Learn more about the biomass energy industry by attending industry events and conferences. For example, the International Biomass Conference and Expo is held each year in different parts of the country and offers opportunities to network with and learn from people working in the biomass field. Find information at http://www.biomassconference.com.
Visit the Web sites of industry associations such as the Biomass Power Association (https://www.usabiomass.org/) to keep up with industry news and career opportunities. Search for biomass energy associations that are located in your region to find out about upcoming events. Volunteering at these events is another good way to gain valuable experience and talk with people about the different types of jobs in biomass energy. A part-time or summer job in a biomass power plant or renewable energy company is another good way to get a foot in the door. Find job listings through your school's career services office, professional associations, and through employment Web sites.
Biomass power plant managers oversee the production and operations of power plants that transform biomass to usable energy. The biomass may be coal, wood, paper sludge, or other types of waste. The power plant managers make sure that equipment is functioning correctly and that workers and production processes are operating according to safety protocols and in compliance with federal and regional standards and regulations. They make sure the biomass power plant is producing energy that is at safe levels.
Managers of biomass power plants have many responsibilities beyond supervising plant employees and processes. They test equipment and make repairs, using specialized tools and testing procedures. They are knowledgeable about raw materials, quality control, costs, and other aspects of manufacturing, and rely on this knowledge when preparing and managing power plant budgets. Power plant managers also create and manage the schedules for fuel deliveries and waste removal. They keep track of inventory so that supplies and parts are readily available to keep the power plant operating safely and efficiently.
The job also entails administrative tasks, such as reading reports and data to keep up to date on production processes so that improvements can be made where needed. Power plant managers communicate regularly with other managers and power plant staff via e-mail and face-to-face meetings. The software programs that they use daily include electronic mail software such as Microsoft Outlook, facilities management software such as CMMS (computerized maintenance management system), and spreadsheet software (Microsoft Excel) and Word processing software (Microsoft Word).