Geothermal Technicians
SOC: 49-9099.01

Description:

Perform technical activities at power plants or individual installations necessary for the generation of power from geothermal energy sources. Monitor and control operating activities at geothermal power generation facilities and perform maintenance and repairs as necessary. Install, test, and maintain residential and commercial geothermal heat pumps.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
163,500 employed

Projected (2024):
170,600 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Control Operator
  • Control Room Operator (CRO)
  • Corrosion Technician
  • Distribution Field Technician
  • Geothermal Field Technician
  • Geothermal HVAC Technician (Geothermal Heating, Ventilating, and Air Conditioning Technician)
  • Geothermal Installer
  • Geothermal System Installer
  • Geothermal Technician
  • Ground Source Heat Pump Technician (GSHP Technician)
  • Instrument and Controls Technician (I & C Technician)
  • Instrumentation and Electrical Technician (I & E Technician)
  • Instrumentation, Control, and Electrical Technician (I C & E Technician)
  • Maintenance Mechanic
  • Maintenance Technician
  • Mechanic
  • Mechanical Technician
  • Operations and Maintenance Technician
  • Operations Technician
  • Operator
  • Operator Technician
  • Plant Control Operator
  • Plant Mechanic
  • Plant Operator
  • Plant Technician
  • PPO (Power Plant Operator)
  • Pump Technician


  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed

    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.

    Education:

    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    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.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Geography
  • Medicine and Dentistry
  • Therapy and Counseling
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Foreign Language
  • History and Archeology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Identify and correct malfunctions of geothermal plant equipment, electrical systems, instrumentation, or controls.
  • Install, maintain, or repair ground or water source-coupled heat pumps to heat and cool residential or commercial building air or water.
  • Monitor and adjust operations of geothermal power plant equipment or systems.
  • Adjust power production systems to meet load and distribution demands.
  • Backfill piping trenches to protect pipes from damage.
  • Calculate heat loss and heat gain factors for residential properties to determine heating and cooling required by installed geothermal systems.
  • Design and lay out geothermal heat systems according to property characteristics, heating and cooling requirements, piping and equipment requirements, applicable regulations, or other factors.
  • Determine the type of geothermal loop system most suitable to a specific property and its heating and cooling needs.
  • Dig trenches for system piping to appropriate depths and lay piping in trenches.
  • Prepare newly installed geothermal heat systems for operation by flushing, purging, or other actions.
  • Identify equipment options, such as compressors, and make appropriate selections.
  • Install and maintain geothermal system instrumentation or controls.
  • Maintain electrical switchgear, process controls, transmitters, gauges, and control equipment in accordance with geothermal plant procedures.
  • Maintain, calibrate, or repair plant instrumentation, control, and electronic devices in geothermal plants.
  • Perform pre- and post-installation pressure, flow, and related tests of vertical and horizontal geothermal loop piping.
  • Apply coatings or operate systems to mitigate corrosion of geothermal plant equipment or structures.
  • Collect and record data associated with operating geothermal power plants or well fields.
  • Determine whether emergency or auxiliary systems will be needed to keep properties heated or cooled in extreme weather conditions.
  • Install and maintain geothermal plant electrical protection equipment.
  • Integrate hot water heater systems with geothermal heat exchange systems.
  • Operate equipment such as excavators, backhoes, rock hammers, trench compactors, pavement saws, grout mixers or pumps, geothermal loop reels, and coil tubing units (CTU).
  • Prepare and maintain logs, reports, or other documentation of work performed.
  • Test water sources for factors such as flow volume and contaminant presence.
  • Weld piping, such as high density polyethylene (HDPE) piping, using techniques such as butt, socket, side-wall, and electro-fusion welding.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Adjustable hand wrenches
  • Adjustable pipe wrenches
  • Air monitoring equipment
  • Air wrenches
  • Alignment clamps
  • Butt fusion machines
  • Channel lock pliers
  • Claw hammers
  • Coil tubing units
  • Deburring tools
  • Depth meters
  • Desktop computers
  • Grout mixers
  • Grout pumps
  • Laptop computers
  • Pavement saws
  • Personal computers
  • Phillips head screwdrivers
  • Pipe cutters
  • Pipe squeeze off tools
  • Portable welding equipment
  • Programmable logic controllers PLC
  • Protective respirators
  • Pyrometers
  • Ratchet sets
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety gloves
  • Socket wrench sets
  • Straight screwdrivers
  • Tracked excavators
  • Trench compacters
  • Valve wrenches
  • Well drilling rigs
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire strippers
  • Autodesk AutoCAD software
  • ClimateMaster GeoDesigner
  • Distributed control systems DCS software
  • Email software
  • Geothermal Properties Measurement Tool
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Word
  • SAP software
  • Thermal Dynamics Ground Loop Design GLD
  • WaterFurnace International Ground Loop Design PREMIER


  • installation maintenance and repair


    industry stats

    SOC: 49-0000

    Total Employed: 5,374,150

    Average Annual Salary: $45,990