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Power Generation Plant Operator

Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Minimum Age 18+

Power generation plant operators control and operate a range of machinery and instruments used in the electricity supply industry (ESI) for generating electric power. This may involve mechanical, electrical or chemical processes.

They work in control rooms, operating a controlling console, and also out in the plant. Shiftwork is required.

TASKS

    Power generation plant operators may perform the following tasks:

  • control the flow of fuel to boilers and make sure that the machinery is working properly
  • control the flow of water in hydroelectric power stations and ensure that the machinery is working correctly
  • operate control instruments to switch off lines or equipment and to connect alternative circuits
  • check instruments and switchboards to make sure that all systems are working efficiently to detect line disturbances and to check the flow of power
  • find faults and perform basic repairs in mechanical, electrical and process control equipment and coordinate specialist repairs
  • shut down or start up boilers or turbines to decrease or increase power output
  • operate power switches for safety of crews and to avoid interruptions during repairs
  • undertake safe work procedures to isolate plant machinery and equipment for maintenance and repair
  • compile records and reports on equipment performance, instrument readings and switching operations
  • clean, lubricate and repair equipment
  • control processes and equipment associated with inputs for power generation such as fuel, chemicals and water
  • control processes and equipment associated with management of by-products to minimise their environmental impact
  • respond to emergencies such as fire and environmental hazards. Power generation plant operators may specialise as hydroelectric power station operators or power generation turbine room operators

PERSONAL REQUIREMENTS

  • logical and thorough approach to work
  • able to follow procedures and committed to safe work practices
  • good at mechanical and/or electrical activities
  • able to accept responsibility and make decisions

Interest Area

Manual/Practical Technical/Engineering

EDUCATION & TRAINING


Apprenticeship Traineeship Year 10 Preferred Minimum Age 28+

To become a power generation plant operator you usually have to complete an apprenticeship or traineeship in ESI Generation (Operations) or ESI Generation (Systems Operations). Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

You may also be able to cross over into this occupation from the related occupations of Electrician and Engineering Tradesperson - Mechanical. See the separate entries for these occupations for entry details.


Additional Information

    Depending on the method of power generation, industry standards may require power generation plant operators to hold a licence to Perform High Risk Work issued by SafeWork NSW or WorkSafe ACT. To gain a licence, you will need to register with an approved Registered Training Organisation and work under the supervision of a licensed operator. You will need to keep an approved logbook to record competencies achieved during training. Assessment by an independent assessor will then be required. To obtain a licence, you need to be at least 18 years of age. Contact SafeWork NSW or WorkSafe ACT for more details.

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES

Power generation plant operators work for electricity supply companies in their various power stations. They are also employed within the oil and gas sector for gas compression, process steam and power generation, and the mining and processing sector for process steam and power generation. The demand for power generation plant operators is influenced by the growth in demand for power and changing technology. Employers generally seek people with the ability to undertake maintenance and operator tasks. Therefore, power generation plant operator positions are often filled by already qualified electrical or mechanical tradespersons.

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More Information - External Links

Job Outlook for Power Generation Plant Operator E-Oz Energy Skills Australia SafeWork NSW WorkSafe ACT


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