Power Plant Operators

risk level
Based on 42 votes
-15.5 %
by year 2032
or $44.74 per hour
as of 2022

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Automation risk

74% (High Risk)

High Risk (61-80%): Jobs in this category face a significant threat from automation, as many of their tasks can be easily automated using current or near-future technologies.

More information on what this score is, and how it is calculated is available here.

Some quite important qualities of the job are difficult to automate:

  • Finger Dexterity

User poll

47% chance of full automation within the next two decades

Our visitors have voted they are unsure if this occupation will be automated. However, the automation risk level we have generated suggests a much higher chance of automation: 74% chance of automation.

What do you think the risk of automation is?

What is the likelihood that Power Plant Operators will be replaced by robots or artificial intelligence within the next 20 years?


The following graph(s) are included wherever there is a substantial amount of votes to render meaningful data. These visual representations display user poll results over time, providing a significant indication of sentiment trends.

Sentiment over time (yearly)


Very slow growth relative to other professions.

The number of 'Power Plant Operators' job openings is expected to decline 15.5% by 2032

Total employment, and estimated job openings

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the period between 2021 and 2031
Updated projections are due 09-2023.


Very high paid relative to other professions

In 2022, the median annual wage for 'Power Plant Operators' was $93,060, or $44 per hour

'Power Plant Operators' were paid 101.0% higher than the national median wage, which stood at $46,310

Wages over time

* Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics


Lower range of job opportunities compared to other professions

As of 2022 there were 31,590 people employed as 'Power Plant Operators' within the United States.

This represents around < 0.001% of the employed workforce across the country

Put another way, around 1 in 4 thousand people are employed as 'Power Plant Operators'.

Job description

Control, operate, or maintain machinery to generate electric power. Includes auxiliary equipment operators.

SOC Code: 51-8013.00


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Jon Warr (Low) says
My friend who is an electrical engineer said there's a very low risk of automation. In his own words,
"That job wont be automated any time soon. That and most trades are the safer ones when it comes to jobs being automated. The jobs to be worried about would be ones like data entry where theres ways to automate the system that never change
Power engineering there is too many variables to automate efficiently and thats why theyd need operators everywhere. Its a job thats increasing in demand with the amount of labor shortage because people dont do that type of work as much anymore where it is specialized and industrial"
Jan 11, 2024 at 05:42 PM
Brady (Uncertain) says
Considering plant operator's main task at work is to check on the computers and machines and make sure they're doing their job right, and fix them if they aren't. It is a 50/50 shot that computers themselves would be able to problem solve and fix faulty machines / computers. If humans can't even regulate themselves, what makes you think that computers who don't posses the ability for accurate emotion recognition, can fix a faulty system in an accident / dire time where understanding the situation is at task?
Mar 09, 2023 at 02:26 PM
Jonny Z. says
Are Power Plant Operators the same as 3rd class power engineers? which is kind of the same thing. I'm 18 years old and not working yet, but I'm in rolled in a Power engineering course. Is there still a high chance that this trade is going to be taken by robots also?
Nov 23, 2020 at 08:52 PM
Jon Warr says
Doubt it. And yes sort of, a power plant operator is one of the many jobs you can do as a power engineer. I'm also enrolled in a power engineering course. I have a friend who did a BSc in electrical engineering who's quite smart and in the know. He said there's no risk of automation with power engineering, at least not for a long time, like 50 years. I think this calculated risk level is way off.
Jan 11, 2024 at 05:37 PM

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