Biofuels production managers coordinate and plan the activities needed at biofuels processing plants to create biofuels
Biofuels are defined as fuels composed of or produced from biological raw materials or biomass. Because biofuels are derived largely from plants, these fuels are a renewable resource that can be replenished naturally with the passage of time, unlike crude oil. Moreover, depending on which feedstocks are used and how they are converted, biofuels may produce fewer greenhouse gases (GHGs) than oil-based fuels. Biofuels production manager jobs entail running the daily operations at biofuels processing plants to convert feedstock into fuel through various technologies.
A biofuels production manager’s main duty is to manage operations at biofuels processing plants, including production, shipping, maintenance, or quality assurance activities. They perform a variety of tasks to support the production process such as adjusting temperature, pressure, vacuum, level, flow rate, or transfer of biofuels to maintain processes at required levels. They also monitor meters, flow gauges, or other real-time data to ensure proper operation of biofuels production equipment, implementing corrective measures as needed. Biofuels production managers are also responsible for shutting down and restarting biofuels plant or equipment in emergency situations or for equipment maintenance, repairs, or replacements.
Biofuels production managers prepare and manage biofuels plant or unit budgets. They conduct cost, material, and efficiency studies for biofuels production plants or operations.They approve proposals for the acquisition, replacement, or repair of biofuels processing equipment or the implementation of new production processes. Biofuels production managers also review logs, datasheets, or reports to ensure adequate production levels or to identify abnormalities with biofuels production equipment or processes.
Biofuels production managers supervise biofuels processing technicians in the manufacturing of biofuels, such as biodiesel or ethanol. They also provide feedback on employees’ job performance. They ensure compliance with all federal, state, and local laws and safety requirements. Biofuels production managers confer with technical and supervisory personnel to report or resolve conditions affecting biofuels plant safety, operational efficiency, and product quality. They must be able to solve problems quickly, adjust procedures when issues arise, and maintain detailed records on processing plant production.
Most biofuels production managers work in biofuels processing plants in shifts, as plants operate around the clock. Biofuels production managers must follow a number of standard operating procedures and abide by all safety protocols. When working on processing equipment, they must wear safety equipment, such as gloves or goggles. They also spend time in the office within the processing plants to prepare document and review procedures.
To obtain these green jobs as Biofuels production managers, it is often required a bachelor’s degree in a related science, engineering, or business administration. Many manager positions require between 1 and 5 years of work experience, while others may require up to 10 years of related experience. In addition, some employers want their managers to have previous experience as a supervisor. Most production managers must complete company-specific training. Many managers opt to earn various certifications to show a higher level of competency in their field.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a bright outlook for biofuels production managers and expects employment of this field to grow from 3 to 9 percent from 2010 until 2020; slower than the average for all green jobs. The BLS projected 49,000 biofuels production manager job openings between 2010 and 2020, and noted 150,000 jobs are currently filled. Titles included Fuel Manager, Maintenance Manager, Maintenance Supervisor, Operations Manager, Operations Supervisor, Operations and Maintenance Manager, Plant Manager, Production Supervisor, Production Support Manager, Production Support Supervisor. The BLS further reports that the median annual wage for salaried biomass power plant manager was $89,190 in 2012 with median hourly wage of $42.88. Wages and benefits vary by employer and geographic location.