Plant Operatoions

Focusing on energy efficiency, Plant Operators have the very important job of making sure customers have enough electricity or gas to meet their daily needs. As a Plant Operator, you will:

  • Operate and control the equipment that generates energy from a variety of sources including renewables.
  • Work safely and use appropriate safety equipment.
  • Use special testing tools to test generation machinery.
  • Do preventative maintenance “checkups” on generation equipment and
    repair, if necessary.
  • Keep track of the work you’ve done.
  • Adjust the control on the generation equipment as power usage changes.
Entry-Level: Control Room Helper

Average salary*: $37,773

Education: High School Diploma

Testing: Pre-employment testing is typically required. Many companies require a passing score on the industry exams before being considered for employment. Topics focus on spatial ability, math concepts, mechanical reasoning and reading comprehension.

Mid-Level: Control Room Operator

Average salary*: $67,687

Education: Special training with company. An Associate’s degree may be beneficial

Required years of experience: Two to four years

Certificates and or licenses: May require a two-year apprenticeship

Things you’ll do: Keep energy regulated. Generate adequate electricity based on demand, or meet natural gas customers’ needs. Prepare reports of unusual incidents or problems.

Senior-Level: Plant Operations Supervisor/Manager

Average salary*: $81,904

Education: Bachelor’s degree required

Years of experience: Ten years

Things you’ll do: Inspect records and log book entries to determine the efficiency in which the plant is operating. Determine schedules and work activities of team members. Discuss with team members how well they are doing on the job and provide feedback, as necessary. Communicate effectively with others including team members, bosses, and management. Deal with potentially stressful situations.






Annual Salary Range*: $37k-81k

High school to Associate’s degree

If you like: problem solving, teamwork, keeping equipment in top condition

You’ll also need to:

  • Be curious about how things work, solve problems.
  • Concentrate on doing one thing for a long period of time without being distracted.
  • Be able to be on your feet for long periods of time.
  • Work in noisy environments while wearing hearing protection.


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* Based on national average from payscale.com. Will vary depending upon geographic location