What is a Power Plant Operator?
Example of Power Plant Operator Job Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.
A Day in the Life of a Power Plant Operator
- Adjust controls to generate specified electrical power or to regulate the flow of power between generating stations and substations.
- Open and close valves and switches in sequence to start or shut down auxiliary units.
- Clean, lubricate, or maintain equipment, such as generators, turbines, pumps, or compressors, to prevent failure or deterioration.
- Inspect records or log book entries or communicate with plant personnel to assess equipment operating status.
- Operate or maintain distributed power generation equipment, including fuel cells or microturbines, to produce energy on-site for manufacturing or other commercial purposes.
- Record and compile operational data by completing and maintaining forms, logs, or reports.
What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Power Plant Operator?
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.
Related Job Titles
- Power Station Operator
- Instrument/Control Technician
- Powerhouse Attendant
- Control Room Operator
- Turbine Room Attendant
Power Plant Operator Job Outlook
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. The BLS estimates 3,200 yearly job openings in this field.
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.
Salary for a Power Plant Operator
The typical yearly salary for Power Plant Operators is somewhere between $45,590 and $106,650.
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
Becoming a Power Plant Operator
What education is needed to be a Power Plant Operator?
What work experience do I need to become a Power Plant Operator?
Where Power Plant Operators Are Employed
The table below shows the approximate number of Power Plant Operators employed by various industries.
Other Jobs You May be Interested In
Those interested in being a Power Plant Operator may also be interested in:
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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