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Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers had median hourly wages of $36.38 in May 2015

January 19, 2017

In May 2015, there were over 9 million production jobs in the United States; their median hourly wage was $15.51. Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers had the highest median hourly wages ($36.38) among the 50 production occupation groups. Median hourly earnings are the midpoint in an earnings distribution, with half of jobs having earnings above the median and the other half having earnings below the median. Median hourly wages for pressers, textile, garment, and related materials jobs ($9.84) were lower than wages of other production occupations during the same period.

Employment and wages in production occupations, May 2015
Occupational group Employment Median hourly wage

Production occupations

9,073,290 $15.51

Miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators

1,366,250 13.87

Miscellaneous production workers

881,020 12.78

First-line supervisors of production and operating workers

603,080 27.09

Inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers

508,590 17.31

Welding, soldering, and brazing workers

439,320 18.23

Machinists

399,040 19.49

Packaging and filling machine operators and tenders

378,560 13.02

Butchers and other meat, poultry, and fish processing workers

372,980 12.34

Machine tool cutting setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

342,970 15.79

Electrical, electronics, and electromechanical assemblers

273,030 15.07

Printing workers

256,040 16.64

Miscellaneous food processing workers

234,060 12.67

Laundry and dry-cleaning workers

201,620 10.01

Crushing, grinding, polishing, mixing, and blending workers

188,510 16.09

Bakers

176,610 11.62

Computer control programmers and operators

172,260 18.48

Painting workers

156,550 16.51

Molders and molding machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

148,410 14.24

Sewing machine operators

141,520 10.84

Woodworking machine setters, operators, and tenders

124,150 13.37

Forming machine setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

123,780 16.82

Chemical processing machine setters, operators, and tenders

115,400 20.84

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators

114,770 21.53

Miscellaneous plant and system operators

105,670 29.85

Multiple machine tool setters, operators, and tenders, metal and plastic

105,570 16.32

Miscellaneous metal workers and plastic workers

99,270 16.48

Cabinetmakers and bench carpenters

93,650 15.52

Medical, dental, and ophthalmic laboratory technicians

80,150 16.32

Structural metal fabricators and fitters

79,620 17.81

Cutting workers

79,070 14.89

Textile machine setters, operators, and tenders

76,630 12.83

Tool and die makers

74,510 24.18

Miscellaneous textile, apparel, and furnishings workers

71,690 14.96

Extruding, forming, pressing, and compacting machine setters, operators, and tenders

71,430 15.46

Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers

55,990 36.38

Pressers, textile, garment, and related materials

48,340 9.84

Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers

42,810 23.55

Engine and other machine assemblers

38,700 19.04

Stationary engineers and boiler operators

34,630 28.14

Metal furnace operators, tenders, pourers, and casters

29,700 18.99

Tailors, dressmakers, and sewers

26,900 12.08

Jewelers and precious stone and metal workers

25,270 17.82

Semiconductor processors

24,230 17.01

Photographic process workers and processing machine operators

23,940 12.78

Furnace, kiln, oven, drier, and kettle operators and tenders

19,650 17.00

Furniture finishers

16,480 14.04

Shoe and leather workers

11,410 11.58

Model makers and patternmakers, metal and plastic

10,400 21.13

Miscellaneous woodworkers

6,900 13.94

Model makers and patternmakers, wood

2,180 17.18

Among the 50 occupation groups within production occupations, there were 1,366,250 miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators in May 2015. The miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators accounted for 15 percent of all jobs in production occupations, the most of any group. Miscellaneous production workers (881,020) and first-line supervisors of production and operating workers (603,080) followed miscellaneous assemblers and fabricators as the production occupations with the greatest number of production occupation jobs.

These data are from the Occupational Employment Statistics program. To learn more, see Production Occupations Profiles.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Power plant operators, distributors, and dispatchers had median hourly wages of $36.38 in May 2015 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/power-plant-operators-distributors-and-dispatchers-had-median-hourly-wages-of-36-dollars-and-38-cents-in-may-2015.htm (visited August 11, 2020).

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