Bioenergy Careers

Why Bioenergy?

Jobs in bioenergy and related fields covers a broad spectrum.

There are chemists, agricultural specialists, microbiologists, biochemists, engineers and others working in universities, laboratories and industry researching the production and use of biomass for energy and creating bioproducts.

Additionally, engineers and construction workers are needed to design and build bioenergy plants, while electrical and mechanical technicians, engineers (mechanical, electrical, and chemical), mechanics, and equipment operators are needed to run and maintain these plants. Many of these companies require employees who are cross-trained in areas such as engineering and biology, or chemistry and agriculture.

Below is a sampling of careers linked to the growing field of bioenergy and bioproducts. (Material from the USDA and Purdue.) 

Renewable Energy Specialist - A renewable energy specialist helps ensure that we can meet the world's energy needs in the future. Creating energy from the wind, biomass crops, agricultural residues, municipal wastes, or solar energy requires that the specialists forecast the advent of new technologies and always stay current on relevant public policies at the local, state, and federal levels.

Biochemist - Biochemists explore the chemical events that cause biological phenomena in living organisms. The knowledge that biochemists gain in their research provides a basic understanding of the marvelous workings of the vast array of life forms. Frequently, that knowledge also can be translated into products that benefit agriculture, human health, and consumers.

Biological Engineer - Biological engineering is a new, rapidly developing discipline that uses scientific principles involving the life sciences to create products and processes to meet human needs in a profitable, effective manner. Due to the very intimate nature of biology and living organisms, this type of engineering has the potential to be very different than traditional engineering disciplines, which are primarily based on non-living materials and processes.

Biotechnologist - A biotechnologist understands biological processes and may use that knowledge to diagnose or treat a disease, develop a new drug, produce a crop plant that has higher yield, or improve a process for making a biofuel such as ethanol.

Environmental Scientist - Many environmental scientists protect the environment through jobs in solid and hazardous waste management, land use, and air or water quality.

Plant Physiologist - Plant physiologists study the physical, chemical, and biological functions of living plants. They study whole plants, as well as plant cells, molecules, and genes. Plant physiologists often work as members of multidisciplinary teams composed of molecular and cell biologists, biochemists and geneticists, with the broad objective of understanding the function of genes in plants.

Science Writer - Stupendous science simply stated. Science writers must fit their writing styles to suit a variety of materials and audiences. They write news stories manuals, and press releases for non-profit and for-profit corporations. Their main job is to describe science without using scientific terms.