Energy

energy

Energy

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What Does a Power Plant Operator Do?

Power plant operators are a key link in the nation’s energy chain. Operators, distributors and dispatchers operate the machines that generate electricity, which is then sent to substations and eventually to homes and businesses.

The operator primarily focuses on power-generating equipment – calibrating it, reading meters and ensuring its smooth operation by manipulating the valves, switches, breakers and other components. The work environment may involve temperature extremes, crouching in small spaces to operate needed equipment and working near and on high-voltage equipment.

Most power plant operators work full time, often with rotating shifts including nights, weekends and holidays to accommodate the constant need for electricity.

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Best

Our one-of-kind Opportunity Meter rates jobs based on salary, current openings and future demand to help you choose the career that is best for you.
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Median Salary $
94,000
Jobs Available
900+
Power plant operator looks at monitors that control power-generating equipment
Power plant operators are detail-oriented, spending much of their time checking that equipment is running properly. (Credit: Dusan Petkovic/Shutterstock)
Duties + Responsibilities
  • Check pressure, valves, temperatures and vibrations on equipment
  • Monitor power-generating equipment fueled by coal, gas, nuclear energy, hydroelectric energy, wind or solar power.
  • Log operational data and compile reports
  • Disconnect equipment from circuitry and restart when needed
  • Perform maintenance on machines to ensure they don’t break down
  • Ensure constant electricity to help prevent blackouts
Education + Training

A high school diploma or equivalent is typically required. The majority of the training for this position happens on the job, but some employers may prefer an applicant with a technical school background. Previous military experience, strong math skills and a mechanical aptitude are helpful.

Many jobs require background checks and drug and alcohol screenings because of the nature of the work. Those specializing in nuclear power are trained on site to earn licensing credentials.

YOU MAY BE A GOOD FIT FOR THIS POSITION IF YOU
  • Have strong problem-solving skills
  • Are detailed-oriented
  • Have good communication skills
  • Have sharp observational skills
  • Are mechanically inclined

Power Plant Operator training in your area

Coordinates

Energy Technology - Power Operations, A.A.S.

Centralia College
Centralia (0.0 Miles)

Process Technology, A.A.S.

Henry Ford College
Dearborn (0.0 Miles)

Industrial Technology, A.A.S.

Clovis Community College (NM)
Clovis (0.0 Miles)

Power Plant Technology, A.A.S.

Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
Okmulgee (0.0 Miles)

Airframe and Powerplant Maintenance Certificate

Southern University at Shreveport
Shreveport (0.0 Miles)

Industrial Technology Certificate of Achievement

Clovis Community College (NM)
Clovis (0.0 Miles)

Mechanical Systems Technology Certificate

Estrella Mountain Community College
Avondale (0.0 Miles)

Industrial Technology Certificate of Completion

Clovis Community College (NM)
Clovis (0.0 Miles)

Manufacturing, Power, and Process Operations Technology - Nuclear Power Plant Non-Licensed Operator, A.A.S.

Metropolitan Community College (NE)
Omaha (0.0 Miles)

Power Systems Technology, A.A.S.

Estrella Mountain Community College
Avondale (0.0 Miles)

Energy Systems, A.A.S.

Westchester Community College - SUNY
Valhalla (0.0 Miles)

Energy Technology - Power Plant Technology Technical Certificate

Ivy Tech Community College
Indianapolis (0.0 Miles)

Find Power Plant Operator Jobs in Your Area

Coordinates

Steam Plant Operator

Johnson Controls, Inc.
Fargo ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 months 4 weeks ago

Power Equipment Operator-Costco

Costco Wholesale Corporation
Tolleson ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 10 months 3 weeks ago

Utility Operator

Covanta Energy
West Wareham ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month 2 weeks ago

Power Plant Operator II

Ascension Health
Kalamazoo ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 1 month ago

Facility Operator with Tinuum Group at Homer City Generating Station

Clean Coal Solutions
Homer City ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 weeks 5 days ago

Equipment Operator

NRG Energy, Inc.
Waukegan ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 2 weeks 1 day ago

Lead Power Plant Operator

Inova Health System
Fairfax ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 5 days 20 hours ago

Back Plant Operator (DelVal EfW facility)

Covanta Energy
Chester ( 0.0 ) Miles
Posted 3 months ago