Geothermal Energy Industry Workers

Equipment Operator Cleans a Drill Used to Detect Geothermal Spots

Geothermal energy industry workers perform a wide range of duties, such as studying and testing sites for possible geothermal drilling, drilling geothermal wells, designing and building geothermal power plants, and operating and maintaining power plants. The Geothermal Energy Association estimates that 13,100 people are directly employed in the geothermal industry. Many other workers, however, from geologists and biologists to lawyers, surveyors, engineers, architects, site managers, office staff, and others provide support to the industry.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Architects, Drilling Engineers, Drilling Fluid Workers, Engineering Technicians, Exploration Drillers, Geochemists, Geologists, Geophysicists, Geothermal Engineers, Hydrologists, National Environmental Policy Act Coordinators, Rig Hands, Rig Site Managers, Safety Managers, Sample Analysts, Site Operators
Duties Develop geothermal energy resources; obtain licenses from federal and state agencies; conduct studies of areas with geothermal features to determine their feasibility for profitability; drill geothermal wells; design and build geothermal power plants; operate and maintain power plants; provide support services to workers who perform the aforementioned tasks
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Indoors/Outdoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the country but are best in the western United States, where most geothermal resources are located
Minimum Education Level
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Bachelor's Degree
School Subjects
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Internship, volunteer, or part-time positions
Personality Traits
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Technical
  • Building/Trades
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Certification or Licensing Required
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
Outlook Faster than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Manager or Consultant
  • Experienced Geothermal Energy Industry Worker
  • Entry-Level Geothermal Energy Industry Worker