Learn more about biofuels news, issues, and upcoming industry events by reading publications such as Biofuels Digest Web site (http://biofuelsdigest.com). Search the Internet for biofuels companies and see if they are located near you. Find out if you can schedule a visit and speak with someone working in the field to learn more about their job and how they got started in their career. Part-time and summer jobs are another way to gain insights into this type of work. Check the career sections of biofuels companies Web sites to find job listings. Also search for postings through online employment sites.
Liquid biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel can be used to power vehicles, produce heat, and generate electricity. Biofuels production managers oversee the manufacturing plants that create these biofuels. They oversee facility operations and staff, making sure procedures are followed according to safety standards, and that work is done according to schedule and within budget. They are also responsible for quality control.
Production managers work independently as well as with other staff members. They have many responsibilities, including managing operations and staff in production, shipping, maintenance, and quality assurance. They conduct data analysis and studies of production levels, safety procedures, and materials and process costs, with the goal of improving efficiency and safety while conserving costs. They take samples of biofuels products and by-products to test for quality control. The job also entails creating and managing budgets for the power plant and individual units of the plant.
Biofuels production managers have strong knowledge of biofuels production procedures and machinery. During the manufacturing process they may use valves and gauges on machinery to adjust the temperature, pressure, level, or flow rate of biofuels. They make sure machinery is maintained and operating correctly, and fixed and replaced when it is not. People who work in this profession must understand such things as fermentation, chemical distillation, and grain refining, processing, and extracting processes; prior work experience in biofuels or related chemical plants is also beneficial.