Power Plant Workers



Power plant workers include power plant operators, power distributors, power dispatchers, and nuclear power reactor operators. In general, power plant operators control the machinery that generates electricity. Power distributors and power dispatchers oversee the flow of electricity through substations and a network of transmission and distribution lines to individual and commercial consumers. The generators in these power plants may produce electricity by converting energy from a nuclear reactor;...

Quick Facts


Median Salary



Employment Prospects



Minimum Education Level

High School Diploma



On-the-job training





Personality Traits

Hands On


Salaries for workers in the utilities industry are relatively high, but are based on skills and experience, geographical location, union status, and other factors.

Power plant operators earned a median salary of $81,990 in 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The lowest paid 10 percent of workers earned $45,970 or less, while the highest paid 10 percent earned $108,380 or mor...

Work Environment

Most power plants are clean, well lighted, and ventilated. Some areas of the plant may be quite noisy. Power plant workers usually sit or stand in one place as they perform their duties. Risk of falls, burns, and electric shock increases for those who work outside of the control room. Workers must follow strict safety regulations and sometimes wear protective clothing, such as hard hats and saf...


Consumer demand for electric power is expected to increase in the next decade, but power-generating plants will install more automatic control and computerized systems and more efficient equipment, which should limit the growth of operating staffs. The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that employment for all power plant workers will decline 6 percent through 2028. Workers who have knowledge of...