Power Plant Operator Salary

Men make up the majority of Power Plant Operators in the United States, bringing in about $26.78 per hour. Geography is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience and the individual firm. Job satisfaction for Power Plant Operators is high. Nearly all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and most collect dental insurance. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$38,778 - $90,779
(Median)
$39K
$59K
$91K
MEDIAN: $58,671
10%
50%
90%

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$17.91 - $36.79
(Median)
$18
$27
$37
MEDIAN: $26.00
10%
50%
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$31K$62K$93K
Salary
$38,778 - $90,779  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,256  
Profit Sharing
$406.95 - $5,087  
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).
)
$39,492 - $88,364  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 108
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
$17.91 - $36.79  
   
Overtime
$26.81 - $58.13  
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 - $6,256  
   
Profit Sharing
$406.95 - $5,087  
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).
)
$39,492 - $88,364  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 306
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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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Power Plant Operators often transition into upper-level roles like Power Plant Control Room Operator, for which the average compensation is $68K per year.

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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.


The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $55K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $62K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $65K in this role. People who have worked for 20 years or more actually report earning less than people who are in the middle of their careers; the veterans take home a mere $63K by contrast.

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Experience Affects Power Plant Operator Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 6%

Late-Career
up arrow 3%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$61,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 61 votes.

Gender

Female
1 %
Male
99 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 93% dental benefits Dental: 84%
vision benefits Vision: 71% employee benefits None: 5%
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