Power plant operators perform a wide variety of tasks to ensure optimal and safe operation of equipment that produces and distributes electrical power. They may operate control systems, monitor gauges and meters, perform routine checks, maintain equipment and start or stop operations when necessary.
In your power plant operator job description, focus on a strong math and science background. Operators may have formal degrees or apprenticeship training, and some states also require certain certifications for power plant operators. Those working with nuclear power reactors must be licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
Along with proper training and licensing, power plant operators must be attentive, dedicated and detail-oriented. Many tasks require excellent dexterity and understanding of mechanical systems as well as strong problem-solving capabilities. Read through the power plant operator job description below to see other information to include in your listing.
Power Plant Operator Job Summary
If you are looking for a career with interesting challenges, bring your problem-solving skills and power-generation expertise and apply for our power plant operator opening. We are looking for an experienced professional who is dedicated to maintaining safe operational standards while innovating new ways to improve efficiency and performance. You will work alongside managers, engineers and technicians in a true team environment that values each member’s unique contributions. Our power plant operators participate in a variety of tasks on a daily basis and have the satisfaction of providing a necessary service to people in the local community. We offer competitive pay and benefits, along with several opportunities for continuing education and professional development courses to support you on your career path.
- Control a variety of power-generation equipment and machinery during normal operation, scheduled maintenance and emergency repair procedures
- Monitor meters, gauges and control boards to verify operational parameters, and make adjustments to distribution, generator output, voltage and electricity flow rates according to standard protocols and power grid requirements
- Utilize a variety of analog and digital informational displays to understand operational performance variables, such as electricity flow and voltage, and record information accurately into manual logs and computer databases
- Oversee machinery indicators to determine existence of malfunctions or suboptimal performance, and initiate appropriate repair procedures when necessary
- Start and stop turbines and other power-generation equipment as necessary to maintain safe operation, allow for repair work and meet changing supply and demand variables
- Follow all relevant safety protocols and legal codes to ensure proper operation of equipment and minimize risk of damage to property and personnel
- Participate in regular training to improve performance, acquire professional licenses and maintain certification required by company and government regulations
- Communicate clearly and effectively with other power plant personnel, including managers, engineers and repair technicians to encourage teamwork and coordinate tasks
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Bachelor’s degree in math, engineering or power generation
- Minimum of 2 years of work experience in power generation
- Strong problem-solving skills and attention to detail
- Flexibility to work non-traditional hours, including on-call shifts
- Professional Engineer License
- Firefighter training
- NERC System Operator Certification
Power Plant Operator Job Responsibilities
The layout of the job responsibilities section of your power plant operator job description can greatly impact its effectiveness. By listing your information in bullet points, you can create a clear separation between each task and give your readers an accurate idea of what they would do on a daily basis. You can make each responsibility come alive for potential applicants and help them envision themselves in the role by starting each bullet with an action verb. To not overwhelm jobseekers, make the list 6-8 bullets. Keeping within these parameters still allows you to give possible candidates a definite idea of what their job would entail if they worked for your company.
As you write your power plant operator job description, keep in mind that readers typically concentrate on the job responsibilities section to help them decide whether to apply for the position. That means you need to use strong, engaging language and make the responsibilities sound interesting and not dull or generic.
Use these example power plant operator job responsibilities to inspire you as you write your own:
- Control the functioning of power-generating equipment to ensure all procedures run smoothly
- Interpret the readings on meters and gauges to ensure voltage and electricity flows within the specified parameters
- Inspect indicators and equipment for evidence of defects or malfunctions
- Manage the flow of power by adjusting the controls when necessary
Power Plant Operator Job Specifications
Because almost all power plant operator positions require rigorous on-site training, you might want to tailor your power plant operator job description to target jobseekers with specific areas of aptitude rather than a certain amount of experience. When you write your job qualifications and skills section, gear it towards applicants with a strong background in mathematics and a thorough understanding of electricity to attract the most qualified type of candidates.
Although this section is short, be sure to take your time writing it and choose your skills wisely. If you list minimum requirements that most applicants could meet, you might end up with a large stack of resumes from candidates who are a poor fit. If you make your list too demanding, you run the risk that qualified applicants may feel unsuited to apply.
You can prevent either situation from occurring by creating one list for necessary skills and another for preferred skills. Make sure to consult with other members of management as you create your power plant operator job description to correctly define the type of candidate the company is looking for.
Read over these example power plant operator job specifications for ideas on what to include in your own list:
- Passing score on the Edison Electrical Institute test
- Associate’s degree in mechanical engineering or mathematics
- Completion of the System Operator Certification Program offered by the North American Electric Reliability Corporation
- Concentration and problem-solving skills