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Power Plant Operator Average Salary in United States 2022

How much money does a Power Plant Operator make in United States?

Average Yearly Salary
73,500 USD
( 6,130 USD monthly)


A person working as a Power Plant Operator in United States typically earns around 73,500 USD per year. Salaries range from 36,800 USD (lowest) to 114,000 USD (highest).

This is the average yearly salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Power Plant Operator salaries vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

Power Plant Operator Salary Distribution in United States

Median and salary distribution yearly United States Power Plant Operator
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The median, the maximum, the minimum, and the range

  • Salary Range

    Power Plant Operator salaries in United States range from 36,800 USD per year (minimum salary) to 114,000 USD per year (maximum salary).

  • Median Salary

    The median salary is 73,500 USD per year, which means that half (50%) of people working as Power Plant Operator(s) are earning less than 73,500 USD while the other half are earning more than 73,500 USD. The median represents the middle salary value. Generally speaking, you would want to be on the right side of the graph with the group earning more than the median salary.

  • Percentiles

    Closely related to the median are two values: the 25th and the 75th percentiles. Reading from the salary distribution diagram, 25% of Power Plant Operator(s) are earning less than 49,600 USD while 75% of them are earning more than 49,600 USD. Also from the diagram, 75% of Power Plant Operator(s) are earning less than 93,700 USD while 25% are earning more than 93,700 USD.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both of the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people are earning more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

Power Plant Operator Salary Comparison by Years of Experience

How does experience and age affect your pay?

Salary comparison by years of experience yearly United States Power Plant Operator
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally the more years of experience the higher your wage. We broke down Power Plant Operator salaries by experience level and this is what we found.

A Power Plant Operator with less than two years of experience makes approximately 44,100 USD per year.

While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 58,400 USD per year, 32% more than someone with less than two year's experience.

Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 78,100 USD per year, 34% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Additionally, Power Plant Operator(s) whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 93,100 USD per year, 19% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 100,000 USD per year, 8% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 108,000 USD per year, 7% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

Power Plant Operator average salary change by experience in United States

0 - 2 Years
44,100 USD
2 - 5 Years+32%
58,400 USD
5 - 10 Years+34%
78,100 USD
10 - 15 Years+19%
93,100 USD
15 - 20 Years+8%
100,000 USD
20+ Years+7%
108,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Power Plant Operator Salary Comparison By Education

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary difference between different Power Plant Operator(s) who have the same experience but different education levels.

Salary comparison by education level yearly United States Power Plant Operator
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We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down Power Plant Operator salaries by education level in order to make a comparison.

When the education level is High School, the average salary of a Power Plant Operator is 58,400 USD per year.

While someone with a Certificate or Diploma gets a salary of 81,500 USD per year, 40% more than someone having a High School degree.

A Bachelor's Degree gets its holder an average salary of 102,000 USD per year, 25% more than someone with a Certificate or Diploma.

Power Plant Operator average salary difference by education level in United States

High School
58,400 USD
Certificate or Diploma+40%
81,500 USD
Bachelor's Degree+25%
102,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Education Level
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Power Plant Operator Salary Comparison By Gender

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States Power Plant Operator
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? Male Power Plant Operator employees in United States earn 4% more than their female counterparts on average.

75,100 USD
71,900 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in United States for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States
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Power Plant Operator Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage in United States

How much are annual salary increments in United States for Power Plant Operator(s)? How often do employees get salary raises?

Power Plant Operator

Power Plant Operator(s) in United States are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 11% every 15 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate United States Power Plant Operator
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

United States / All Professions

The term 'Annual Salary Increase' usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rarely that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 ÷ Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in United States is 6%.

