Career and Education Opportunities for Power Plant Operators in Bellevue, Washington
For those living in the Bellevue, Washington area, there are many career and education opportunities for power plant operators. Currently, 380 people work as power plant operators in Washington. This is expected to grow by 5% to 400 people 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.
A person working as a power plant operator can expect to earn about $33 per hour or $69,310 yearly on average in Washington and about $28 hourly or $58,470 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Earnings for power plant operators are better than earnings in the general category of Power Plant in Washington and better than general Power Plant category earnings nationally.
There is one school within twenty-five miles of Bellevue where you can study to be a power plant operator, among sixty-four schools of higher education total in the Bellevue area. 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
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 Bellevue 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
Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA
Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has a less than one year program in Mechanic and Repair Technologies/Technicians, Other Specialties which graduated fifty-six students in 2008.
LOCATION INFORMATION: Bellevue, Washington
Bellevue is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 123,771, which has grown by 13.0% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Bellevue, 128, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Bellevue are valued at $475,200 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirteen new homes were built in Bellevue, down from one hundred sixty-five the previous year.
The top three industries for women in Bellevue are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, transportation equipment, and construction. The average commute to work is about 22 minutes. More than 54.1% of Bellevue residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 19.4%, is higher than the state average.
The unemployment rate in Bellevue is 7.2%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.
The percentage of Bellevue residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
Bellevue is home to the Sunset Plaza and the Eastgate Plaza as well as Killarney Glen Park and Coal Creek Park. Shopping malls in the area include Hillfair Shopping Center, Lake Hills Shopping Center and Crossroads Shopping Center. Visitors to Bellevue can choose from Bedynamic Inc, Fairfield Inn Seattle-Bellevue and Bellevue Travelodge for temporary stays in the area.