What is a Power Plant Operator?
Power Plant Operator Definition Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.
Life As a Power Plant Operator: What Do They Do?
- Adjust controls to generate specified electrical power or to regulate the flow of power between generating stations and substations.
- Record and compile operational data by completing and maintaining forms, logs, or reports.
- Inspect thermal barrier coatings on integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) equipment for sintering, phase destabilization, or temperature variances to ensure compliance with standards and insulation efficiency.
- Receive outage calls and request necessary personnel during power outages or emergencies.
- Control or maintain auxiliary equipment, such as pumps, fans, compressors, condensers, feedwater heaters, filters, or chlorinators, to supply water, fuel, lubricants, air, or auxiliary power.
- Operate, control, or monitor gasifiers or related equipment, such as coolers, water quenches, water gas shifts reactors, or sulfur recovery units, to produce syngas or electricity from coal.
Power Plant Operator Needed Skills
When polled, Power Plant Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Types of Power Plant Operator
- Relief Operator
- Carbon Sequestration Plant Manager
- Hydro Plant Operator
- Unit Operator
- Auxiliary Operator
Is There Job Demand for Power Plant Operators?
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 36,100 jobs in the United States for Power Plant Operator. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 1.1% which is below the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 400 new jobs for Power Plant Operator by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 3,200 job openings in this field each year.
The states with the most job growth for Power Plant Operator are Nevada, Texas, and North Dakota. Watch out if you plan on working in Wisconsin, Montana, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.
Power Plant Operator Salary
Power Plant Operators make between $45,590 and $106,650 a year.
Power Plant Operators who work in California, Washington, or Hawaii, make the highest salaries.
How much do Power Plant Operators make in different U.S. states?
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
What Tools & Technology do Power Plant Operators Use?
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Power Plant Operators:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
- Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
- Computerized maintenance management system CMMS
- Distributed control system DCS
- Interlock shutdown systems
How to Become a Power Plant Operator
What education or degrees do I need to become a Power Plant Operator?
What work experience do I need to become a Power Plant Operator?
Power Plant Operators Sector
Below are examples of industries where Power Plant Operators work:
Those thinking about becoming a Power Plant Operator might also be interested in the following careers:
Are you already one of the many Power Plant Operator in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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