Power Plant Operators in the United States are largely men, earning an average of $28.09 per hour. Earnings for this group are mostly affected by career length, followed by geography and the particular employer. Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a large number earn dental coverage. Work is enjoyable for Power Plant Operators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
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$35,324 - $92,273
$35K
$65K
$92K
MEDIAN: $64,611
10%
50%
90%

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$18.04 - $39.81
$18
$28
$40
MEDIAN: $28.09
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
$35,324 - $92,273  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,907  
Profit Sharing
$6,250  
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).
)
$40,200 - $90,604  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 95
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$21$42$63
Hourly Rate
$18.04 - $39.81  
   
Overtime
$24.16 - $60.94  
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 - $9,907  
   
Profit Sharing
$6,250  
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).
)
$40,200 - $90,604  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 267

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

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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

  • Oversee, coordinate, and maintain power plant operations.
  • Maintain documentation of changes in the function of equipment, rainfall data, and general operating instructions.
  • Communicate with branch offices involved in the operation of the power plant to relate status, data, and observations.
  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Power Plant Operator


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Power Plant Operators who transition into an upper level Power Plant Control Room Operator position will not necessarily make much more than they do in their current role. The average Power Plant Control Room Operator makes $69K a year.

Power Plant Operator Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Power Plant Operator


Pay by Experience Level for Power Plant Operator

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


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $54K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $62K on average. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $72K. Power Plant Operators who surpass 20 years on the job report pay that isn't as high as one would expect; the median compensation for this crowd sits around $75K.

Power Plant Operator Advice

Q: What is it like working as a Power Plant Operator?

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.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Power Plant Operator

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 35 votes.
029
Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
21%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Power Plant Operator Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 17%

Experienced
up arrow 14%

National Average
$64,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 3%

Entry-Level
up arrow 16%

Skills That Affect Power Plant Operator Salaries

Gas Turbine
up arrow 32%

Instrument Control
up arrow 20%

Machine Operation
up arrow 19%

National Average
$64,000


Systems Troubleshooting
up arrow 18%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 35 votes.

Gender

Female
3 %
Male
97 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
30%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
22%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 90%
dental benefits
Dental: 82%
vision benefits
Vision: 70%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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