Geothermal Engineer

Generate electricity using heat from the earth's depths.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$53,000 – $148,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Geothermal Engineers do?

The term “geothermal” refers to heat that stems from the core or the surface of the Earth. The heat is generated in one of two ways: 1) The sun heats the first few feet of the Earth’s surface, and 2) Radioactive materials decay deep in the Earth’s core, producing heat. A Geothermal Engineer uses these two naturally occurring phenomena to design systems that produce heat and electricity.

If that sounds like a huge task, it is. But when you’re a Geothermal Engineer, you don’t do it alone. In fact, you better play nice with the other children in the sandbox, because the job of a Geothermal Engineer requires massive amounts of team effort. You work with other Scientists, Technicians, and Engineers who all have valid and necessary contributions to make.

Together, you locate reservoirs beneath the Earth’s surface. This might require you to travel around the world because some areas have reservoirs that are more accessible than others. Once you find a reservoir, the next task is to identify ways to access it. Then you design a system of pipes that cool, transfer, and use that heat to produce electricity.

Each job is a little different depending on the goal and accessibility. While one project might have you placing pipes a few feet underground, others might require much greater depths. No worries, though, because you and your team have vast understanding of science and math, equipment on site, pipes routed, and 3D models tacked to the office wall. With all this, steam will be en route to the nearest power plant in no time.

Should I be a Geothermal Engineer?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Leader: You're good at taking charge, giving directions, and inspiring other people.
  • Logical Thinker: You take a step-by-step approach to analyze information and solve problems.

  • Also known as: Geothermal Operations Engineer

    How to become a Geothermal Engineer

    Most Geothermal Engineers have a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:k9csaa&chl=no+college+%2811%25%29|certificate+%2867%25%29|associate%27s+%283%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2820%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,11,67
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