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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2020

51-8013 Power Plant Operators

Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators. Excludes "Nuclear Power Reactor Operators" (51-8011).


National estimates for Power Plant Operators
Industry profile for Power Plant Operators
Geographic profile for Power Plant Operators

National estimates for Power Plant Operators: Top

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for Power Plant Operators:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
32,960 3.1 % $ 39.37 $ 81,890 0.6 %

Percentile wage estimates for Power Plant Operators:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $ 23.12 $ 31.39 $ 40.70 $ 48.02 $ 53.59
Annual Wage (2) $ 48,090 $ 65,300 $ 84,650 $ 99,890 $ 111,470


Industry profile for Power Plant Operators: Top

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for Power Plant Operators are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in Power Plant Operators, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in Power Plant Operators:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution 22,200 5.84 $ 40.40 $ 84,030
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 3,650 0.07 $ 37.09 $ 77,150
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 940 0.03 $ 31.07 $ 64,620
Natural Gas Distribution 870 0.81 $ 49.87 $ 103,730
Waste Treatment and Disposal 700 0.72 $ 36.29 $ 75,490

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in Power Plant Operators:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution 22,200 5.84 $ 40.40 $ 84,030
Natural Gas Distribution 870 0.81 $ 49.87 $ 103,730
Waste Treatment and Disposal 700 0.72 $ 36.29 $ 75,490
Water, Sewage and Other Systems 160 0.30 $ 32.78 $ 68,190
Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills 190 0.21 $ 34.58 $ 71,920

Top paying industries for Power Plant Operators:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Natural Gas Distribution 870 0.81 $ 49.87 $ 103,730
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 670 0.03 $ 45.66 $ 94,970
Commercial and Industrial Machinery and Equipment (except Automotive and Electronic) Repair and Maintenance 60 0.03 $ 41.08 $ 85,440
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution 22,200 5.84 $ 40.40 $ 84,030
Management of Companies and Enterprises 410 0.02 $ 40.11 $ 83,430


Geographic profile for Power Plant Operators: Top

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for Power Plant Operators are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in Power Plant Operators, see the Create Customized Tables function.





States with the highest employment level in Power Plant Operators:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
California 3,930 0.24 1.01 $ 46.03 $ 95,740
Texas 2,410 0.20 0.84 $ 38.43 $ 79,930
New York 1,980 0.23 0.96 $ 43.13 $ 89,700
Michigan 1,570 0.40 1.69 $ 41.04 $ 85,360
Pennsylvania 1,430 0.26 1.09 $ 36.94 $ 76,830




States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Power Plant Operators:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Alaska 430 1.44 6.06 $ 35.92 $ 74,710
Wyoming 280 1.06 4.46 $ 39.98 $ 83,160
Hawaii 500 0.88 3.69 $ 43.47 $ 90,410
North Dakota 340 0.85 3.57 $ 44.96 $ 93,510
Maine 320 0.56 2.35 $ 34.74 $ 72,260




Top paying states for Power Plant Operators:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Oregon 210 0.12 0.49 $ 49.22 $ 102,390
Washington 570 0.18 0.75 $ 47.94 $ 99,720
California 3,930 0.24 1.01 $ 46.03 $ 95,740
North Dakota 340 0.85 3.57 $ 44.96 $ 93,510
New Jersey 340 0.09 0.38 $ 44.09 $ 91,700





Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in Power Plant Operators:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 1,740 0.30 1.26 $ 44.03 $ 91,580
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 1,440 0.16 0.69 $ 45.66 $ 94,960
Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land, TX 720 0.24 1.02 $ 39.36 $ 81,870
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 600 0.34 1.42 $ 40.15 $ 83,500
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 550 0.21 0.88 $ 35.81 $ 74,490
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 470 0.17 0.73 $ 40.34 $ 83,900
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 440 0.19 0.80 $ 49.19 $ 102,310
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 430 0.23 0.99 $ 45.99 $ 95,670
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 390 0.15 0.64 $ 39.59 $ 82,340
Urban Honolulu, HI 370 0.89 3.74 $ 42.22 $ 87,820




Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Power Plant Operators:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
El Centro, CA 140 2.41 10.19 $ 30.50 $ 63,450
Terre Haute, IN 130 2.01 8.49 $ 36.66 $ 76,250
Madera, CA 50 1.07 4.50 $ 41.08 $ 85,440
Anchorage, AK 170 1.02 4.31 $ 43.20 $ 89,850
Urban Honolulu, HI 370 0.89 3.74 $ 42.22 $ 87,820
Greeley, CO 80 0.72 3.04 $ 46.20 $ 96,090
Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC 100 0.63 2.65 $ 31.88 $ 66,310
Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 140 0.61 2.58 $ 33.95 $ 70,610
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 300 0.61 2.58 (8) (8)
State College, PA 40 0.59 2.49 (8) (8)




Top paying metropolitan areas for Power Plant Operators:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA 220 0.22 0.94 $ 55.01 $ 114,420
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 50 0.05 0.21 $ 51.84 $ 107,830
Redding, CA 40 0.58 2.47 $ 50.97 $ 106,030
Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (8) (8) (8) $ 50.45 $ 104,930
Fresno, CA 150 0.39 1.63 $ 50.03 $ 104,050
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 440 0.19 0.80 $ 49.19 $ 102,310
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 340 0.23 0.96 $ 48.00 $ 99,830
Bakersfield, CA 170 0.55 2.32 $ 47.48 $ 98,760
Greeley, CO 80 0.72 3.04 $ 46.20 $ 96,090
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 430 0.23 0.99 $ 45.99 $ 95,670

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in Power Plant Operators:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Kansas nonmetropolitan area 320 0.84 3.53 $ 29.07 $ 60,470
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area 310 1.73 7.32 $ 32.86 $ 68,350
Western Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area 290 2.07 8.71 $ 37.82 $ 78,660
Alaska nonmetropolitan area 240 2.42 10.22 $ 30.82 $ 64,100
Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area 240 1.41 5.95 $ 43.04 $ 89,530

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in Power Plant Operators:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Alaska nonmetropolitan area 240 2.42 10.22 $ 30.82 $ 64,100
Southwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area 150 2.30 9.72 $ 37.92 $ 78,880
Eastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area 170 2.10 8.86 $ 39.83 $ 82,850
Western Pennsylvania nonmetropolitan area 290 2.07 8.71 $ 37.82 $ 78,660
Eastern Utah nonmetropolitan area 150 2.03 8.59 $ 40.44 $ 84,120

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for Power Plant Operators:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Eastern Washington nonmetropolitan area 60 0.69 2.92 $ 50.24 $ 104,490
West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area 220 1.89 7.97 $ 46.50 $ 96,720
Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area (8) (8) (8) $ 46.30 $ 96,300
Eastern Oregon nonmetropolitan area 130 1.86 7.83 $ 45.90 $ 95,470
Southeast Minnesota nonmetropolitan area 150 1.04 4.40 $ 44.75 $ 93,090


About May 2020 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors, all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and all states and the District of Columbia. The top employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable XLS files.

The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate—50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(8) Estimate not released.

(9) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.


Other OEWS estimates and related information:

May 2020 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2020 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2020 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2020 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2020 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2021