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Career and Education Opportunities for Power Plant Operators in Chandler, Arizona

There are many career and education opportunities for power plant operators in the Chandler, Arizona area. There are currently 420 working power plant operators in Arizona; this should grow 12% to 470 working power plant operators in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for power plant operators, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.6% over the next eight years. In general, power plant operators control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power.

Power plant operators earn approximately $27 per hour or $57,230 annually on average in Arizona. Nationally they average about $28 hourly or $58,470 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Power Plant, people working as power plant operators in Arizona earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Power Plant nationally.

There are seventy-seven schools of higher education in the Chandler area, including one within twenty-five miles of Chandler where you can get a degree to start your career as a power plant operator. The most common level of education for power plant operators is an Associate's, or other 2-year degree. It will take about two years to learn to be a power plant operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Power Plant Operator

Power Plant Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, power plant operators control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. They also includes auxiliary equipment operators.

Power plant operators monitor and inspect power plant equipment and indicators to uncover evidence of operating problems. They also take readings from charts, meters and gauges at established intervals, and take corrective steps as needed. Equally important, power plant operators have to control and maintain auxiliary equipment, such as pumps and chlorinators, to supply water and auxiliary power. They are often called upon to open and close valves and switches in sequence upon signals from other staff, so as to start or shut down auxiliary units. They are expected to record and compile operational data, completing and maintaining forms, logs, and reports. Finally, power plant operators start or stop generators, auxiliary pumping equipment and other power plant equipment, and connect or disconnect equipment from circuits.

Every day, power plant operators are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for power plant operators to operate or control power generating equipment and reactors, using control boards or semi-automatic equipment. They are often called upon to clean and maintain equipment such as generators and compressors so as to avoid equipment failure or deterioration. They also communicate with systems operators to regulate and direct transmission loads and frequencies, and line voltages. They are sometimes expected to collect oil and electrolyte samples for laboratory analysis. Somewhat less frequently, power plant operators are also expected to receive outage calls and call in needed personnel during power outages and emergencies.

Power plant operators sometimes are asked to make adjustments or minor repairs. And finally, they sometimes have to take readings from charts, meters and gauges at established intervals, and take corrective steps as needed.

Like many other jobs, power plant operators must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Chandler include:

  • Gas Plant Operator. Distribute or process gas for utility companies and others by controlling compressors to maintain specified pressures on main pipelines.
  • Petroleum Refinery Worker. Control the operation of petroleum refining or processing units. May specialize in controlling manifold and pumping systems, gauging or testing oil in storage tanks, or regulating the flow of oil into pipelines.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Power Plant Operator Training

Chandler/Gilbert Community College - Chandler, AZ

Chandler/Gilbert Community College, 2626 E Pecos Rd, Chandler, AZ 85225-2499. Chandler/Gilbert Community College is a large college located in Chandler, Arizona. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,409 students. Chandler/Gilbert Community College has an associate's degree and a two to four year program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated eight and thirty-one students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Chandler, Arizona

Chandler, Arizona
Chandler, Arizona photo by Ixnayonthetimmay

Chandler is situated in Maricopa County, Arizona. It has a population of over 247,140, which has grown by 40.0% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Chandler, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Chandler are priced at $206,800 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, three hundred sixty-one new homes were constructed in Chandler, down from 1,002 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Chandler are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is computer and electronic products, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 32.5% of Chandler residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Chandler is 6.6%, which is less than Arizona's average of 9.3%.

The percentage of Chandler residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 39.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Chandler is home to the Kyrene Gin and the Goodyear Substation as well as West Mine Well Park and Doctor Chandler Memorial Park. Visitors to Chandler can choose from Courtyard by Marriott - Chandler, Four Seasons Solar Products and Aloha Motel for temporary stays in the area.