Power Plant Operator Salary

Male Power Plant Operators number significantly more than their female counterparts, and average earnings in this role come out to $27.01 per hour in the United States. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by career duration, but the particular city and the individual firm are influential factors as well. Almost all enjoy medical while a large number get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a fair number. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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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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A lot of Power Plant Operators move on to become Power Plant Control Room Operators, that group gets paid a slightly higher $69K on average.

Power Plant Operator Job Listings

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Just a handful of professional skills are reported by Power Plant Operators who took the survey. 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.


Power Plant Operators with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $55K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $61K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Power Plant Operators make a median salary of $69K. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $70K.

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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