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 Does Water Create Electricity?

Water can create electricity from 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 96 percent from 2016 to 2026, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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 flow 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? The Energy Technology Programs from MIAT College of Technology provide the hands-on training, practical experience, and industry support it takes to pursue a rewarding 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.

MIAT’s 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 MIAT is 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

Associate’s Degree in Energy Technology
Certificate in Energy and Industrial Technology