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Power Plant Operators

Operate machinery to generate electric power.

Quick Facts

Wages:

Well above the statewide median
$50.79 / hour    Read more about wages

Outlook:

Shrinking
Growth rate:  -13.6%    Read more about outlook

Education:

High School or less is typically required.

On the Job:

Typical Work Tasks
  • Operate energy distribution equipment.
  • Operate energy production equipment.
  • Operate pumping systems or equipment.
  • Inspect sustainable energy production facilities or equipment.
Read more about the job

Job Title Examples:

Nuclear Control Room Operator
Operations and Maintenance Technician (O and M Technician)
Transmission System Operator

See more job title examples

View All Career Information


 

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This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.



Wages & Outlook

 

Typical Wages   This career pays well above the median wage.

Wages listed below are for a variety of experience and education levels. Make sure that you research the typical entry-level education and work experience and training requirements for this occupation.

This career: $50.79
Statewide median: $24.25

 

This is a very high-wage career. It pays well above the statewide median wage.


Wages for Power Plant Operators *

Area Low Median High
U S
$35.65 $46.62 $52.47
Minnesota
$41.74 $50.79 $52.42
Central Minnesota
$50.79 $51.62 $51.62
Northeast Minnesota
$43.50 $48.17 $50.42
Northwest Minnesota
$47.67 $47.67 $50.42
Southeast Minnesota
$41.74 $50.42 $54.44
Southwest Minnesota
$40.92 $53.30 $54.78
Seven County Mpls-St Paul, MN
$38.04 $51.62 $52.41

* "Low" indicates 25% of workers earn less and 75% earn more.
"Median" indicates 50% of workers earn less and 50% earn more.
"High" indicates 75% of workers earn less and 25% earn more.

See more wage detail.

 

Employment

In Minnesota, there are 560 workers employed in this very small career.

Where do Power Plant Operators most often work?

 

Current Demand

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This career is currently in low demand.

 

Future Demand

This career is shrinking.

There will be a need for about 578 new Power Plant Operators to meet market demand between 2020-2030. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.

 

Employment Outlook for Power Plant Operators
Area Employment Employment Change
2020 2030 Number Percent
U S 33,600 29,000 -4,600 -13.6%
Minnesota 860 707 -153 -17.8%
Central Minnesota 79 65 -14 -17.7%
Southeast Minnesota 113 111 -2 -1.8%
Southwest Minnesota 127 114 -13 -10.2%
Seven County Mpls-St Paul, MN 237 190 -47 -19.8%



On the Job

 

Power Plant Operators monitor power plant equipment to watch for problems. They adjust controls to regulate the flow of power between generating stations and substations.

 

Typical Work Tasks

People who work in this career often:


Typical Working Conditions

 

O*NET in-it

This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.

 


Education & Credentials

 

Educational Requirements

High School or less

 

Education level attained (national data)

Education Level Attained (national data)
Education Level AttainedPercentage of workers in this occupation
Less than high school diploma1.3
High school diploma or equivalent29
Some college, no degree31.1
Associate degree17.2
Bachelors degree17.1
Masters degree3.5
Doctoral (Ph.D) or professional degree0.8

 

Work Experience and Training Requirements

Nationally, this career typically requires:

  • No related work experience for entry.
  • Long-term on-the-job training to become competent.

 

Current Training Opportunities


Related Programs

 

Majors

Click on any of the Majors listed below to find out more about preparing for this career.

 

Transfer Options

 

Apprenticeship

A registered apprenticeship is a structured way of learning a skilled occupation, craft, or trade. It combines on-the-job training and classroom instruction.

View the recent 2 apprenticeship(s) for this occupation.


 

Helpful High School Courses

Examples of helpful classes that help you prepare for this career:

  • Applied Math
  • Blueprint Reading
  • Computer Applications
  • Drafting
  • Electronics
  • Geometry
  • Industrial Technology
  • Introduction to Business
  • Physics
  • Pre-Calculus
  • Technical Writing
  • Trigonometry

In Minnesota, your school may have developed a Program of Study in this career area. A Program of Study is an academic and career plan developed by your high school to help move you towards a career and college path. A Program of Study can help you:

  • Select high school classes that prepare you for college and getting a job
  • Understand how the classes you're taking in high school lead to a career
  • Identify extra-curricular activities that are related to your career interest
  • See what classes at your school offer early college credit that will save you time and money towards your college expenses
  • Graduate from high school prepared for your next step toward the career you choose

 

O*NET in-it

This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.



Skills & Knowledge

 

Most Important Skills for Power Plant Operators


 

Most Important Knowledge Areas for Power Plant Operators



Interests


Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:

Learn more about your interests. Take the MnCareers Interest Assessment.

 

Describe Your Skills


People who have worked in this career typically perform the following tasks. These statements can help a prospective employer understand what you can do, on a resume or during an interview.

  • Controlling machines and processes.
  • Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to find or fix problems.
  • Identifying information by categorizing, comparing, or detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Monitoring information from a variety of sources to find problems.
  • Collecting information from different sources.
  • Making decisions or solving problems.
  • Evaluating information to determine compliance with standards.
  • Communicating with supervisors, co-workers, or people that work under you.

 

Careers that Use Similar Skills


The following careers use skills, knowledge, and abilities that are similar to those used for Power Plant Operators.

 

View more careers in the Manufacturing cluster

View more careers in the Maintenance and Operations pathway

 

O*NET in-it

This page includes information from the O*NET 24.2 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA.



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Jobs



Real-time job data provided by Gartner TalentNeuron

 

Job Title Examples


Nuclear Control Room Operator,  Operations and Maintenance Technician (O and M Technician),  Transmission System Operator,  Boiler Operator,  Control Center Operator,  Control Room Supervisor,  Dispatcher,  Nuclear Control Operator,  Nuclear Power Reactor Operator,  Nuclear Station Operator,  Power Plant Operator,  Power System Dispatcher,  Unit Reactor Operator,  Reactor Operator (RO) 

 

Where Do Power Plant Operators Work?


Power Plant Operators often work in the following industries.

 

Similar Careers


Below are careers that use skill sets that are similar to Power Plant Operators.



Source: You can learn about our data sources in the About Us section.