Career Choice: Geothermal Production Managers

Career Choice: Geothermal Production Managers
  • Opening Intro -

    Employment in environmentally sustainable fields continues to grow with new job titles emerging all the time.

    Natural heat tapped from the earth can provide an alternate source of energy, a geothermal-derived byproduct that needs to be managed.


Overseeing this work are geothermal production managers, part of a larger industrial production managers field and “green economy” job designation.


Geothermal production managers supervise staff at geothermal power plants or well fields. These individuals oversee production including plant operation, maintenance and repairs. They perform preventive maintenance on related equipment, identifying and evaluating equipment involving the plant’s systems.

Managers must also develop and oversee budgets for the operation, and develop an operating plan and schedule for plant operation. Geothermal production managers must implement corrosion control as required, while also recording and reviewing daily logs and reports for the plant.


Industrial production managers should have at least a bachelor’s degree to attain to this position. Candidates may also be required to have previous work experience perhaps working as a technician before achieving a management position.

A bachelor’s degree in business administration or industrial engineering can help qualify a person to become a geothermal production manager. At larger plants job candidates may need to possess a Master of Business Administration or a graduate degree in industrial management according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Certification is also available for production managers. A Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) credential is offered by the the Association for Operations Management. Also, production managers can seek a quality control credential from the American Society for Quality.


The median wage for geothermal production managers was $89,190 as of 2012 according to the BLS. Those managers in the 10th percentile earned $54,200 per year, while those in the 25th percentile made $69,000 per year on average. The median salary was $89,200 per year. Production managers in the 75th percentile averaged $116,300 per year and those in the 90th percentile earned $150,000 annually on average.

Salaries for industrial production managers were highest in New Jersey where the average annual wage was $109,700 in 2012 according to the BLS. Wyoming came in next at $107,200, followed by Delaware at $101,500, Massachusetts at $99,200 and Connecticut at $97,900.

At the bottom of the pay spectrum were managers in Hawaii who earned an average of $67,500 per year as of 2012. North Dakota at $71,600, Idaho at $72,600, Arkansas at $73,800 and Kansas at $75,200 followed.

Job Outlook

The BLS forecasts a 9 percent growth rate for all industrial production managers. That rate is slower than the 14 percent growth rate projected for all jobs from 2010 to 2020.

Those individuals possessing excellent interpersonal, leadership, problem-solving and time management skills may have the best opportunity for finding work. Competition from other industrial managers may weigh in especially as their fields, such as computers and electronics, continue to shrink as production shifts abroad. A geothermal background is advantageous with job candidates ready to move up in a field that they are already familiar with.


Summary Report for: 11-3051.02 – Geothermal Production Managers

US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Industrial Production Managers

See AlsoBiomass Plant Technicians


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Categories: Career Planning