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Power Plant Operators - 51-8013.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Auxiliary Operator
  • Control Operator
  • Operations and Maintenance Technician (O & M Technician)
  • Unit Operator
  • Power Plant Operator
  • Boiler Operator
  • Control Center Operator
  • Control Room Operator
  • Operations and Maintenance Gas Turbine Technician
  • Plant Control Operator

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Adjust controls to generate specified electrical power or to regulate the flow of power between generating stations and substations.
  • Clean, lubricate, or maintain equipment, such as generators, turbines, pumps, or compressors, to prevent failure or deterioration.
  • Collect oil, water, or electrolyte samples for laboratory analysis.
  • Communicate with systems operators to regulate and coordinate line voltages and transmission loads and frequencies.
  • Control generator output to match the phase, frequency, or voltage of electricity supplied to panels.
  • Control or maintain auxiliary equipment, such as pumps, fans, compressors, condensers, feedwater heaters, filters, or chlorinators, to supply water, fuel, lubricants, air, or auxiliary power.
  • Control power generating equipment, including boilers, turbines, generators, or reactors, using control boards or semi-automatic equipment.
  • Examine and test electrical power distribution machinery and equipment, using testing devices.
  • Inspect records or log book entries or communicate with plant personnel to assess equipment operating status.
  • Inspect thermal barrier coatings on integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) equipment for sintering, phase destabilization, or temperature variances to ensure compliance with standards and insulation efficiency.
  • Make adjustments or minor repairs, such as tightening leaking gland and pipe joints.
  • Monitor power plant equipment and indicators to detect evidence of operating problems.
  • Open and close valves and switches in sequence to start or shut down auxiliary units.
  • Operate or maintain distributed power generation equipment, including fuel cells or microturbines, to produce energy on-site for manufacturing or other commercial purposes.
  • Operate, control, or monitor equipment, such as acid or gas carbon dioxide removal units, carbon dioxide compressors, and pipelines, to capture, store, or transport carbon dioxide exhaust.
  • Operate, control, or monitor gasifiers or related equipment, such as coolers, water quenches, water gas shifts reactors, or sulfur recovery units, to produce syngas or electricity from coal.
  • Operate, control, or monitor integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) or related equipment, such as air separation units, to generate electricity from coal.
  • Place standby emergency electrical generators on line in emergencies and monitor the temperature, output, and lubrication of the system.
  • Receive outage calls and request necessary personnel during power outages or emergencies.
  • Record and compile operational data by completing and maintaining forms, logs, or reports.
  • Regulate equipment operations and conditions, such as water levels, based on instrument data or from computers.
  • Replenish electrolytes in batteries and oil in voltage transformers, and reset tripped electric relays.
  • Start or stop generators, auxiliary pumping equipment, turbines, or other power plant equipment as necessary.
  • Take regulatory action, based on readings from charts, meters and gauges, at established intervals.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate flow of water, cleaning solutions, or other liquids.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Collect samples of materials or products for testing.
  • Exchange information with colleagues.
  • Inspect sustainable energy production facilities or equipment.
  • Lubricate production equipment.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment.
  • Maintain sustainable energy production equipment.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
  • Monitor lubrication of equipment or workpieces.
  • Notify others of equipment repair or maintenance needs.
  • Operate energy distribution equipment.
  • Operate energy production equipment.
  • Operate pumping systems or equipment.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Test electrical equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
  • Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Aviation Boatswain's Mate, Launching and Recovery Equipment (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Gas Turbine Mechanical Systems Maintainer (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Gas Turbine Mechanical Systems Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Mobile Utilities Support Equipment Technician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • RL - Engineering Duty Officer - Ship Engineering (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • RL - Special Duty - Merchant Marine, Engineering (Navy - Commissioned Officer only)
  • Submarine Propulsion Plant Electrical Manager (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Submarine Propulsion Plant Electrical Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Submarine Propulsion Plant Electrical Supervisor (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Surface Propulsion Plant Electrical Manager (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Surface Propulsion Plant Electrical Operator (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Surface Propulsion Plant Electrical Supervisor (Navy - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Hydroelectric-Station Operator
  • Power-Plant Operator
  • Turbine Operator

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Auxiliary-Equipment Operator
  • Diesel-Plant Operator
  • Firer, High Pressure
  • Hydroelectric-Station Operator
  • Power Operator
  • Power-Plant Operator
  • Turbine Operator