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Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021

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:

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)
28,960 1.8 % $ 40.26 $ 83,740 0.6 %

Percentile wage estimates for Power Plant Operators:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $ 23.37 $ 30.23 $ 38.87 $ 48.24 $ 53.17
Annual Wage (2) $ 48,610 $ 62,890 $ 80,850 $ 100,340 $ 110,590


Industry profile for Power Plant Operators:

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 20,010 5.32 $ 41.31 $ 85,920
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 3,590 0.07 $ 37.12 $ 77,200
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools 780 0.03 $ 27.30 $ 56,780
Natural Gas Distribution 750 0.69 $ 56.80 $ 118,140
State Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OEWS Designation) 670 0.03 $ 36.48 $ 75,870

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 20,010 5.32 $ 41.31 $ 85,920
Natural Gas Distribution 750 0.69 $ 56.80 $ 118,140
Pulp, Paper, and Paperboard Mills 200 0.23 $ 35.75 $ 74,370
Water, Sewage and Other Systems 70 0.13 $ 32.90 $ 68,440
Metal Ore Mining 40 0.09 $ 43.74 $ 90,970

Top paying industries for Power Plant Operators:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Natural Gas Distribution 750 0.69 $ 56.80 $ 118,140
Federal Executive Branch (OEWS Designation) 630 0.03 $ 47.15 $ 98,070
Metal Ore Mining 40 0.09 $ 43.74 $ 90,970
Electric Power Generation, Transmission and Distribution 20,010 5.32 $ 41.31 $ 85,920
Architectural, Engineering, and Related Services 300 0.02 $ 40.21 $ 83,650


Geographic profile for Power Plant Operators:

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.



Map of employment of power plant operators by state, May 2021


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 2,540 0.15 0.75 $ 47.53 $ 98,860
New York 1,870 0.22 1.05 $ 44.92 $ 93,430
Michigan 1,410 0.35 1.69 $ 42.13 $ 87,630
Indiana 1,320 0.44 2.15 $ 40.39 $ 84,010
Pennsylvania 1,320 0.24 1.15 $ 38.37 $ 79,820


Map of location quotient of power plant operators by state, May 2021


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 550 1.86 9.06 $ 36.72 $ 76,390
North Dakota 440 1.12 5.45 $ 43.87 $ 91,240
Hawaii 550 1.00 4.87 $ 44.08 $ 91,680
Wyoming 250 0.97 4.74 $ 40.77 $ 84,800
West Virginia 310 0.47 2.29 $ 36.55 $ 76,020


Map of annual mean wages of power plant operators by state, May 2021


Top paying states for Power Plant Operators:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Washington 480 0.15 0.73 $ 55.48 $ 115,390
California 2,540 0.15 0.75 $ 47.53 $ 98,860
New Jersey 450 0.12 0.57 $ 45.29 $ 94,190
New York 1,870 0.22 1.05 $ 44.92 $ 93,430
New Mexico 200 0.26 1.26 $ 44.56 $ 92,680



Map of employment of power plant operators by area, May 2021


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)
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 1,420 0.16 0.80 $ 47.47 $ 98,730
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 640 0.11 0.55 $ 45.13 $ 93,870
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 620 0.15 0.71 $ 45.08 $ 93,770
Detroit-Warren-Dearborn, MI 490 0.27 1.31 $ 42.25 $ 87,870
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 470 0.18 0.87 $ 43.06 $ 89,560
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 420 0.16 0.79 $ 42.56 $ 88,530
Urban Honolulu, HI 380 0.96 4.68 $ 43.32 $ 90,100
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 340 0.19 0.92 $ 43.35 $ 90,170
St. Louis, MO-IL 330 0.26 1.25 $ 37.62 $ 78,250
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL 300 0.12 0.59 $ 36.49 $ 75,910


Map of location quotient of power plant operators by area, May 2021


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 130 2.23 10.86 $ 32.82 $ 68,270
Fairbanks, AK 70 1.99 9.70 $ 38.50 $ 80,080
Bismarck, ND 130 1.88 9.13 $ 43.96 $ 91,440
Wenatchee, WA 70 1.41 6.86 $ 59.22 $ 123,180
Terre Haute, IN 80 1.30 6.31 $ 38.37 $ 79,810
Urban Honolulu, HI 380 0.96 4.68 $ 43.32 $ 90,100
Redding, CA 60 0.92 4.48 $ 51.77 $ 107,680
Springfield, IL 80 0.84 4.07 $ 41.90 $ 87,160
Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, HI 50 0.81 3.94 $ 48.56 $ 101,000
Hattiesburg, MS 50 0.79 3.86 $ 41.71 $ 86,750


Map of annual mean wages of power plant operators by area, May 2021


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)
Fresno, CA 90 0.25 1.22 $ 62.33 $ 129,650
Wenatchee, WA 70 1.41 6.86 $ 59.22 $ 123,180
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA 220 0.22 1.07 $ 55.13 $ 114,660
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 110 0.06 0.29 $ 53.17 $ 110,600
Redding, CA 60 0.92 4.48 $ 51.77 $ 107,680
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 280 0.13 0.62 $ 50.68 $ 105,420
Modesto, CA 30 0.17 0.83 $ 50.68 $ 105,410
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 70 0.12 0.56 $ 49.80 $ 103,580
Merced, CA 40 0.60 2.91 $ 49.12 $ 102,170
Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 30 0.11 0.51 $ 48.62 $ 101,120

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)
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area 440 2.38 11.58 $ 38.60 $ 80,290
Alaska nonmetropolitan area 380 3.93 19.12 $ 35.97 $ 74,810
West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area 260 2.48 12.05 $ 45.97 $ 95,610
Kansas nonmetropolitan area 220 0.59 2.86 $ 28.64 $ 59,560
Central Kentucky nonmetropolitan area 220 1.27 6.19 $ 37.52 $ 78,040

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 380 3.93 19.12 $ 35.97 $ 74,810
Southwest Alabama nonmetropolitan area 190 3.07 14.93 $ 33.16 $ 68,970
West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area 260 2.48 12.05 $ 45.97 $ 95,610
Southern Indiana nonmetropolitan area 440 2.38 11.58 $ 38.60 $ 80,290
Eastern Wyoming nonmetropolitan area 160 2.06 10.04 $ 41.16 $ 85,620

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 Sierra-Mother Lode Region of California nonmetropolitan area 90 1.49 7.26 $ 49.13 $ 102,190
West North Dakota nonmetropolitan area 260 2.48 12.05 $ 45.97 $ 95,610
West Tennessee nonmetropolitan area 80 0.64 3.10 $ 45.40 $ 94,440
Northwest Colorado nonmetropolitan area 120 1.01 4.92 $ 45.05 $ 93,710
Hawaii / Kauai nonmetropolitan area 120 1.32 6.42 $ 44.56 $ 92,690


About May 2021 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.

(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 2021 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2021 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2022