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Power Plant Operator

Power Plant Operators operate, control, and uphold machinery to produce electric power. This job description may include auxiliary equipment operators as well. Power plant operators sometimes work in hazardous conditions, though their work is often located indoors.

Duties and tasks

  • Adjust controls to regulate the flow of power between substations and generating stations and generate the specified electrical power
  • Inspect and monitor power plant indicators and equipment to check for operating issues/problems
  • Open and close switches and valves in sequence when told to do so by other workers to stop or start auxiliary units
  • Operate power generating equipment such as generators, reactors, turbines, and boilers using semi-automatic equipment and control boards.
  • Start or stop various types of power plant equipment and disconnect/connect equipment from circuits as necessary

Skills required

  • Excellent attention skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Excellent hand-eye coordination
  • Must be able to stand for long hours
  • No formal education is required beyond high school

Working conditions

Power Plant Operators work shifts around the clock for about 8-hours each (sometimes 12 hours) because electricity must be supplied to the world at all times. Shift assignments may change periodically and can be tiring and stressful because of changes sleeping patterns. Dispatchers, distributors, and operators sit or stand in control rooms/stations. The work is not strenuous but can be tiring, and workers are often exposed to dangers such as falls, shock, and burns.

Professional associations / Industry information

Manufacturing Skills Australia 

NT WorkSafe 

Safeworks SA 

Workplace Health and Safety (Queensland) 

Workplace Standards Tasmania 

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