A biomass power plant is one that burns a biomass resource (such as scrap wood, select crops, or even manure) to make steam that can run a turbine and produce electricity. This organic material is generally left over resources that can be repurposed to make electricity. Interestingly, some coal power stations have converted to using biomass. Though biomass power plants do emit carbon, they are still considered a renewable resource since plants can be replaced with new plants. A biomass power plant manager runs these power plants that convert this biomass into electricity.
Watch a video to learn what a biomass power plant manager does:
How to Become a Biomass Power Plant Manager
According to O*NET OnLine, most biomass power plant managers surveyed have earned at least an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. However, over 60% held a bachelor’s degree. Along with needing experience working at a biomass power plant, a degree in industrial engineering or the sciences would help meet any formal education requirement from an employer.
Job Description of a Biomass Power Plant Manager
A biomass power plant manager ensures safety first at their power plant, so they would be heavily involved ensuring that safety procedures are followed and met. This would also include ensuring all equipment is properly inspected, maintained, and repaired. These managers would also be responsible to ensure their power plant is appropriately staffed, so they would be responsible for hiring qualified workers and ensuring those workers are properly trained.
Biomass power plant managers would also supervise employees and work out schedules, maintain budgets, and routinely review staff’s performance. This could include analyzing gaps in performance or identifying training needs to ensure their staff perform at 100%. They would also need to report the production status to leadership and report any risks in meeting their production goal.
Free Teacher and Student Resources
Wageningen University and Research offers a free course on the Transition from Fossil Resources to Biomass on EdX.org (opens in a new tab). This course provides a basic overview of consumer science, business, logistics, supply chain, and economic principles that are essential for a successful transition from fossil resources to renewable biomass resources in a bio-based economy.
Biomass Power Plant Manager Career Video Transcript
At power plants that turn organic matter into heat and energy, biomass power plant managers are the bridge between production work on the ground, and executive leadership. During routine checks of a power plant’s equipment, you will see biomass power plant managers wearing necessary safety apparel, such as goggles and gloves. They maintain, repair, and test the production processes at biomass stations and substations, which rely on fuels such as wood, paper sludge, or other waste or refuse.
In their office, you will find biomass plant managers scheduling different stages of production, recording maintenance and operational information, and developing budgets for the next big purchase or upcoming year. They regularly evaluate procedures to determine whether they’re in compliance with rules and regulations, and must notify higher-ups when changes need to occur.
Biomass power plant managers usually enter the field with a bachelor’s degree in fields such as industrial engineering or the life sciences. A few years of on-the-job experience in a biomass power plant will also be helpful. Biomass power plant managers often work long hours, and may have to work overtime when deadlines approach. One thing’s for sure, biomass plant managers have to bring a lot of energy to this gig!
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Industrial Production Managers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 11-3051.04. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.