Power Plant Operator

Someone has to keep the lights on, will it be you?
Career Overview

Career Overview

median salary in 2019
jobs nationwide in 2019
a year for top earner in the field
List item iconHelp solve complex problems using sophisticated computers and machines.
List item iconAdjust controls to regulate the flow of power.
List item iconCheck equipment and indicators to detect evidence of operating problems.
List item iconRead charts, meters, and gauges to monitor voltage and electricity flows.
List item iconAnalyze huge amounts of data and use it accordingly.
List item iconControl power-generating equipment, which may use any one type of fuel, such as coal, nuclear power, or natural gas.

What It Takes

These jobs are for people who are able to see the big picture, boil down the details, and decipher the most important information from a set of data. They use control boards to distribute power among generators and regulate the output of several generators. They monitor instruments to maintain voltage and electricity flows from the plant to meet fluctuating consumer demand throughout the day.

A Mathematical Mind

Operators must learn algorithmic math and other technical topics that are essential to the job.

Mechanical Concepts

Power plant operators must know how to work with machines and use tools. They must be familiar with how to operate, repair, and maintain equipment.

Problem Solving Skills

Power plant operators must find and quickly solve problems that arise with equipment or controls.

Detail Oriented

Power plant operators must monitor complex controls and intricate machinery to ensure that everything is operating properly.

Concentration Skills

Power plant operators must be careful, attentive, and persistent. They must be able to concentrate on a task, such as monitoring the temperature of reactors over a certain length of time, without being distracted.

Career Progression

Career Progression

Step 1
Obtain High School or College degree
Step 2
Extensive on-the-job training
Step 3
Maintain proper licenses

Key Companies

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