Geothermal Energy Industry Workers

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 industy.

Quick Facts
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
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
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $100,000+
Employment Prospects Good
Advancement Prospects Good
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
Education and Training
  • Some Postsecondary Training
  • Bachelor's Degree
Related School Subjects
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Technical/Shop
Experience Internship, volunteer, or part-time positions
  • Building/Trades
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
  • Scientific
Personality Traits
  • Problem-Solving
  • Scientific
  • Technical
Licensure/Certification Recommended
Special Requirements None
Career Ladder
  • Manager or Consultant
  • Experienced Geothermal Energy Industry Worker
  • Entry-Level Geothermal Energy Industry Worker

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