Power Plant Operators
SOC: 51-8013.00

Description:

Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
41,100 employed

Projected (2024):
38,400 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Assistant Plant Control Operator
  • Auxiliary Equipment Tender
  • Auxiliary Operator
  • Auxiliary Power Equipment Operator
  • Booster Operator
  • Booster Plant Operator
  • Booster Pump Operator
  • Carbon Capture Power Plant Engineer
  • Carbon Capture Power Plant Manager
  • Carbon Capture Power Plant Operator
  • Carbon Sequestration Plant Engineer
  • Carbon Sequestration Plant Manager
  • Carbon Sequestration Plant Operator
  • Coal Gasification Technician
  • Cogeneration Technician
  • Control Center Operator
  • Control Operator
  • Control Room Operator
  • Electric Operator
  • Generator Operator
  • High Pressure Firer
  • Hydro Plant Operator
  • Hydro Station Operator
  • Hydroelectric Operator
  • Hydroelectric Plant Operator
  • Hydroelectric Plant Power Generation Engineer
  • Hydroelectric Station Operator
  • Hydrogen Plant Operations Manager
  • Hydrogen Plant Operator
  • Hydrogen Power Plant Engineer
  • Hydrogen Power Plant Manager
  • Instrument/Control Technician
  • Instrumentation/Controls/Electrical Systems Technician (ICE Technician)
  • Multicraft Operator (MCO)
  • Operations and Maintenance Specialist (O&M Specialist)
  • Operations and Maintenance Supervisor (O&M Supervisor)
  • Operations and Maintenance Technician (O & M Technician)
  • Operator
  • Plant Control Operator
  • Power Generating Plant Operator
  • Power Generation Technician
  • Power Operator
  • Power Plant Operator
  • Power Plant Technician
  • Power Station Operator
  • Powerhouse Attendant
  • Powerhouse Operator
  • Powerhouse Tender
  • Process Operator
  • Production Generalist
  • Rectifier
  • Rectifier Operator
  • Relief Operator
  • Senior Power Plant Operator
  • Station Operator
  • Station Tender
  • Steam Turbine Operator
  • Turbine Operator
  • Turbine Room Attendant
  • Turbo Electric Operator
  • Turbo Operator
  • Unit Operator
  • Utility Plant Operative


  • Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

    Education:

    These occupations usually require a high school diploma.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Installation
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Psychology
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Monitor power plant equipment and indicators to detect evidence of operating problems.
  • Adjust controls to generate specified electrical power or to regulate the flow of power between generating stations and substations.
  • Control power generating equipment, including boilers, turbines, generators, or reactors, using control boards or semi-automatic equipment.
  • Regulate equipment operations and conditions, such as water levels, based on instrument data or from computers.
  • Take regulatory action, based on readings from charts, meters and gauges, at established intervals.
  • Start or stop generators, auxiliary pumping equipment, turbines, or other power plant equipment as necessary.
  • Inspect records or log book entries or communicate with plant personnel to assess equipment operating status.
  • 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.
  • Clean, lubricate, or maintain equipment, such as generators, turbines, pumps, or compressors, to prevent failure or deterioration.
  • Communicate with systems operators to regulate and coordinate line voltages and transmission loads and frequencies.
  • Record and compile operational data by completing and maintaining forms, logs, or reports.
  • Open and close valves and switches in sequence to start or shut down auxiliary units.
  • Collect oil, water, or electrolyte samples for laboratory analysis.
  • Make adjustments or minor repairs, such as tightening leaking gland and pipe joints.
  • Control generator output to match the phase, frequency, or voltage of electricity supplied to panels.
  • Place standby emergency electrical generators on line in emergencies and monitor the temperature, output, and lubrication of the system.
  • Receive outage calls and request necessary personnel during power outages or emergencies.
  • Examine and test electrical power distribution machinery and equipment, using testing devices.
  • Replenish electrolytes in batteries and oil in voltage transformers, and reset tripped electric relays.
  • Inspect thermal barrier coatings on integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) equipment for sintering, phase destabilization, or temperature variances to ensure compliance with standards and insulation efficiency.
  • Operate or maintain distributed power generation equipment, including fuel cells or microturbines, to produce energy on-site for manufacturing or other commercial purposes.
  • Operate, control, or monitor equipment, such as acid or gas carbon dioxide removal units, carbon dioxide compressors, and pipelines, to capture, store, or transport carbon dioxide exhaust.
  • Operate, control, or monitor gasifiers or related equipment, such as coolers, water quenches, water gas shifts reactors, or sulfur recovery units, to produce syngas or electricity from coal.
  • Operate, control, or monitor integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) or related equipment, such as air separation units, to generate electricity from coal.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Absorbers
  • Air filtration mask
  • Air heaters
  • Analog panel meters
  • Annunciators
  • Attemperators
  • Belt conveyors
  • Blowers
  • Boiler gauge glasses
  • Brushless direct current DC motors
  • Bucket elevators
  • Catalytic sensors
  • Chain conveyors
  • Circulating fluidized bed CFB boilers
  • Coal dryers
  • Combustion engines
  • Combustion turbines
  • Condensers
  • Conductivity probes
  • Control boards
  • Cooling towers
  • Desktop computers
  • Diesel driven generators
  • Digital panel meters
  • Digital readouts
  • Dry scrubber systems
  • Electrical switch gear
  • Excitation systems
  • Fin fan heat exchangers
  • Fire tube boilers
  • Flow meters
  • Flow transmitters
  • Flue gas desulferization systems
  • Gas detectors
  • Gas generators
  • Geothermal binary turbines
  • Grease guns
  • Hard hats
  • Heat pumps
  • Heat recovery steam generators
  • Igniters
  • Impact crushers
  • Level transmitters
  • Limit switches
  • Mainframe computers
  • Motor compressors
  • Oil filters
  • Oil guns
  • Orifice plates
  • Panel boards
  • Plate exchangers
  • Power transformers
  • Pressure transmitters
  • Pulverizers
  • Purge pumps
  • Rotameters
  • Screens
  • Screw conveyors
  • Selective catalytic reactors
  • Selective non-catalytic reactors
  • Self-contained breathing apparatus
  • Shell and tube heat exchangers
  • Signal converters
  • Soot blowers
  • Steam condensers
  • Steam distribution systems
  • Steam driven turbogenerators
  • Steam gauges
  • Steam turbines
  • Switch yard equipment
  • Temperature transmitters
  • Touch screen monitors
  • Transformer controls
  • Turbine flow meters
  • Unit governors
  • Vacuum pumps
  • Vibration monitors
  • Water filters
  • Water gauges
  • Water heaters
  • Water pumps
  • Water softeners
  • Water treatment equipment
  • Wet scrubbers
  • Computerized maintenance management system CMMS software
  • Continuous emissions monitoring systems CEMS software
  • Distributed control systems DCS software
  • Email software
  • Emerson Ovation
  • Gas field monitoring system software
  • General Electric Mark VI Distributed Control System DCS
  • General Electric Mark VI Integrated Control System ICS
  • Interlock shutdown systems
  • Microsoft Access
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Safety instrumented system SIS software
  • Siemens Power Plant Automation SPPA
  • Siemens Teleperm
  • Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
  • Teknik Segala OSI Plant Information PI System
  • Yokogawa FAST/TOOLS


  • production


    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220