How to Become a Power Plant Operator

Every time you wake up one of the first things that you do is turn the power on to a light. Power is something that just about every person has come to expect as a part of their normal day. It is something like water that is always available when they need it. If you are looking at a career to help bring power into the lives of people, then you need to consider a career as a power plant operator. Here are some steps that you will need to take in order to achieve your goals.

How to Become a Power Plant Operator
$65,360
High School or GED
None
Long-term
55,900
-2%
(1,100)
Find Related CareersSOURCE: US Bureau of Labor Statistics

  • One of the very first things that you will need to do is to make sure you complete high school with a diploma or a GED. Finishing the foundation for your education is very important to just about any career you choose to pursue.
  • Once the foundation has been finished it will be important to finish a degree in power plant technology. You will have to find the right school for this type of education. While you are working on your degree take the time to get the experience needed to move into this position when the time comes.
  • You will need to have at least two to five years on operating equipment, managerial skills, making sure readouts are complete and even scheduling activities.
  • Take the time to work on the licenses you will need in order to work in a power plant. If the power plant is nuclear based, then you will need to get the correct license in order to work around and on nuclear reactors.
  • Take and pass of the aptitude tests that will be coming your way. In some cases you may have to take plant operator tests and maintenance on power plants tests.
  • Develop the skills needed to to be a power plant operator. Some of these skills include an advance knowledge of mechanics, problem solving, multitasking and being able to communicate clearly.  Consider enrolling in a Power Plant Academy.
  • Pass all the background checks that will be run on you to make sure you are a right fit for the job. Once this is done try getting hired as an employee so you can learn the important parts of power plant operations. The more knowledge you have of the overall picture of operation the better chance you have of moving into the operator position.
  • Once you have finished getting your licenses make sure to keep them current.

What to Expect as a Power Plant Operator

  • As an operator you can expect to see an average salary of $65,080 per year that averages $31.29 per hour. Keep in mind that salaries vary by which type of plant you end up working at.
  • As a plant operator you will have to choose what type of plant you want to work at. Different plants have different pay structures based on the level of knowledge you will have to have to operate the plant successfully.
  • You will need to familiarize yourself with principles of mechanical engineering and electrical power.
  • Expect to have your background checked each time you apply for a position. If there is anything in your background make sure to talk about it if they ask. Try not to hide anything from your application as it will all come out during the reference and background checks.
  • Come to realize that as technology changes you will have to continue to take company training classes as a way of learning the new technology.

Suggest Edits

As a power plant operator your job will be to keep the power flowing to the people who come to expect it everyday. You can excel at your position by learning as much as you can. Explore all of your options and settle on the one that makes the most sense to you in the power plant career field.

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