Power Plant Operator Salary

A sizeable majority of Power Plant Operators in the United States are men. In this role, average pay is around $27.01 per hour. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is career duration, though the particular city and the particular employer have a (lesser) impact as well. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$38,654 - $91,621
(Median)
$39K
$60K
$92K
MEDIAN: $60,169
10%
50%
90%

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$18.02 - $37.91
(Median)
$18
$27
$38
MEDIAN: $27.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$31K$62K$93K
Salary
$38,654 - $91,621  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,932  
Profit Sharing
$3,750  
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).
)
$40,003 - $89,804  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 137
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20$40$60
Hourly Rate
$18.02 - $37.91  
   
Overtime
$27.37 - $57.83  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$50K$100K$150K
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,932  
   
Profit Sharing
$3,750  
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).
)
$40,003 - $89,804  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 342
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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.

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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.

Common Career Paths for Power Plant Operator


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Many Power Plant Operators advance their careers by becoming Power Plant Control Room Operators, who report a slightly higher median income of $69K.

Power Plant Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Power Plant Operator



Job skills reported by Power Plant Operators are limited. Most notably, skills in Gas Turbine, Instrument Control, Systems Troubleshooting, and Plant Maintenance are correlated to pay that is above average. Plant Maintenance, on the other hand, is typically associated with much lower pay.

Pay by Experience Level for Power Plant Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Power Plant Operators, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. The average inexperienced worker's salary is approximately $55K, and people with five to 10 years of experience bring in more at around $61K on average. On average, Power Plant Operators make $69K following one to two decades on the job. Folks who have racked up more than 20 years in the field report incomes that aren't that much higher than less experienced individuals' earnings; the veterans make just $70K on average.

Power Plant Operator Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Power Plant Operator in Johnston:
"Don't go in blind."
Understand heat transfer and fluid flow. Be able to read P&IDs. Learn from the people who have been there longer than you.

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Experience Affects Power Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 13%

Experienced
up arrow 11%

National Average
$62,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

Entry-Level
up arrow 11%

Skills That Affect Power Plant Operator Salaries

Gas Turbine
up arrow 9%

National Average
$62,000

Instrument Control
up arrow 1%

Systems Troubleshooting
up arrow 3%

Plant Maintenance
up arrow 29%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 66 votes.

Gender

Female
1 %
Male
99 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
26%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
24%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 91%
dental benefits
Dental: 83%
medical benefits
Vision: 70%
dental benefits
None: 7%
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