Power Plant Operator Salary

Very much a male-dominated career in the United States, Power Plant Operators earn an average of $26.83 per hour. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience and the specific company. Work is enjoyable for Power Plant Operators, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Almost all report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a large number collect dental insurance. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.
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$38,778 - $90,779
(Median)
$39K
$59K
$91K
MEDIAN: $58,671
10%
50%
90%

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$17.90 - $36.81
(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).
)
$39,736 - $88,390  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 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
$17.90 - $36.81  
   
Overtime
$26.50 - $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).
)
$39,736 - $88,390  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 305
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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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Moving into a Power Plant Control Room Operator position seems to be a popular career progression. Median pay for this job is $68K annually.

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.


Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $55K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $63K. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $65K. Respondents who boast more than 20 years of experience can't seem to boast paychecks reflecting that extensive experience, though; veteran Power Plant Operators report making only $63K on average.

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Experience Affects Power Plant Operator Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 7%

Late-Career
up arrow 3%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$61,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 10%

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
24%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

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