Hydroelectric Mechanic

Hydroelectric Plant Technicians are critical in monitoring and controlling the activities associated with hydropower generation. They operate a wide variety of plant equipment and are responsible for the maintenance of that equipment, ensuring optimal performance. Many people begin this career path as a Hydro Helper, assisting apprentices and journeymen as they begin to learn about the job.

Also known as: Hydro Plant Technician, Plant Mechanic, Hydroelectric Operations and Maintenance Technician, Power Plant Technician, Power Plant Mechanic

Pay Scale

$104,110 in 2021 in WA

$80,850 in 2021 in U.S.


High School Diploma, Apprenticeship

Projected Opportunities

30 through 2030 in WA

2,100 through 2031 in U.S.

Career Path

The career path to becoming a hydroelectric mechanic often begins with the entry level position of hydro helper, before moving into a hydro mechanic apprenticeship, and becoming a journeyman hydro mechanic.

Chemical Engineer career path

Training & Requirements


Hydro mechanics need a high school diploma and strong math skills prior to starting an apprenticeship. The apprenticeship is 6,000-8,000 hours and results in becoming a journey-level hydro mechanic.

Required Skills

  • Machine shop knowledge- operation of lathes, grinders, drill press, etc.
  • Proper use of hoisting equipment
  • Operation and maintenance of heavy equipment
  • Able to read a blue print or layout
  • Welding
  • Basic computer usage (email and Microsoft Office)


  • Identify and address malfunctions of hydroelectric plant operational equipment such as generators, transformers, and turbines
  • Operate energy production equipment
  • Inspect and diagnose equipment malfunctions
  • Start, adjust, or stop generating units or auxiliary equipment