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Career and Education Opportunities for Power Plant Operators in Olathe, Kansas

There are many career and education opportunities for power plant operators in the Olathe, Kansas area. The national trend for power plant operators sees this job pool shrinking by about 1.6% over the next eight years. Power plant operators generally control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power.

The income of a power plant operator is about $17 per hour or $36,310 yearly on average in Kansas. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $28 per hour or $58,470 yearly on average. Power plant operators earn less than people working in the category of Power Plant generally in Kansas and more than people in the Power Plant category nationally.

There are sixty schools of higher education in the Olathe area, including one within twenty-five miles of Olathe where you can get a degree to start your career as a power plant operator. Power plant operators usually hold an Associate's, or other 2-year degree, so 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 Olathe 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

Johnson County Community College - Overland Park, KS

Johnson County Community College, 12345 College Blvd, Overland Park, KS 66210-1299. Johnson County Community College is a large college located in Overland Park, Kansas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 19,062 students. Johnson County Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated zero and one students respectively in 2008.


Olathe, Kansas
Olathe, Kansas photo by Ichabod

Olathe is situated in Johnson County, Kansas. It has a population of over 119,993, which has grown by 29.1% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Olathe, 78, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Olathe are priced at $315,000 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, three hundred fifty-two new homes were constructed in Olathe, down from five hundred ninety-nine the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Olathe are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and finance and insurance. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 39.9% of Olathe residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Olathe is 6.7%, which is greater than Kansas's average of 6.3%.

The percentage of Olathe residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.8%, is more than both the national and state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Shopping malls in the area include Twin Trail Shopping Center, East Gate Shopping Center and Gibson Shopping Center. Visitors to Olathe can choose from Microtel Inn Olathe, Sleep Inn Olathe and Grid Iron Sports Bar for temporary stays in the area.