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Oswego Career Ladders - Geothermal

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High School Plus Training

Driller - Geologists and drillers study rock and soil data to decide whether to recommend drilling. Average starting salary $35,000-$50,000/yr.

Bachelors Degree or Higher

Geologist - Explores volcanic regions to find the most likely areas for further study, examining geologic landforms and fault structures. Average salary $54,000/yr.

Geochemist - Conducts tests of water to analyze its chemical composition and then determine its suitability for various uses of the heat source. Average salaries $32,500/yr for BS, $43,600/yr for MS, and $65,000/yr for Ph.D.s.

Geophysicist - Studies how rock formations and fault structures influence the hydrology of geothermal reservoirs and fluid flow, hydrothermal eruptions and related geothermal hazards as well as heat flow in areas of steaming ground. Average salary $75,000/yr.

Hydrologist - Manages surface and ground water to avoid problems caused by floods, droughts, population growth, and the impact of human activities. Hydrologist are involved in the exploration process to determine if a proposed geothermal well is economically viable and what impact the use of water for this purpose would have on the environment. Average salary $61,510/yr.

Reservoir Engineer - Tests wells, monitors their output, designs new wells, and predicts the long-term performance of the reservoir and wells. Average salary $70,000-$80,000/yr.

Mud Logger - Mudloggers are geologists who work out of mobile field laboratories. The primary function is to collect, describe, and evaluate rock cuttings which are returned to the surface with the drilling fluid. Average salary $29,000-$40,000/yr.

Hydraulic Engineer - Concerned with the flow and conveyance of fluids, principally water. Average salary $44,000-$49,000/yr.

Environmental Scientist - Prepares environmental impact studies related to the exploration, construction and operation of geothermal energy plants. Average salary $57,000/yr.

Heating Engineer - Designs systems and manages cost, spec writing and construction administration of projects and oversees installation of systems. Average salary $60,000-$70,000/yr.

Electrical Engineer - Designs/develops more efficient power systems and controls equipment for the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy. Average salary $75,000/yr.

Mechanical Engineer - The EPA has rated GHP as the most efficient heating and cooling system available today. Different styles of pipes are installed beside a building. A liquid is piped through the pipes to pick up the heat FROM the ground or (in the summer) to bring heat from the building to the ground. Mechanical engineers, geologists, drilling crews, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning contractors are needed to manufacture and install GHPs. Average salary $74,000/yr.

* All wages and salaries based on 2009 statistics.

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