Power Plant Operator

Power plant operators control and monitor boilers, turbines, generators, and auxiliary equipment in power-generating plants. They distribute power among generators, regulate the output from several generators, and monitor instruments to maintain voltage and regulate electricity flows from the plant. They use computers to report unusual incidents, malfunctioning equipment, or maintenance performed during their shifts.


$95,150 in Washington,
$81,190 in U.S. through 2028


High School Diploma,
Certificate or Associate Degree


40 in Washington,
3,000 in U.S. through 2026

Education & Training


With sufficient training and experience, workers can become shift supervisors, trainers, or consultants. Because power plants have different systems and safety mechanisms, it can sometimes be difficult to advance by moving to a different company, although this is not always the case. Most power companies promote from within and most workers advance within a particular plant or by moving to another plant owned by the same utility.


The types of employers for this position are utility companies.


This position requires journey level experience. Utility companies provide on-going training for journey level workers to keep employees current on new equipment, procedures and safety.

College Programs

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