Energy Resources & Energy Technicians: How Power is Generated

The energy industry continues to grow and diversify, and so does the demand for an educated, well-trained workforce. Technology has helped us harness new types of energy more efficiently, including natural gas, coal, oil, nuclear, water, wind, geothermal and solar energy. The task of energy technicians is to install, maintain and repair the essential electric infrastructure that powers our world.

Learn more about the various sources of energy and the roles energy technicians play in producing, storing and distributing power.

What Do Energy Technicians Do?

Energy technicians control the energy producing systems to distribute power, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The energy technician controls power-generating equipment that may use different types of fossil fuels, including natural gas and coal. They read and report electricity flows by reading charts, meters and gauges.

Fossil Fuels: Where Do They Come From?

Fossil fuels were formed millions of years ago before the dinosaurs roamed the earth. Hydrocarbons formed from decayed plants and animals and are converted into fossil fuels from heat exposure and pressure in the Earth’s crust. Fossil fuels provide most of the world’s energy, particularly from coal and oil. Oil is converted into gasoline which powers most of our vehicles.

How is Water Used to Create Electricity?

Water can be used to create electricity by using the motion of waves, the breakdown of elements to hydrogen from H2O and through hydroelectric energy from dams. Tidal energy is produced by the rise and fall of tides where kinetic energy is converted into electrical energy. Hydrogen-based fuel, which is created by breaking apart water molecules, is also a source of power. In fact, many cars are being engineered to run on this type of fuel. We can also create electricity by harnessing the downhill flow of water to turn generators. This form of power is called hydroelectric energy.

Technicians working at hydroelectric power plants monitor power-generating equipment, read charts to measure the flow of electricity, regulate the flow of power and inspect equipment.

Wind Turbines: How Do They Work?

Wind turns the wind turbine that includes three propeller-like blades that rotate around a rotor. The rotor is connected to the main shaft of the wind turbine and as the main shaft turns it powers a generator to produce electricity.

What Does a Wind Turbine Service Technician Do?

The wind turbine service technician installs, maintains and repairs wind turbines. These technicians will inspect the physical integrity of the wind turbine towers, inspect and repair wind turbine equipment, test and troubleshoot turbine components and collect turbine data for research and analysis. Employment of wind turbine service technicians is projected to grow 45 percent from 2022 to 2032, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.63

Where Does Geothermal Energy Come From?

Geothermal energy is the heat produced beneath the Earth’s surface. High temperatures are created in Earth’s crust from hot rocks that heat up the water below the Earth’s surface, causing steam to escape. Geothermal turbines capture the steam that helps power generators as they rotate, creating electricity.

What Do Geothermal Plant Operators Do?

Power plant operators work in control rooms and monitor the generation and distribution of geothermal power. They inspect equipment, keep maintenance logs and record loads on generators, lines and transformers.

How is Energy Harnessed from the Sun?

Solar panels turn sunlight into energy by exciting electrons in silicon cells. The loose electrons in the silicon cells are collected to form a direct current (DC). The DC power is then converted into alternating current (AC) with the help of inverters. This AC power is then used to power an individual home or distributed to the electric grid.

Solar installation technicians install and maintain solar panels in commercial, residential and industrial settings.

Does a career as an Energy Technician interest you? Want to have the power of an entire nation at your fingertips? Our Energy Technology programs provide the hands-on training, practical experience and industry support it takes to pursue a technical career.* Classes are interactive and led by industry professionals with years of experience working in the field. You will get personalized, hands-on instruction in whichever energy program you pursue.

Our goal is to produce graduates who are in the top echelon of initial on-the-job training due to the foundational knowledge they receive at MIAT. To learn more about Energy Technology career training and to explore if the programs are right for you, fill out the form on this page.

Contact us if you are interested in becoming an energy technician today.

For important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of the students who attended this program visit the following disclosure links:

Associate’s Degree in Energy Technology

Certificate in Energy and Industrial Technology

63Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Wind Turbine Technicians, BLS projects total employment will increase from 11,200 in 2022 to 16,200 in 2032. UTI and MIAT are educational institutions and cannot guarantee employment or salary. For program outcome information and other disclosures, visit