Take shop classes while in school to learn how to work with machinery and equipment. A part-time job or internship with a methane/landfill gas generation company is a good way to gain exposure to the field while gaining valuable work experience. Ask your school's career services office for help with locating companies that are hiring interns and entry-level workers. Another way to find out about the types of companies that are involved in landfill gas collection services is through online research. Start with the career section of the National Waste & Recycling Association's Web site, https://jobs.wasterecycling.org/jobseekers.
Membership to a professional association for landfill gas generation and collection professionals offers access to education, networking, and other resources. The Solid Waste Association of North America, for example, offers different levels of membership, including student membership and young professionals membership. Find information at https://swana.org/membership.
Methane/landfill gas generation system technicians monitor and maintain the landfill collection components and systems, including the harvesting of methane gas. They make sure that the gas collected from the landfill is correctly and properly converted to electricity and other types of power. They routinely check the well fields at landfills and keep records of the liquid levels in the gas extraction wells. Technicians use various tools such as analyzers, pneumatic pumps, flare or blower systems, and condensate management systems, for maintaining and making minor repairs to landfill gas collection and power generation systems. They work on gas engines, controls, generators, landfill piping, and ancillary equipment, calibrating and adjusting such things as flow meters and pressure gauges as necessary.
Technicians may operate landfill methane-, gas-, or natural gas-fueled electrical generation systems. In addition to monitoring and keeping records of the well fields and extraction wells, they monitor the vegetative covering of the landfill, adding more covering to the landfill if required. They also analyze various aspects of the extraction, generation, or transmission facilities, with the aim to improve the instrumentation or function. They identify problems with landfill and methane gas collection systems and come up with solutions.
Technicians also make sure that the data used for monitoring well fields is in compliance with industry regulations. They keep logs of the pressure readings of well-head gauges and download the well-field monitoring data. Technicians are also responsible for writing and submitting operational, safety, and compliance reports and forms. Technology skills are required for this work, as technicians analyze and record data and create reports using various software programs, such as landfill gas analysis software like Landtec System Software LFG Pro and Microsoft Excel for spreadsheets, among others.