Life As a Power Plant Operator
Job Description: Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.
What Do Power Plant Operators Do On a Daily Basis?
- Communicate with systems operators to regulate and coordinate line voltages and transmission loads and frequencies.
- Adjust controls to generate specified electrical power or to regulate the flow of power between generating stations and substations.
- Operate, control, or monitor integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) or related equipment, such as air separation units, to generate electricity from coal.
- Operate, control, or monitor equipment, such as acid or gas carbon dioxide removal units, carbon dioxide compressors, or pipelines, to capture, store, or transport carbon dioxide exhaust.
- Inspect records or log book entries or communicate with plant personnel to assess equipment operating status.
- Control generator output to match the phase, frequency, or voltage of electricity supplied to panels.
Qualities of 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 for this Occupation:
- Auxiliary Power Equipment Operator
- Pilot Plant Technician
- Control Room Operator
- Auxiliary Operator
- Carbon Capture Power Plant Operator
What Kind of Power Plant Operator Job Opportunities Are There?
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. There will be an estimated 3,200 positions for Power Plant Operator per 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.
Salary for a Power Plant Operator
The average yearly salary of a Power Plant Operator ranges between $45,590 and $106,650.
Power Plant Operators who work in California, Washington, or Hawaii, make the highest salaries.
Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Power Plant Operators in different U.S. states.
|State||Annual Mean Salary|
What Tools do Power Plant Operators Use?
Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Power Plant Operators may use on a daily basis:
- 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 is needed to be a Power Plant Operator?
How Long Does it Take to Become a Power Plant Operator?
Power Plant Operators Sector
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
You May Also Be Interested In…
Those thinking about becoming a Power Plant Operator might also be interested in the following careers:
Those who work as a Power Plant Operator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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