Power Plant Operators Job Description video

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We're so used to a reliable supply of electricity for our everyday needs, that it can come as a shock when it's suddenly not there. Power plant operators keep us plugged in. These workers control the machinery that generates electricity. They monitor the function of key power plant equipment, such as boilers, turbines and generators. They direct the output of the system to meet constantly changing demands for power. They monitor instruments to make sure electricity is flowing from the plant at adequate, safe levels. This is increasingly done with computers and requires constant attention. Plant operators spend most of their time in a control room. Auxiliary equipment operators move around the plant more, checking valves, switches and gauges. Round the clock staffing is a must. You need at least a high school diploma with strong math and science skills to start as a new hire at a power plant. Computer proficiency would be helpful. Rising through the ranks to the high-paying position of plant operator requires extensive on-the-job training and technical study over several years. But the outlook for advancement in this field is less than electrifying. Deregulation has forced the industry to restructure to cut costs. And that includes cutting jobs. Still, those with the skills and tenacity to build a career as a power plant operator find it an illuminating way to earn a living.

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