Annual Increment Rate By Industry 2021

Information Technology

Listed above are the average annual increase rates for each industry in United States for the year 2021. Companies within thriving industries tend to provide higher and more frequent raises. Exceptions do exist, but generally speaking, the situation of any company is closely related to the economic situation in the country or region. These figures tend to change frequently.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

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Power Plant Operator Bonus and Incentive Rates in United States

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate United States Power Plant Operator
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A Power Plant Operator is considered to be a moderate bonus-based job due to the generally limited involvement in direct revenue generation, with exceptions of course. The people who get the highest bonuses are usually somehow involved in the revenue generation cycle.

44% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 56% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 6% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Power Plant Operator Average Hourly Wage in United States

35 USD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) in United States is 35 USD. This means that the average Power Plant Operator in United States earns approximately 35 USD for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary ÷ ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fix amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

Power Plant Operator VS Other Jobs

Salary Comparison Between Power Plant Operator and Oil  / Gas / Energy / Mining yearly United States
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The average salary for Power Plant Operator is 14% less than that of Oil / Gas / Energy / Mining. Also, Oil / Gas / Energy / Mining salaries are 10% less than those of All Jobs.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Assistant Yard Manager88,500 USD+20%
Associate Analyst95,500 USD+30%
Associate Landman40,100 USD-45%
Auxiliary Equipment Operator37,500 USD-49%
Biomass Plant Technician41,100 USD-44%
Biomass Power Plant Manager121,000 USD+65%
Chemical Plant Operator71,700 USD-2%
Chief Contract Compliance Engineer96,600 USD+31%
Completions Engineer82,500 USD+12%
Cost Controller66,100 USD-10%
Crude Oil Marketing Representative96,900 USD+32%
Dispatcher37,700 USD-49%
Distribution Manager123,000 USD+67%
Dragline Operator43,300 USD-41%
Driller Offsider32,800 USD-55%
Dump Truck Driver35,800 USD-51%
Electric and Gas Operations Manager209,000 USD+180%
Energy Advisor135,000 USD+84%
Energy Analyst124,000 USD+69%
Energy Auditor112,000 USD+52%
Energy Dispatch Director146,000 USD+99%
Energy Technical Assistant54,600 USD-26%
Energy Technical Manager113,000 USD+54%
Energy Technical Trainer74,300 USD+1%
Exploration Manager153,000 USD+110%
Field Safety Auditor102,000 USD+39%
Fluids Engineer85,500 USD+16%
Fuel Cell Engineer91,700 USD+25%
Fuel Cell Technician45,000 USD-39%
Fuels Handler41,900 USD-43%
Gas Compressor Operator38,200 USD-48%
Gas Distribution Plant Operator72,900 USD-1%
Gas Supply Manager127,000 USD+73%
Geologist155,000 USD+110%
Geophysicist165,000 USD+120%
Geothermal Production Manager145,000 USD+97%
Geothermal Technician61,200 USD-17%
HSE Engineer87,800 USD+19%
HSE Officer55,000 USD-25%
HSEQ Administrator65,500 USD-11%
Inspector84,500 USD+15%
Instructor73,700 USD+0%
Instrument Designer70,300 USD-4%
Lead Technical Field Advisor115,000 USD+56%
Logistics and Tool Coordinator79,100 USD+8%
Maintenance Engineer93,500 USD+27%
Maintenance Superintendent77,900 USD+6%
Material Controller58,200 USD-21%
Mine Engineer86,000 USD+17%
Mine Surveyor96,000 USD+31%
Mining Project Administrator80,600 USD+10%
Mining Project Assistant63,400 USD-14%
Mining Project Controls Consultant93,300 USD+27%
Mining Project Coordinator79,900 USD+9%
Mining Project Engineer88,900 USD+21%
Mining Project Manager116,000 USD+58%
Mining Site Manager114,000 USD+55%
Mining Team Leader89,100 USD+21%
NDT Technician53,000 USD-28%
Oil Service Unit Operator44,300 USD-40%
Oil Trader117,000 USD+59%
Oilwell Pumper34,400 USD-53%
Petroleum Engineer 97,100 USD+32%
Petroleum Geologist153,000 USD+110%
Petroleum Pump System Operator48,300 USD-34%
Pipeline Technician33,700 USD-54%
Power Coordinator55,300 USD-25%
Power Plant Operations Manager177,000 USD+140%
Power Plant Operator73,500 USD-0%
Radio Operator38,700 USD-47%
Reliability Engineer86,500 USD+18%
Reservoir Engineer83,400 USD+13%
Risk Analyst112,000 USD+52%
Roughneck86,000 USD+17%
Scaffolder56,200 USD-24%
Shutdown Engineer76,100 USD+4%
Solar Energy Installation Manager127,000 USD+73%
Solar Energy Systems Engineer92,300 USD+26%
Solar Photovoltaic Installer60,000 USD-18%
Solar Thermal Technician53,100 USD-28%
Supply Operations Manager142,000 USD+93%
Sustainability Specialist138,000 USD+88%
System Development Advisor105,000 USD+43%
Tanker Truck Driver35,600 USD-52%
Utility Operator46,700 USD-36%
Wind Energy Project Manager120,000 USD+63%

