What am I worth?
What your skills are worth in the market is constantly changing.
Get your pay report
How should I pay?
When you get pay right, you attract and retain the best talent.
Price a job

Average Power Plant Operator Hourly Pay

Avg. Hourly RateShow Salary
Profit Sharing
What am I worth?
Get pay report
How should I pay?
Price a job
The average hourly pay for a Power Plant Operator is $30.77.
Is Power Plant Operator your job title? Find out what you should be paid
Use our tool to get a personalized report on your market worth.What's this?
United States (change)
How it works:
Enter city & years of experience
Add pay factors like skills & education
Find your market worth with a report tailored to you
Hourly Rate
$19 - $43
$296 - $10,115
Profit Sharing
$1,800 - $5,000
Total Pay
$40,382 - $100,717
Find your market worth – how it works:
Tell us about your job and pay factors like skills and educationTell us about your job and pay factors like skills and education
Find your market worth with a report tailored to youFind your market worth with a report tailored to you
Negotiate your pay with confidenceNegotiate your pay with confidence

What Do Power Plant Operators Do?

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

3.9 out of 5
Highly Satisfied
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.

Career Paths

Explore the most common career paths for Power Plant Operator. Thickness and color of lines indicates popularity of movement from one job to the next. Visit our career path planner to research other job paths.
Power Plant Operator
More common (> 20%)
Somewhat common (8 - 20%)
Less common (< 8%)

Power Plant Operator Job Listings

Search for more jobs

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.
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.
Entry Level
Early Career
Mid Career
Late Career