Power plant operators control, operate or maintain machinery to generate electric power.
Power plant operators control the systems that generate and distribute electric power. They operate energy distribution and production equipment and inspect the operating equipment to detect malfunctions. They also control pumping systems or equipment and exchange information with colleagues.
How to be a power plant operator? They usually require a high school diploma, with extensive on-the-job training lasting years, and that may include a combination of classroom and hands-on training. Employers may prefer workers who have a college or vocational school degree and people with strong math and science backgrounds. Understanding electricity and math, especially algebra and trigonometry, is important. Nuclear power reactor operators also need a license. They should be efficient with operations monitoring and controls, critical thinking, reasoning and communication.
Power plant operators work full time, very often in long shifts. The work environment of power plant operators requires wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, hard hats, or life jackets. The sounds and noise levels are distracting and uncomfortable and the workers are exposed to hazardous conditions.
Power plant operators' salaries are quite lucrative as they work at government or large corporate-owned power plants.
For a successful career in operation and maintenance jobs in a power plant, a power plant operator should be persistent and attentive. Along with proper training and licensing, power plant operators must be detail-oriented with excellent dexterity and understanding of mechanical systems as well as strong problem-solving capabilities.
Every career requires an element of study and academic qualification, and there can be several study routes and pathways you can take. In following any academic pathway you will study subjects that contribute to the specialised knowledge required to achieve your career goals. These qualifications provide a future employer with the evidence that you have the desired knowledge, understanding and experience of their industry, so it’s important to consider the various types of qualifications available to you and to understand how they can boost your career and create opportunities for you.
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