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Atlanta65,700 USD
Austin75,800 USD
Baltimore68,900 USD
Boston71,400 USD
Bristol56,900 USD
Chicago88,400 USD
Cincinnati63,500 USD
Cleveland65,800 USD
Dallas77,300 USD
Denver75,100 USD
Detroit70,000 USD
Honolulu59,500 USD
Houston80,900 USD
Indianapolis79,400 USD
Iowa City59,900 USD
Jacksonville76,100 USD
Kansas City69,500 USD
Kent60,700 USD
Las Vegas70,700 USD
Long Beach67,500 USD
Los Angeles86,000 USD
Memphis70,500 USD
Miami64,900 USD
Minneapolis68,300 USD
New Orleans64,000 USD
New York82,500 USD
Oakland66,000 USD
Oklahoma City73,300 USD
Orlando59,100 USD
Philadelphia82,600 USD
Phoenix85,400 USD
Sacramento69,800 USD
San Antonio78,700 USD
San Diego81,600 USD
San Francisco77,800 USD
San Jose80,100 USD
Seattle78,200 USD
Tampa61,300 USD
Vancouver61,800 USD
Washington D.C.72,700 USD

Salary Comparison By State

StateAverage Salary
Alabama72,900 USD
Alaska63,600 USD
Arizona75,600 USD
Arkansas69,900 USD
California79,700 USD
Colorado71,800 USD
Connecticut69,600 USD
Delaware64,700 USD
District of Columbia63,200 USD
Florida78,500 USD
Georgia77,100 USD
Hawaii65,800 USD
Idaho65,700 USD
Illinois77,500 USD
Indiana74,000 USD
Iowa68,300 USD
Kansas68,200 USD
Kentucky70,200 USD
Louisiana70,200 USD
Maine64,500 USD
Maryland72,800 USD
Massachusetts72,700 USD
Michigan75,400 USD
Minnesota71,200 USD
Mississippi67,000 USD
Missouri71,700 USD
Montana63,400 USD
Nebraska65,400 USD
Nevada66,700 USD
New Hampshire63,900 USD
New Jersey74,100 USD
New Mexico65,800 USD
New York76,700 USD
North Carolina74,600 USD
North Dakota67,200 USD
Ohio83,000 USD
Oklahoma75,400 USD
Oregon75,300 USD
Pennsylvania83,500 USD
Rhode Island68,400 USD
South Carolina76,600 USD
South Dakota68,300 USD
Tennessee79,400 USD
Texas84,600 USD
Utah71,800 USD
Vermont66,500 USD
Virginia80,600 USD
Washington79,800 USD
West Virginia70,800 USD
Wisconsin77,400 USD
Wyoming65,500 USD

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working for a private company or for the government? Public sector employees in United States earn 5% more than their private sector counterparts on average across all sectors.

Private Sector
92,400 USD
Public Sector+5%
97,100 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

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