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Career and Education Opportunities for Power Plant Operators in Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Power plant operators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee area. There are currently 530 jobs for power plant operators in Tennessee and this is projected to shrink by 10% to about 480 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for power plant operators are expected to shrink by about 1.6%. Power plant operators generally control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power.

Power plant operators earn about $24 hourly or $50,600 yearly on average in Tennessee and about $28 hourly or $58,470 annually on average nationally. Earnings for power plant operators are better than earnings in the general category of Power Plant in Tennessee and better than general Power Plant category earnings nationally.

There are fifty schools of higher education in the Nashville-Davidson area, including one within twenty-five miles of Nashville-Davidson 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 you can expect to spend about two years training to become 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 Nashville-Davidson 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

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc - Nashville, TN

Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc, 1524 Gallatin Rd, Nashville, TN 37206. Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc is a small college located in Nashville, Tennessee. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 2,207 students and an admission rate of 48%. Nashville Auto Diesel College Inc has a one to two year program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated 100 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee

Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee
Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee photo by Kaldari

Nashville-Davidson is located in Williamson County, Tennessee. It has a population of over 596,462, which has grown by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Nashville-Davidson, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Nashville-Davidson are priced at $196,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, 1,483 new homes were constructed in Nashville-Davidson, down from 3,070 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Nashville-Davidson are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 29.7% of Nashville-Davidson residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 10.0%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Nashville-Davidson residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than both the national and state average. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the Catholic Church and the United Methodist Church.