Engineers who specialize in steam turbine technology can work in a variety of settings, from power generation plants to pharmaceutical or food processing plants. Steam turbine engineers might also work predominantly on boiler systems, which provide utility to processing plants of all types. Because of the wide focus in this field, you can pursue an education in steam turbine engineering in various ways.
Power Plant Technology
Some colleges offer programs in steam and turbine engineering under the titles of power plant or power generation technology. For example, College of the Siskiyous in California offers a 46-credit Associate of Science in power generation technology degree. The school also has a 25-credit certificate program. Bismarck State College offers an Associate of Applied Science in power plant technology. In this combination of online and on-campus courses, you will study all facets of power production. This school also has an accelerated, one-year degree option.
Boiler and Turbine
Colleges also incorporate steam and turbine studies into boiler operation programs. For example, Century College of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system offers a certificate program in High Pressure Boiler and Steam Turbine. By integrating hands-on tasks with traditional classroom experiences, this 17-credit program will prepare you for a career operating and maintaining a high-pressure boiler and steam turbine system in various industrial settings. The program qualifies you to sit for the Minnesota 2A boiler licensing examination.
Postgraduate Gas and Steam
In addition to traditional educational pathways, you can pursue a program in steam turbine technology through an alternative avenue, such as through General Electric's College Graduate Gas and Steam Turbine Program. To enroll in this nine-month program, you must first have already earned a bachelor's degree in marine, mechanical or industrial engineering and possess a set of general competencies related to engineering fields. General Electric also offers a steam turbine option through its open enrollment, Energy Technical Training program, which includes both classroom and online courses. Classroom offerings include steam turbine operations overview, steam turbine operations advanced and steam turbine maintenance. Steam turbine fundamentals is offered online.
National Licensing Preparation
Another way to obtain training in steam and turbine technology is to take a licensure preparation course. Industrial Training School -- which is authorized by the New York State Department of Education -- offers courses for each class of operating engineer, which includes coverage of steam turbine design, control, safety and operation. To enroll in this course and sit for the licensure exam, you must have at least one year of experience working in a plant with high pressure steam turbines or one-and-a-half years of experience operating steam turbines. Certain engineering class examinations might also require proof that you hold the preceding level of engineering certificate before you can enroll.
Christopher Cascio is a memoirist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and literature from Southampton Arts at Stony Brook Southampton, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with an emphasis in the rhetoric of fiction from Pennsylvania State University. His literary work has appeared in "The Southampton Review," "Feathertale," "Kalliope" and "The Rose and Thorn Journal."