What Do Power Plant Operators Do?
Virtually every household depends on electricity these days, so power plant operators are needed now more than ever. These professionals have the very important responsibility of operating, maintaining and controlling a city’s electric system. They oversee the machinery used for this process, and if something goes wrong, they will need to come up with a solution.Although every state is different, there is expected to be a decrease of 11% annually in the need for this position. With that being said, there are still expected to be around 1,260 job openings a year, and certain states are even projecting to see a certain amount of growth. You can acquire more specific information about your particular state if you desire.
Power Plant Operators Skills and Abilities
A familiarity with various types of tools and pieces of equipment is extremely useful, and you should know how to use and repair all these items. Since you will be utilizing hazardous equipment on a regular basis, you should know about public safety principles. That includes knowing about your state and local ordinances. You will routinely be conducting tests in order to determine if there is a malfunction with a certain machine, so you should possess the capability of conducting quality control. You should be able to monitor both the machinery and your co-workers. You will be required to read dials and gauges to determine if everything is operating efficiently, but you also need to monitor your fellow co-workers to make sure everyone is working safely and effectively.
Power Plant Operators Duties
Regulating the flow of electricity and water is vital, and you will regularly need to monitor your output to figure out the proper amounts. There are numerous pieces of equipment you will need to keep an eye on and repair if the situation calls for it. Some of these items include fans, compressors and pumps. You will also be the one tasked with both starting and stopping generators if you are told to do so. Even if all the machinery is working as it should, you will still need to clean and perform maintenance routinely. You will also be taking records of all the data you are acquiring and keep a log. Various other tasks are associated with this position such as:
- Testing the equipment regularly.
- Informing the proper sources when tools require repair.
- Keeping the workplace clean.
- Collecting samples.
- Operating pumping equipment.
Power Plant Operators Tools and Technology
You will naturally need to become familiar with using an electrical control panel so that you can efficiently regular the amount of power flowing through. Other tools may need to be utilized on a somewhat consistent basis, including heat exchangers, wet scrubbers and soot blowers.
Education and Training for Power Plant Operators
Most people are able to get by with this position with only a high school diploma. The reason for this is that there are no real courses you need to take, but you will more than likely need to complete some kind of training program once you actually get the job.
Power Plant Operators Salary
The wage scale for power plant operators varies quite a bit, and people with not much experience should expect to make about $20.00 an hour. However, as you become more proficient in your responsibilities, you can expect your salary to increase significantly. The top earners with this job make around $94,000 annually.
Power Plant Operators Jobs by Geography
Not every state has a huge demand for power plant operators, but the states where you are going to see the highest levels include California, Texas and Pennsylvania. Power plants rely on these workers, so look into your state’s stats to see if it is a worthwhile endeavor.