A power plant operators are in charge of overseeing the day-to-day operations of a power plant. They must operate the equipment that produces electricity as well as implement and oversee solutions to any problems that might arise. A power plant operator handles maintenance, troubleshooting and safety issues. A low level of education is required, and the career provides relatively adequate compensation. Power plant operators often work with environmental companies to find alternative forms of energy as well as more energy efficient methods of power production.
Power Plant Operator Education Requirements
Only a high school diploma is required to become a power plant operator. However, long-term, on-the-job training is usually provided. An operator would not start out in their position but would work their way up from an entry level job. An eye for detail and critical thinking abilities are essential. Due to the sometimes dangerous nature of the work, it is important to be well trained in safety procedures and communication skills.
Power Plant Operator Job Market
The job availability for power plant operators is expected to drop by 11 percent by 2022. Despite the significant drop, roughly 1,290 jobs are still expected to open annually because of upward movement and replacement. Both prior experience working in a power plant and keeping an eye on new facilities can be beneficial in obtaining a job. All types of power plants, from hydroelectric to nuclear, employ power plant operators.
Power Plant Operator Salary
A power plant operator makes an average hourly rate somewhere between $23 an hour to as high as $44 an hour depending upon place of employment and experience. Annual wages can reach $88,000 per year on top of benefits and bonuses.