The average hourly pay for a Power Plant Operator is $30.77.
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What Do Power Plant Operators Do?
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.
Power plant operators check water gauges and steam gauges, as well as regulate the distribution of steam throughout the system. They must control the temperature o…Read more
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.
Job Satisfaction for Power Plant Operator
Popular Employer Salaries for Power Plant Operator
The top respondents for the job title Power Plant Operator are from the companies Calpine Corporation, Duke Energy Corp and Entergy Corp. Reported salaries are highest at University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) where the average pay is $41.34. Other companies that offer high salaries for this role include Duke Energy Corp and Calpine Corporation, earning around $39.19 and $35.59, respectively. NRG Energy, Inc. pays the lowest at around $27.05. Entergy Corp and American Electric Power (AEP) also pay on the lower end of the scale, paying $27.25 and $32.00, respectively.
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Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Power Plant Operator Job Listings
What Are Popular Skills for Power Plant Operators?
Skills in Operating Systems, Gas Turbine and Distributed Control Systems (DCS) are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Machine Operation and Plant Maintenance.
What is the Pay by Experience Level for Power Plant Operators?
An entry-level Power Plant Operator with less than 1 year experience can expect to earn an average total compensation (includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay) of $23.10 based on 16 salaries. An early career Power Plant Operator with 1-4 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $26.84 based on 108 salaries. A mid-career Power Plant Operator with 5-9 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $30.61 based on 103 salaries. An experienced Power Plant Operator with 10-19 years of experience earns an average total compensation of $34.96 based on 120 salaries. In their late career (20 years and higher), employees earn an average total compensation of $35.
Pay Difference by Location
Employees with Power Plant Operator in their job title in Houston, Texas earn an average of 29.3% more than the national average. These job titles also find higher than average salaries in New York, New York (10.5% more) and Austin, Texas (2.7% more). The lowest salaries can be found in Jacksonville, Florida (25.3% less), Milwaukee, Wisconsin (10.6% less) and Orlando, Florida (4.3% less).
Years of Experience
This data is based on 442 survey responses.