The majority of people have not heard of Fuel Cell technology much less all the practical applications it has on common goods.
Fuel Cells Technicians can use this type of technology in order to create portable, stationary or transportation applications.
Fuel Cell Technicians may also be referred to as Engineering Technicians who specialize in Fuel Cell Technology.
If this type of career fascinates you and want to make the steps to become a Fuel Cell Technician continue reading the important information below.
You will find the necessary educational requirements to enter this profession as well as a general job description, salary and wage information and the job outlook through the next decade.
Education Requirements to Become a Fuel Cell Technician
Students who want to become a Fuel Cell Technician should plan on attending a post-secondary program.
Employers may hire candidates who have a high school diploma, however, the majority of them prefer employees who have attended a training program or who hold a post-secondary degree.
Students should attend a program accredited by the Technology Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
Visit the ABET website to find a list of accredited programs.
Candidates can attend a program at a community college, technical institutes, and vocational schools.
Candidates can also gain training and experience in this field as a part of the armed forces.
Students should major in engineering technology or similar track in order to become a Fuel Cell Technician.
In order to become a Fuel Cell Technician, all candidates should have a strong background in science, mathematics and have strong technical skills.
In addition, candidates should have the ability to use technical applications such as data acquisition software, graphing and scientific calculators, DC and AC clamp meters and digital multi-meters.
Fuel Cell Technician Job Description
Fuel Cell Technicians use their extensive knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering concepts in order to assemble, operate and provide maintenance for a variety of applications that incorporate fuel cell technology.
In addition, these professionals also solve a variety of technical problems and perform repair work.
Some types of technical products or objects a Fuel Cell Technician may work on include transportation, portable or stationary applications.
A Fuel Cell Technician begins a project by reading and analyzing electrical or mechanical documents or plans regarding specifics for assembling products.
A Fuel Cell Technician will then assemble a prototype or system by following all engineering design and specification.
After assembling a prototype, the technician will use complicated electronic equipment to test a fuel cell stack.
Professionals will perform tests on fuel cell stacks and analyze the data using a data spreadsheet.
They will submit the results and reports to supervisors for further analysis.
Fuel Cell Technicians will also provide maintenance work for all fuel cell equipment.
They will order testing materials and provide tune ups for vehicle maintenance.
They are also responsible for installing, repairing and providing maintenance for emissions analyzers, test spark ignition (SI), compression ignition (CI) and air conditioning systems.
Fuel Cell Technician Salary and Career Path
The salary for a Fuel Cell Technician will depend on the specialty they focus on.
In 2008, the median wage for Fuel Cell Technicians specializing in electrical and electronics was approximately $53,240 per year.
During the same year, Fuel Cell Technicians specializing in aerospace made a median wage of approximately $52,150 per year.
The salary range for all Fuel Cell Technicians is approximately $32,500 to $78,500 per year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment growth for Fuel Cell Technicians is expected to grow at a slow pace throughout the next decade.
This profession is expected to grow by about 5 percent through the year 2018.
The specialties that will experience the most growth are Technicians in Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering.
Candidates with the best opportunities will be those who have had training in a post-secondary program or who have at least an Associate’s degree in Engineering Technology.
In addition, employers look for candidates who have the necessary technological skills to perform this job as well as experienced Fuel Cell Technicians who need little on the job training.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a fuel cell technician do?
Fuel cell technicians install, operate and maintain fuel cells and related equipment.
A fuel cell uses fuel and an oxidizing agent to create electricity through redox reactions.
In their day-to-day operations, fuel cell technicians use calorimeters, multimeters, and other trade tools but also AutoCAD, office suite software and other analytical or scientific software.
Fuel cell systems are mostly used in transportation, for stationary or portable apps and software.
When installing and operating a fuel cell, technicians have to take into account the engineering specifications.
The fuel cells are then assembled according to mechanical or electrical specifications.
Afterward, technicians test the fuel cell assembly using electronic equipment and record the testing results which are later analyzed by their supervisors.
As a fuel cell technician, you will need knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
Fuel cell technicians also need attention to detail, dexterity, patience and good writing and communication skills.
How much does a fuel cell technician make?
As a fuel cell technician, you will make, on average, around $50,000-$60,000 a year.
Salaries in this field vary widely depending on the technician, expertise, education, and employer.
How much does it cost to become a fuel cell technician?
Educational requirements depend on the employer and the field of employment.
Typically, you will need at least an associate’s degree in engineering, technology or a related field to be eligible for employment as a fuel cell technician.
Tuition costs vary widely depending on the school you choose and the program itself.
An associate’s degree in information technology will cost you, on average, around $18,000 a year.
A four-year undergraduate program in information technology will cost you, on average, around $130,000 in total while a bachelor’s degree program in mechanical engineering costs, on average, around $170,000-$180,000 in total.
What is the demand for fuel cell technicians?
Overall employment for fuel cell technicians is expected to grow slowly in the coming years.
Job opportunities depend on the technician’s field of expertise and can fluctuate year by year and region by region.
Job prospects should be good, especially for those who hold a degree in a technical field and have some work experience.
How long does it take to become a fuel cell technician?
If you want to become a fuel cell technician you can start preparing by taking math and science classes in high school.
Fuel cell technicians typically need at least an associate’s degree in technology, engineering or a related field, which can be obtained after 2 years of post-secondary studies.
Having some work experience in a related technical field and a diploma or associate’s degree can also help you find employment as a fuel cell technician.
However, a 4-year bachelor’s degree program can improve your employment prospects.
In conclusion, if you’re passionate about science and technology you can prepare for this profession by completing around 2-4 years of training beyond high school or by having a combination of training and related work experience.