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Generator Operator Careers

The role of a generator operator is one of the most mission-critical roles in a power plant. Without them, a power plant will cease to operate, which tells just how important generator operators are in the industry.

A generator operator is responsible for controlling, operating, and maintaining machinery to produce electric power. Their duties typically include adjusting the controls of generators to generate power or distribute it, overseeing plant operations, maintaining and inspecting power plant equipment, as well as identifying deviations in operations and making necessary steps to correct them. That said, one needs to have good mechanical, analytical, and problem-solving skills to become a generator operator. They must also be physically fit due to the increased physical demands of the job.

To qualify as a generator operator, one is typically required to be a qualified electrician. Most generator operators start in entry-level positions in the electrical department and work their way up from there. And since there is no formal education requirement for this position, the majority of generator operators have high school diplomas or GEDs.

In this job, one can expect to make around $14.93 an hour or $31,057 per year. Almost every industry needs generator operators, hence, jobs are expected to grow as much as 6% between 2018 to 2028.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a generator operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $15.4 an hour? That's $32,028 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 150,600 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Generator Operator Do

There are certain skills that many generator operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed leadership skills, management skills and problem-solving skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a generator operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 19.2% of generator operators included daily operations, while 11.7% of resumes included quality standards, and 10.7% of resumes included hand tools. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the generator operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most generator operators actually find jobs in the manufacturing and retail industries.

How To Become a Generator Operator

If you're interested in becoming a generator operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 24.5% of generator operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.3% of generator operators have master's degrees. Even though some generator operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a generator operator. When we researched the most common majors for a generator operator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on generator operator resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a generator operator. In fact, many generator operator jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many generator operators also have previous career experience in roles such as operator or customer service representative.

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Average Salary
$32,028
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
6%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
26,295
Job Openings

Generator Operator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Generator Operator

Cashier
18.4 %

Top Careers After Generator Operator

Cashier
9.9 %

Generator Operator Jobs You Might Like

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Generator Operator

Generator Operators in America make an average salary of $32,028 per year or $15 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $44,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $22,000 per year.
Average Salary
$32,028
Find Your Salary Estimate
How much should you be earning as an Architect? Use Zippia's Salary Calculator to get an estimation of how much you should be earning.

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
North Kingstown, RI
Salary Range38k - 70k$52k$52,270
Woodland, CA
Salary Range34k - 66k$48k$48,053
New York, NY
Salary Range31k - 63k$45k$44,911
Middletown, PA
Salary Range29k - 58k$41k$41,169
Toledo, OH
Salary Range25k - 47k$35k$34,829
$25k
$70k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
General Operator--North
General Operator--North
Cargill, Inc.
Cargill, Inc.
06/29/2021
06/29/2021
$40,69706/29/2021
$40,697
General Operator
General Operator
Kelly Services
Kelly Services
06/28/2021
06/28/2021
$32,87006/28/2021
$32,870
General Operator
General Operator
Sandvik
Sandvik
06/17/2021
06/17/2021
$35,43706/17/2021
$35,437
General Operator-1ST, 2Nd and 3Rd Shifts
General Operator-1ST, 2Nd and 3Rd Shifts
Manpowergroup
Manpowergroup
06/17/2021
06/17/2021
$31,30506/17/2021
$31,305
Chemical Distillery | General Operator | Pay Increase!
Chemical Distillery | General Operator | Pay Increase!
Luttrell Staffing Group
Luttrell Staffing Group
06/16/2021
06/16/2021
$33,39206/16/2021
$33,392
See More Recent Salaries

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Generator Operator Demographics

Gender

male

69.0 %

female

26.4 %

unknown

4.6 %

Ethnicity

White

72.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

13.3 %

Asian

6.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

60.0 %

German

8.6 %

French

8.6 %
See More Demographics

Generator Operator Education

Majors

Business
26.2 %

Degrees

Certificate

27.0 %

Bachelors

24.5 %

High School Diploma

22.9 %

Top Colleges for Generator Operators

1. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

2. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

3. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

4. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

5. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

6. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Private

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

8. Northeastern University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,522
Enrollment
13,760

9. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$49,880
Enrollment
4,177

10. Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$52,930
Enrollment
5,030
See More Education Info

Online Courses For Generator Operator That You May Like

OSHA Workplace Safety (General Industry 6 Hr Class)
udemy
4.5
(1,952)

Learn the requirements and standards associated with OSHA and workplace safety. Safety best practices for the workplace...

Operating Systems Concept and Design Principles for Beginner
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Concepts and design principles modern Operating System...

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Top Skills For a Generator Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.2% of generator operators listed daily operations on their resume, but soft skills such as leadership skills and management skills are important as well.

Best States For a Generator Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a generator operator. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, New Jersey, Nevada, and California. Generator operators make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $51,145. Whereas in New Jersey and Nevada, they would average $50,760 and $50,305, respectively. While generator operators would only make an average of $45,692 in California, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Rhode Island

Total Generator Operator Jobs:
142
Highest 10% Earn:
$87,000
Location Quotient:
3.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Generator Operator Jobs:
770
Highest 10% Earn:
$95,000
Location Quotient:
2.63
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Wisconsin

Total Generator Operator Jobs:
381
Highest 10% Earn:
$67,000
Location Quotient:
1.87
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Generator Operator Employers

1. Tenneco
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$36,894
Generator Operators Hired: 
80+
2. Cargill
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$30,607
Generator Operators Hired: 
34+
3. United States Army
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$31,998
Generator Operators Hired: 
28+
4. DuPont
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$31,275
Generator Operators Hired: 
22+
5. GC Services Limited Partnership
3.9
Avg. Salary: 
$29,169
Generator Operators Hired: 
21+
6. Schlumberger
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$36,792
Generator Operators Hired: 
21+

Generator Operator Videos

Updated October 2, 2020