Career and Education Opportunities for Power Plant Operators in Dallas, Texas
Power plant operators can find many career and educational opportunities in the Dallas, Texas area. There are currently 1,800 working power plant operators in Texas; this should grow 14% to 2,050 working power plant operators in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for power plant operators are expected to shrink by about 1.6%. In general, power plant operators control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power.
Income for power plant operators is about $27 per hour or $57,580 annually on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $28 per hour or $58,470 yearly. Earnings for power plant operators are better than earnings in the general category of Power Plant in Texas and better than general Power Plant category earnings nationally.
There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Dallas area, including one within twenty-five miles of Dallas 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
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 Dallas 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
Lincoln College of Technology - Grand Prairie, TX
Lincoln College of Technology, 2915 Alouette Drive, Grand Prairie, TX 75052. Lincoln College of Technology is a small college located in Grand Prairie, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 1,223 students. Lincoln College of Technology has a one to two year program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Dallas, Texas
Dallas is situated in Dallas County, Texas. It has a population of over 1,279,910, which has grown by 7.7% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Dallas, 91, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Dallas cost $295,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, 1,198 new homes were constructed in Dallas, down from 2,090 the previous year.
The three big industries for women in Dallas are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.7% of Dallas residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.6%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Dallas is 8.7%, which is greater than Texas's average of 8.1%.
The percentage of Dallas residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.1%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Samaritano Methodist Church, Penuel Seventh Day Adventist Church and Peoples Baptist Church are all churches located in Dallas. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.
Dallas is home to the Camp Wisdom and the North Bishop Avenue Commercial Historic District as well as Trinity River Greenbelt Park and Buckner Park. Shopping centers in the area include Wynnewood Village Shopping Center, Valley View Center Shopping Center and Galleria Shopping Center at Dallas. Visitors to Dallas can choose from Benjamin West Dallas LLC, Bucks Bar and Candlewood Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.