CareerGPS

Power Plant Operators
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Power Plant Operators
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
122 140 18 14.68% 4 11 15 $55.06 $114,522 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • 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.

Knowledge

63%
Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
57%
Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
55%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
51%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
50%
Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal m

Skills

75%
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
72%
Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
65%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
65%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
62%
Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
62%
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
60%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
60%
Troubleshooting - Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
56%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
53%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
53%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
50%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
50%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
50%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Abilities

75%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
72%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
72%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
69%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
66%
Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
62%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
62%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
60%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
60%
Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes compa
60%
Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
56%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
56%
Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
53%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
53%
Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
53%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
53%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
50%
Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
50%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Work Activities

99%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
92%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
89%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
88%
Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
88%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
80%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
76%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
75%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
75%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
75%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
71%
Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
70%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
69%
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
69%
Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
63%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
63%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
62%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
59%
Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
57%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
57%
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
54%
Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
54%
Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
52%
Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
52%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Interests

Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Styles

Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.