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: • 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:


Future growth:


Employment by state:

ACT ACT 0.7%

NSW NSW 19.1%

NT NT 3.8%

QLD QLD 28.4%

SA SA 4.3%

TAS TAS 1.3%

VIC VIC 23.7%

WA WA 18.8%

Hours worked:



Lower unemployment

Gender split:

Male 98.7%

Female 1.3%

Education level:

Not completed Year 12: 19.1%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 21.3%

Highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 25.5%

Highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 22.7%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 11.3%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0%

20-24 - 0%

25-34 - 15.6%

35-44 - 24.2%

45-54 - 40.8%

55-59 - 9%

60-64 - 6.5%

65 and Over - 3.9%

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

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