Power Plant Operators: Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

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Job description

Power Plant Operators control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.

  • Adjust controls to generate specified electrical power or to regulate the flow of power between generating stations and substations.
  • Monitor power plant equipment and indicators to detect evidence of operating problems.
  • Control generator output to match the phase, frequency, or voltage of electricity supplied to panels.
  • 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.
Read more about what does a Power Plant Operator really do at work and what is it like being and working as one.



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Salary

Average salary
$78030 per year

Average hourly wage
$38 per hour


Power Plant Operators with little to no experience tend to make between $45590 and $62330 while the more experienced ones can earn over $95330 per year.

Top 5 paying states Hourly Annual
CA $45 $93,610
WA $45 $93,600
HI $44 $90,650
NY $42 $87,360
NV $42 $87,230

One of the easiest ways to increase your salary as a Power Plant Operator is to move to a higher paying state like CA. Right now, the highest paying states for Power Plant Operators are CA, WA, HI, NY and NV.

However, a higher pay at CA doesn’t guarantee that you will make more because the living expenses at CA might be twice as high than where you are currently at now.

Three other factors that can increase your salary as a Power Plant Operator is the degree you hold, the industry you work in, and lastly the company you work for.


Requirements

Recommended degree level
High School Diploma (or GED)

We asked other Power Plant Operators what degree they had when they got the job and most of them said they had a High School Diploma followed by a Post-Secondary Certificate.

Other than that, we also asked them what did they major in and here are the most popular majors that came up.

No degree required
Read more about how to become a Power Plant Operator and the degree, training and education you need.


Pros and Cons

Here are some of the pros and cons of being a Power Plant Operator.

PROS
Suitable for people who likes practical and hands-on work
Suitable for people who wants to work in a supportive work environment
This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.
It is easy to get into this career. Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.
Normal working hours (40 hours per week)
CONS
Not suitable for people who likes to help and teach others
Demand for this career is declining


What is the job like

Job satisfaction
81%

Is this job meaningful
69%


81% of Power Plant Operators said they were satisfied with their job and 69% said they feel like their job is making other people’s lives better.


Is this right for me

Best personality for this career
The Builders and The Organizers

You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tends to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery..

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.



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Related career information

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