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 may include:

  • Ability to follow procedures and commitment to safe work practices
  • Good at mechanical and/or electrical activities
  • Able to accept responsibility and make decisions
  • Logical and thorough approach to work

Power generation plant operators may complete the following tasks:

  • Control the flow of fuel to boilers and make sure that the machinery is working properly
  • Operate control instruments to switch off lines or equipment and to connect alternative circuits
  • Control processes and equipment associated with inputs for power generation such as fuel, chemicals and water
  • Check instruments and switchboards to make sure that all systems are working efficiently, to detect line disturbances and to check the flow of power
  • Compile records and reports on equipment performance, instrument readings and switching operations
  • 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
  • Find faults and perform basic repairs in mechanical, electrical and process control equipment and coordinate specialist repairs
  • Clean and repair equipment
  • Respond to emergencies such as fire and environmental hazards.

This job usually requires the completion of a traineeship or apprenticeship in ESI (Electrical Supply Industry Generation). Entry requirements may vary but most employers require Year 10 and some may prefer Year 12. It is possible to cross over into this occupation from related occupations such as electrician and engineering tradesperson - mechanical. However, further part-time study usually at Certificate III level, and on-the-job training offered as an apprenticeship, is required.

There are no suitable traineeships or apprenticeships available in Queensland. Traineeships and apprenticeships are widely available interstate.

This occupation offers careers in the electricity supply industry.  Power generation plant operators work for electricity supply companies in their various power stations.