Why Basin? Salary, benefits, and comprehensive lab equipment

Victoria Christensen, chemistry laboratory technician III at Dakota Gas.

Basin Electric prides itself on its culture and commitment to its employees, offering an impressive benefits package, professional development opportunities, and top of the line equipment to attract the best in the business.  

Victoria Christensen, chemistry laboratory technician III at Dakota Gas, has been in her role for almost a year, and enjoys learning about industrial chemistry and various pieces of lab equipment. “It’s truly a fascinating process from the coal mine to the final product,” she says. 

Christensen moved to the Beulah area from eastern North Dakota after graduating from Valley City State University with a bachelor’s degree in science; she majored in biology, chemistry, and health sciences. “While I was job searching, this position popped up and I was immediately drawn to the pay, benefits, and set work schedule, which means I have four days off in a row,” Christensen says. “I was also very excited at the prospect of working with such a comprehensive assortment of lab equipment.” 

In her day-to-day work, Christensen is responsible for monitoring plant operations. This starts with coal from the mine all the way to the products being shipped to customers. “In the lab, we analyze samples from various process streams (solids, liquids, and gases) to ensure that the plant is operating efficiently and effectively,” she says. The end goal of the lab analysis is for the plant to produce products that meet the specifications of the customer. 

The lab is also routinely involved with environmental monitoring to ensure that state and federal regulations are being met. The lab is certified through the North Dakota Department of Environmental Quality, and each technician performing analyses on samples must perform certain tests/quality controls that are then submitted to the state for certification. This type of monitoring requires staff to be certified with the state for each of the analyses. Certification is completed in the lab and consists of performing repeated tests to verify accuracy in technique using specific laboratory equipment.

“It’s truly amazing that this lab can analyze samples from coal, gas, organics, and even beverage grade CO2. I don’t think there are any other labs out there that have this bragging right,” Christensen says.

The best parts of her job include working with her teammates, who are always willing to lend a hand, and having the opportunity to learn a tremendous amount about industrial chemistry and to use that knowledge to grow within the company. “There are so many good reasons to work here.”

In her free time, Christensen enjoys being outside and spending time riding her horses, Buttercup and Aspen. “I grew up showing in 4-H and doing local fun shows with Buttercup and later found Aspen when I was looking for a project horse to train,” she says. “I also really enjoy concerts; I’ve been to seven this summer alone. My favorite concert by far was Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour; that was a phenomenal performance.”

“There are a lot of great people that work at Dakota Gas, and it’s been a gratifying experience to see how North Dakota’s lignite coal can be utilized to synthesize natural gas and many byproducts. The salary and benefit package are also a great reason to consider a career here,” she says.

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