We answer the most frequently asked questions on power plant electricians, and even cover what is a power plant, so people are not familiar with them. Is a power plant electrician the same as an electrician who works in your home?
An electrician in a power plant is trained in high voltage systems, but he also understands electricity and can locate problems. A power plant is where the grid lines terminate, and the electricity is distributed to local transformers before reaching individual homes. Power plants are located all over the country, not just in cities. Most are in semi-rural areas.
What do electricians do in power plants?
The main job of a power plant electrician is to maintain different types of power generation equipment, including maintaining power lines and the receiving structures.
They also diagnose and repair control panel circuits and evaluate the power distribution system to achieve accurate electricity readings.
The work is with al;l high voltage circuits and requires specialised training and working permits when entering a high voltage power plant.
What are the skills needed to operate a power plant?
The power plant operator needs to be a person who is not easily rattled and who can think in a structured manner to solve problems in a safe and fast manner.
Here are some of the skill sets needed to be a power plant electrician:
- Good working knowledge of maths that applies to power generation equipment.
- The ability to work unsupervised in a dangerous environment.
- The ability to manage stress in difficult and complex situations and remain calm.
- Have a meticulous work ethic paying attention to detail in every scenario presented.
- Must be competent with tools and test equipment to find faults and effect repairs.
- Be able to record accurate information and convey unambiguous information.
- Must be conversant with power plant operations and control equipment.
How do I become a power plant operator?
You will need your specialised electrical training together with the skillset listed above.
In addition to your formal electrician qualifications, you will need to pass a yearly medical exam before approaching a power plant.
You will need to pass a particular licensing exam, which focuses on safety and permitting certain types of maintenance to be carried out on the power plant.
To maintain a valid licence, you must pass a plant operating exam every year and go through licence renewal every 6 years.
Do you have to be good at maths to be a power plant operator?
Yes. You need to have a strong foundation in maths and hopefully physics. Some power generators prefer you to have a formal maths education at the college level, which could be part of your apprenticeship or training period.
Working in power plants is a highly technical and potentially dangerous job, so strong skills and intelligence are necessary.
How much do plant operators earn in the UK?
70 K per year. From everything required for an apprenticeship to the knowledge of all types of power generation, the salary could be higher.
It would be reasonable to expect a much higher salary given everything needed and the environment you are working within.
However, in terms of stability, the power plant electrician is considered a long-term position, so for security, it’s great.
What does a power plant need to work?
Generating power may be changing in the coming years as Western countries take ownership of their carbon emissions and their role in global warming.
The basic of generating power is the incoming power source:
- Nuclear energy
- Fossil fuels, natural gas, oil, coal
- Renewable energy
- Solar Wave
The above resources are utilised to spin a generator that creates electricity distributed over the power grid to substations and then homes and industry.
Do power plant electricians have the skills to work in your home?
Yes, despite being trained on high voltage electricity, the electrical at some time in his apprenticeship would have worked with 240-volt low voltage circuits.
The power plant electrician has a great understanding of fault-finding, and the principles employed are very similar but on a larger scale.
Should you ask a power plant electrician to rewire your house? Why not! However, they would possibly decline the offer as that’s domestic installer work who does that type of work daily.
Plus, the power plant electrician is paid pretty well, so it’s doubtful they would be looking to supplement their income with a side hustle.
Main duties for a power plant electrician?
To make drawings and blueprints and understand the scheme. Layout and assemble precisely to the drawing and install the said circuit.
Test the circuit as per specification from the drawings and troubleshoot if there are problems.
Wire in control panels to operate larger plants and install control devices and monitoring circuits.
Is being an electrician a worthwhile career?
Yes, electricians are highly sought after, and the shortage is getting bigger as fewer people enter the trades.
The potential to earn a big salary is always available to electricians prepared to put in extra hours.
The potential for self-employment is high, whatever type of electrician you choose to specialise in. Many electricians working in power plants are self-employed contractors who have the potential for high earnings.
If you are an employed electrician in an industrial setting, you can expect benefits that include 25 days of holiday plus bank holidays.
Is a power plant electrician better than being a lineman?
In terms of salary, the pay is comparable, and in terms of solitude, the jobs are also similar.
The skills required for each job only differ in working at high every day for the lineman but other than that, both electricians need the same calm outlook as both are working with high voltage electricity.
The training period for both skillsets is comparable, making the jobs hard to split.
The main difference is the linemen are almost always outdoors, and the power plant electrician is always indoors in the power generation hall.