A power plant operator is a type of worker employed by power plants, for the purpose of serving various maintenance and operational duties within the plant. The specific duties of a power plant operator can vary greatly depending on the type of plant involved – for example, those working in water power plants may have to operate the turbines, ensure they’re in good working order and control the water flow; on the other hand, an operator in a nuclear power plant mostly works with computers and adjusts electronic systems, controlling the cooling rods and other elements of the plant.
Becoming a power plant operator may require just a high school diploma in some cases – e.g. when working on simpler power plants, and a Bachelor’s degree in a science-related field or engineering in cases of more sophisticated plants, like the nuclear ones we mentioned above. A knack for working with technology is required, as well as the ability to solve critical problems quickly and on a sober mind, as the job commonly involves dangerous situations that need to be taken care of immediately.
The average annual salary for a power plant operator is mostly similar to that of the distributors working at the same plant, ranging between $85,000 – $110,000 in most cases. The job, however, often has more responsibilities attached to it than that of a distributor, and thus the payment is seen as more justified in this case. Additionally, power plant operators tend to suffer from less flexible working hours and various other conditions which can serve to degrade the job’s attractiveness.