Energy

Power Plant Operators

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Occupation Overview

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Education & Training

At A Glance: Power Plant Operators

Power plant operators control, inspect, operate, and maintain machinery to generate electric power. They work with boilers, generators, turbines, reactors and other machines to maintain power production. They use a meters, gauges, and other tools to monitor and measure performance, record their findings, and adjust processes as necessary. To become a power plant operator requires at least a high school diploma and a few months to one year of on-the-job training. Some employers may require additional certifications or apprenticeships. Power plant operators earn approximately $38.27 an hour.

Entry Level Requirements

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High School Diploma

To become a power plant operator requires at least a high school diploma. Some employers require a post-secondary certificate.
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Energy operators are a

Top 5
Occupation in the energy industry in the TEAM region.

How much can I make?

Hourly Rate: $22 - $51/HR.

Job Details: Power Plant Operators

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Commonly Performed Tasks

There are many tasks that power plant operators perform regularly. They are responsible for monitoring and controlling systems of machines and equipment to generate electricity. They work with meters, gauges, and other tools to regulate the flow of power to substations and ensure that safety and quality standards are upheld at the plant.
  • Adjust controls to create or 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 to supply water, fuel, lubricants, air, or auxiliary power
  • Control power generating equipment using control boards or semi-automatic equipment

Required Job Skills

Power plant operators require specific skills, abilities, knowledge to do their jobs effectively. They must be able to monitor machine operations to ensure that they are working as intended, conduct quality control analyses and document their findings. To do this, power plant operators must perform their work with attention to detail and a commitment to safety and quality.
  • Identify, analyze, and solve complex problems
  • Effective oral and written communication
  • Know chemical properties and processes
  • Knowledge of materials, processes, and systems

Education & Training Information

Programs and Opportunities

Pierpont Community & Technical College
Program: Applied Process Technology - Energy Systems Operation
Certification: Associate's Degree
Length: 2 Years
Community College of Allegheny County - West Hills Center
Program: Facilities Maintenance Technology
Certification: Associate's Degree
Length: 2 Years
Community College of Allegheny County - West Hills Center
Program: Stationary Operating Engineer
Certification: Associate's Degree
Length: 2 Years
Community College of Allegheny County - West Hills Center
Program: Industrial Manufacturing Technician
Certification: Certificate
Length: 18 Month Apprenticeship Program

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