometers
- Infrared imagers — Infrared temperature guns
- Laboratory crushers or pulverizers — Crusher screens
- Laboratory evaporators — High vacuum evaporation systems
- Laboratory flasks — Reaction flasks
- Laboratory graduated cylinders — Glass graduated cylinders
- Laboratory mechanical convection ovens — Gravity convection ovens
- Laboratory mixers — Agitators
- Laboratory sifting equipment — Sifting screens
- Level sensors or transmitters — Level transmitters
- Mixers or agitators — Static mixers
- Moisture balances — Halogen moisture balances
- Moisture meters — Moisture analyzers
- Pallet trucks — Pallet jacks
- Personal computers
- pH meters — pH probes
- Plant samples analysis equipment — Sample ports
- Pressure transmitters — Pressure gauges
- Protective gloves — Safety gloves
- Respiration air supplying self contained breathing apparatus or accessories — Self-contained breathing apparatus
- Respirators — Dust and particulate respirators
- Reverse osmosis equipment
- Safety harnesses or belts — Fall protection harnesses
- Screwdrivers — Phillips head screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
- Skid steer loaders
- Spill kits — Hazardous material spill kits
- Standard fermentation units — Fermentation processing vessels
- Temperature transmitters — Temperature sensors
- Test sieves — Mole sieves
- Titration equipment — Autotitrators; Titrators
- Two way radios — Mobile radios
- Vacuum or mercury vapour equipment — Vacuum systems
- Viscosimeters — Viscosity meters
- Water samplers
- Water tube boiler — Steam boilers
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- 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.
- Chemistry — Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- 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.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- 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.
- 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.
- Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Instructing — Teaching others how to do something.
- Repairing — Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Troubleshooting — Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- 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.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- 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).
- 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).
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- 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.
- 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.
- Reaction Time — The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
- Auditory Attention — The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Flexibility of Closure — The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
- Rate Control — The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
- Time Sharing — The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
- Extent Flexibility — The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
- Far Vision — The ability to see details at a distance.
- Hearing Sensitivity — The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
- Analyzing Data or Information — Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- 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.
- Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- 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.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates — Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.
Detailed Work Activities
- Monitor biofuel production operations.
- Operate biomass or biofuel production equipment.
- Record operational or production data.
- Evaluate quality of materials or products.
- Collect samples of materials or products for testing.
- Operate pumping systems or equipment.
- Prepare biological feedstock for physical, chemical, or biological processing.
- Inspect sustainable energy production facilities or equipment.
- Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
- Measure stock or liquid levels in sustainable fuel production systems.
- Calculate specific material, equipment, or labor requirements for production.
- Load materials into production equipment.
- Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes.
- Direct operational or production activities.
- Clean work areas.
- Maintain sustainable energy production equipment.
- Adjust equipment controls to regulate flow of water, cleaning solutions, or other liquids.
- Replace worn equipment components.
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 100% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 93% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 85% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 84% responded “Every day.”
- Contact With Others — 75% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 91% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 76% responded “Extremely important.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 73% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 55% responded “Very important.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 56% responded “Very important results.”
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — 69% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 52% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 44% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 57% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 67% responded “Every day.”
- Consequence of Error — 52% responded “Extremely serious.”
- Exposed to High Places — 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 42% responded “Some freedom.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 53% responded “40 hours.”
- Time Pressure — 60% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 37% responded “Extremely important.”
- Telephone — 47% responded “Every day.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 37% responded “Important.”
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 36% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
- Outdoors, Under Cover — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 39% responded “More than half the time.”
- Degree of Automation — 33% responded “Moderately automated.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 49% responded “Every day.”
- Letters and Memos — 37% responded “Every day.”
- Electronic Mail — 42% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 39% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
- Spend Time Standing — 35% responded “About half the time.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 36% responded “Every day.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “Limited responsibility.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 34% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions — 44% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment — 26% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
|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 orderlies, counter and rental clerks, customer service representatives, security guards, upholsterers, and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
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- 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.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- 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.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- 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.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- 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.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wage data for Plant and System Operators, All Other.
Employment data for Plant and System Operators, All Other.
Industry data for Plant and System Operators, All Other.
|Median wages (2020)||$28.35 hourly, $58,960 annual|
|Employment (2019)||13,200 employees|
|Projected growth (2019-2029)||Little or no change|
|Projected job openings (2019-2029)||1,200|
|Top industries (2019)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2019-2029 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2019-2029). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
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