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Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers

Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers
Quick Facts : Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers*
2010 Median Pay$65,360
Entry Level EducationHigh school diploma or equivalent
Work Experience in Related OccupationNone
Number of Jobs, 201255,900
Job Outlook-2% (Little or no change)
Employment Change-1,100


Power plant operators, dispatchers, and distributors control the systems that generate and distribute electric power. They often have to operate or repair complex machinery.

What Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers Do

  • Control power-generating equipment, such as boilers, turbines, generators, and reactors
  • Read charts, meters, and gauges to monitor voltage and electricity flows
  • Check equipment and indicators to detect evidence of operating problems
  • Adjust controls to regulate the flow of power
  • Start or stop generators, turbines, and other equipment as necessary

Work Environment

Most workers are employed full time, and many work rotating shifts, which can be tiring.
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Job Outlook

Employment of power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers is expected to experience little or no change from 2010 to 2020, however, employment growth will vary by specialty.
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Pay

In May 2010 the average salary of power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers was $65,360.
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Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers*
Average Annual Salary, May 2010

Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers

65360

Installation & Production Occupations

39887.3333

All Jobs in the U.S.

52312.5223
Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers*
Percent Change in Employment

Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers

-1.9678

Installation & Production Occupations

10.336959024270376

All Jobs in the U.S.

15.767561808929724

Becoming a Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers

Power plant operators, dispatchers, and distributors need a combination of education and extensive on-the-job training. Nuclear power reactor operators also need a license. Many jobs require a background check, and workers are subject to drug and alcohol screenings.
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