Jobs, jobs, jobs: what color is your biochute?

July 18, 2011 |

BIO says that up to 800,000 direct and indirect jobs could be created in advanced biofuels by 2022.

What jobs are there for you?

Recently, former LA Mayor Richard Riordan outlined the priorities. “Let’s look at the future. Whatever solution we have for our economy, the basic thing is jobs, jobs, jobs.”

One of the bright spots – by almost universal acclaim – is the prospect for clean energy jobs. But what does that exactly mean for you?

In today’s special Biofuels Digest Report on Jobs, we look at actual hiring data from the Biofuels Digest job board, plus BIO’s authoritative report on the projected economic impact of the expansion of advanced biofuels.

Our goal? To give you a personal roadmap – the when and what of job creation and job opportunity.

How many?

In a landmark 2009 study of the Renewable Fuel Standard and its impact, “US Economic Impact of Advanced Biofuels Production: Perspectives to 2030,” Bio-era projected that 807,000 direct and indirect jobs would be created by 2022 – direct jobs accounting for 190,000 of the total.

Feedstock production and construction, unsurprisingly, dominate the jobs picture, with 87,000 and 67,000 jobs.
The remaining 36,000 split between direct processing, R&D and distribution – 23,000, 7000, and 6000, respectively.

The full BIO study is here.

What types of jobs?

Here at the Digest, we have been running our jobs board for going on two years – primarily in this early stage of the industry, carrying jobs related to the build-out of processing companies, and for R&D.

In the long term, we expect the hot jobs and entreprenurial opportunities to be in areas such as : baling systems and sales, ag residue pickup, storage and aggregation, algae protein shipping & distribution, pellet sales & distribution, forest slash pickup and storage, grease pickup, truck stops near integrated biorefineries, regional business development – third party services,
road maintenance and security for integrated biorefineries, RIN pricing services, and low-cost cellulosic sugar sales & distribution.

To date, we have carried 76 different job designations, and we found it fascinating to look at the jobs that you looked at (views), compared to the jobs that elicited an application (via web or email).  Note: for privacy reasons, the Digest does not track, or analyze individual replies, just aggregate data.

Here are the jobs you viewed, in rank order by the level of interest you showed. This is indexed – where 100 means “average interest,” 200 means “double the average,” 50 means “half the average” and so on.

Ranked by jobs viewed

Process Engineer 237
Business Development Manager 215
Biodiesel Technology Process Engineer 193
Senior Manager of Bioenergy Project Development 183
Senior Process Engineer 183
Consultant – Biomass Marketing 180
Farm Manager 178
Scientist I 178
Fermentation Engineer 174
Research Coordinator 168
Business Development Officer 157
Operations Manager, Ethanol 153
Chief Executive Officer 152
Bioprocess Development Scientist 146
Plant Manager 135
Process Engineering Director 135
Vice President, US Business Development 135
Research Associate 133
Microbial / Phycological Production Manager 130
Sr. Director of Engineering 125
Senior Process Development Engineer 124
Director of Molecular Biology 122
Chemical Engineer 118
Director of Corporate Affairs – North America 116
Process Modeling Engineer 113
Catalysis Engineer/ Group Leader 111
Scientist, Microbial Physiology and Fermentation 110
Algae Fractionation Pilot Plant Operations Manager 109
SVP, Operations 108
Technical Manager 106
Sr. Director of Operations 103
Vice President, Engineering 101
Molecular Biologist 98
Process Development Engineer I / II 98
Research Ecologist 96
Process Engineer – Area Specialist 94
Product Manager 93
Staff Scientist (Fungal Geneticist) 92
Process Engineer, Biofuel Operations 91
Biodiesel Refiner 89
Senior Fermentation Engineer 88
Postdoctoral Appointee – Algal Biofuels Research 86
Senior Project Manager 86
Chromatographic Separations Engineer/Group Leader 85
Senior Business Analyst 84
Staff Engineer 79
Assoc. Dir., Project and Alliance Management 78
Process or Chemical Engineer/ Construction Manager 75
Agricultural Climate Change Economist, PhD level 74
Communications Coordinator 74
Senior Engineer 73
Agronomy Advisor 72
Capital Sales Manager 70
Senior Manager, Product Management 69
Sr. Process Development Engineer 69
Methods Development Scientist, Analytics 66
Project Engineer 64
Senior Merchandiser 63
Electrochemist/Research Scientist 62
Maintenance Technician 60
Lab Manager 58
Sr. Research Associate, Microbiology 58
Bio Resource Internship 56
Field Technical Support 56
Sr. Piping Designer 54
Project Controls Manager 54
BioProcessing Manager 53
HR Generalist 48
Synthetic Biology Manager 47
Associate Director, Portfolio Planning and Analysis, IPD 45
Electrical Project Engineer 42
Chief Financial Officer 40
Sr. Instrumentation & Controls Engineer 38
Sr. Electrical Engineer 31
Soy Merchandiser 29
Product Development Director 28

