How to become a Power Generation Plant Operator

Power generation plant operators control and operate a range of machinery and instruments used in the electricity supply industry (ESI) for generating electric power. This may involve mechanical, electrical or chemical processes.

Personal requirements of a Power Generation Plant Operator

  • logical and thorough approach to work
  • able to follow procedures and committed to safe work practices
  • good at mechanical and/or electrical activities
  • able to accept responsibility and make decisions.

Duties & Tasks of a Power Generation Plant Operator

Power generation plant operators may perform the following tasks:

  • control the flow of fuel to boilers and make sure that the machinery is working properly
  • control the flow of water in hydroelectric power stations and ensure that the machinery is working correctly
  • operate control instruments to switch off lines or equipment and to connect alternative circuits
  • check instruments and switchboards to make sure that all systems are working efficiently to detect line disturbances and to check the flow of power
  • find faults and perform basic repairs in mechanical, electrical and process control equipment and coordinate specialist repairs
  • shut down or start up boilers or turbines to decrease or increase power output
  • operate power switches for safety of crews and to avoid interruptions during repairs
  • undertake safe work procedures to isolate plant machinery and equipment for maintenance and repair
  • compile records and reports on equipment performance, instrument readings and switching operations
  • clean, lubricate and repair equipment
  • control processes and equipment associated with inputs for power generation such as fuel, chemicals and water
  • control processes and equipment associated with management of by-products to minimise their environmental impact
  • respond to emergencies such as fire and environmental hazards.

Working conditions for a Power Generation Plant Operator

They work in control rooms, operating a controlling console, and also out in the plant. Shiftwork is required.

Avg. weekly wage:

$2,301

Future growth:

relatively steady

Employment by state:

ACT 0%

NSW 17.1%

NT 3.5%

QLD 23.7%

SA 6.3%

TAS 1.8%

VIC 28.2%

WA 19.4%

Hours worked:

34.4

Unemployment:

below average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 100%

Proportion of female workers 0%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 100%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 0%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 22.6%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 77.4%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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