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Power Plant Operator Salary (United States)

Power Plant Operators in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $26.08 per hour. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Work is enjoyable for Power Plant Operators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Power Plant Operator Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$39,249 - $89,648
(Median)
39K
57K
74K
90K
MEDIAN: $56,655
10%
50%
75%
90%
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Power Plant Operator Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$17.68 - $36.82
(Median)
18
21
26
32
37
MEDIAN: $26.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Salary
$39,249 - $89,648  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,075  
Profit Sharing
$403.37 - $4,958  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$38,522 - $87,973  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 86
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$17.68 - $36.82  
   
Overtime
$26.88 - $58.58  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,075  
   
Profit Sharing
$403.37 - $4,958  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$38,522 - $87,973  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 285
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Job Description for Power Plant Operator

Power plant operators control and operate machinery that generates electric power. They are also responsible for maintaining these machines, which also includes auxiliary equipment, steam engines, air compressors, and generators. They also work with turbines (including steam turbines) that provide light and heat for other buildings.
Read More...
Power Plant Operator Tasks
  • Make regular inspections of the turbine, generator, boilers, or other plant equipment.
  • Coordinate the operation of plants, dams, and stream flow in order to meet contracted power requirements.
  • Communicate with branch offices involved in the operation of the power plant to relate status, data, and observations.
  • Oversee, coordinate, and maintain power plant operations.
  • Maintain documentation of changes in the function of equipment, rainfall data, and general operating instructions.

Power Plant Operator Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Power Plant Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $55K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $62K on average — a distinctly larger sum. Power Plant Operators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $67K. Survey participants with more than two decades under their belts actually report earning less than people with less experience; the former take home only $64K on average.

Pay Difference By Location

Bakersfield
up arrow 16%
National Average
$61,000
Houston
up arrow 27%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
For Power Plant Operators, Bakersfield provides a pay rate that is 16 percent greater than the national average. Location is a huge contributor to overall pay, with Power Plant Operators in Houston earning a whopping 27 percent below the national average.
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Experience Affects Power Plant Operator Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 11%
Late-Career
up arrow 6%
Mid-Career
up arrow 2%
National Average
$61,000
Entry-Level
up arrow 10%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 55 votes.

Gender

Female
1%
female alumni
 
Male
99%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
23%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 72% employee benefits None: 5%