We note that, of the top 10, five were in engineering/project development, two in science, two in sales & marketing, and one in feedstock operations.

Ranked by jobs applied for

Here are the same job titles, indexed this time according to applications, not views. These are the jobs that, after review, you decided to go for. Again, indexed to a base of 100.

Business Development Officer 511
Chief Executive Officer 425
Business Development Manager 330
Consultant – Biomass Marketing 290
Farm Manager 276
Biodiesel Refiner 271
Process or Chemical Engineer/ Construction Manager 262
Microbial / Phycological Production Manager 258
Process Engineer 244
Fermentation Engineer 231
Process Engineering Director 199
Agronomy Advisor 199
Scientist I 195
Vice President, US Business Development 190
Staff Engineer 172
Operations Manager, Ethanol 163
Director of Molecular Biology 154
Electrochemist/Research Scientist 154
Senior Process Engineer 136
Vice President, Engineering 127
Staff Scientist (Fungal Geneticist) 127
Senior Project Manager 122
Plant Manager 118
Chemical Engineer 118
Sr. Piping Designer 113
Product Manager 109
Process Modeling Engineer 100
Capital Sales Manager 95
SVP, Operations 90
Process Development Engineer I / II 90
Director of Corporate Affairs – North America 86
Scientist, Microbial Physiology and Fermentation 86
Communications Coordinator 81
Synthetic Biology Manager 81
Senior Manager, Product Management 68
Project Engineer 68
Sr. Research Associate, Microbiology 68
Assoc. Dir., Project and Alliance Management 63
Sr. Director of Engineering 59
Sr. Director of Operations 59
Senior Engineer 59
Bioprocess Development Scientist 54
Biodiesel Technology Process Engineer 50
Senior Manager of Bioenergy Project Development 50
Catalysis Engineer/ Group Leader 50
Senior Merchandiser 50
Process Engineer – Area Specialist 36
Postdoctoral Appointee – Algal Biofuels Research 36
Field Technical Support 36
BioProcessing Manager 36
Product Development Director 36
Research Associate 32
Senior Process Development Engineer 32
Process Engineer, Biofuel Operations 32
Methods Development Scientist, Analytics 32
Lab Manager 32
Project Controls Manager 32
HR Generalist 32
Chief Financial Officer 32
Algae Fractionation Pilot Plant Operations Manager 27
Molecular Biologist 27
Senior Fermentation Engineer 27
Technical Manager 23
Sr. Process Development Engineer 23
Agricultural Climate Change Economist, PhD level 18
Associate Director, Portfolio Planning and Analysis, IPD 18
Sr. Instrumentation & Controls Engineer 18
Research Coordinator 14
Senior Business Analyst 14
Maintenance Technician 14
Chromatographic Separations Engineer/Group Leader 9
Bio Resource Internship 9
Sr. Electrical Engineer 9
Soy Merchandiser 9
Research Ecologist 5
Electrical Project Engineer

We note that, of the top 10, one was the CEO job, three were in engineering/project development, one in science, three in sales & marketing, one in biorefinery operations, and one in feedstock operations.

There was a clearly stronger uptick of interest in the jobs on the sales and management side, vs the science and engineering jobs. To us, that reflects the supply/demand differences between the two areas – clearly, engineers who understand bioenergy can afford to be more picky. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, at least, expects it to shake out this way – projecting that “Biochemist,” along with “biophysicist” will rank as the 9th fastest growing job in the US through 2018.

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