Geothermal Technician Career

Job 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.


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Geothermal Technician Career

What Geothermal Technicians do:

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

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Assisting and Caring for Others - Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Holland Code Chart for a Geothermal Technician