Summary Report for:
51-8099.04 - Hydroelectric Plant Technicians
Monitor and control activities associated with hydropower generation. Operate plant equipment, such as turbines, pumps, valves, gates, fans, electric control boards, and battery banks. Monitor equipment operation and performance and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal performance. Perform equipment maintenance and repair as necessary.
This title represents an occupation for which data collection is currently underway.
- Identify or address malfunctions of hydroelectric plant operational equipment, such as generators, transformers, or turbines.
- Monitor hydroelectric power plant equipment operation and performance, adjusting to performance specifications, as necessary.
- Start, adjust, or stop generating units, operating valves, gates, or auxiliary equipment in hydroelectric power generating plants.
- Communicate status of hydroelectric operating equipment to dispatchers or supervisors.
- Implement load or switching orders in hydroelectric plants, in accordance with specifications or instructions.
- Inspect water-powered electric generators or auxiliary equipment in hydroelectric plants to verify proper operation or to determine maintenance or repair needs.
- Install or calibrate electrical or mechanical equipment, such as motors, engines, switchboards, relays, switch gears, meters, pumps, hydraulics, or flood channels.
- Maintain logs, reports, work requests, or other records of work performed in hydroelectric plants.
- Maintain or repair hydroelectric plant electrical, mechanical, or electronic equipment, such as motors, transformers, voltage regulators, generators, relays, battery systems, air compressors, sump pumps, gates, or valves.
- Operate high voltage switches or related devices in hydropower stations.
- Operate hydroelectric plant equipment, such as turbines, pumps, valves, gates, fans, electric control boards, or battery banks.
- Take readings and record data such as water levels, temperatures, or flow rates.
- Test and repair or replace electrical equipment, such as circuit breakers, station batteries, cable trays, conduits, or control devices.
- Change oil, hydraulic fluid, or other lubricants to maintain condition of hydroelectric plant equipment.
- Connect metal parts or components in hydroelectric plants by welding, soldering, riveting, tapping, bolting, bonding, or screwing.
- Cut, bend, or shape metal for applications in hydroelectric plants, using equipment such as hydraulic benders or pipe threaders.
- Erect scaffolds, platforms, or hoisting frames to access hydroelectric plant machinery or infrastructure for repair or replacement.
- Lift and move loads, using cranes, hoists, and rigging, to install or repair hydroelectric system equipment or infrastructure.
- Perform preventive or corrective containment or cleanup measures in hydroelectric plants to prevent environmental contamination.
- Perform tunnel or field inspections of hydroelectric plant facilities or resources.
- Splice or terminate cables or electrical wiring in hydroelectric plants.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Adjustable wrenches — Adjustable hand wrenches
- Ammeters — Clamp-on ammeters
- Claw hammer — Claw hammers
- Desktop computers
- Drill press or radial drill — Drill presses
- Ear muffs — Protective ear muffs
- Flow sensors — Water flow meters
- Grease guns
- Handheld thermometer — Water temperature gauges
- Horizontal turning center — Turning lathes
- Hydroelectric engines — Hydroelectric generating units
- Level sensors or transmitters — Level probes
- Locking pliers — Channel lock pliers
- Microcontrollers — Programmable logic controllers PLC
- Multimeters — Digital multimeters
- Notebook computers — Laptop computers
- Personal computers
- Platform lift — Staging equipment
- Power drills — Cordless drills
- Power grinders
- Power saws
- Pressure indicators — Water pressure gauges
- Ratchets — Ratchet sets
- Respirators — Protective respirators
- Screwdrivers — Phillips head screwdrivers; Straight screwdrivers
- Socket sets — Socket wrench sets
- Spot welding machine — Portable welding equipment
- Steam engines — Steam turbines
- Stripping tools — Wire strippers
- Turbine engines — Combustion turbines
- Two way radios — Mobile radios
- Wire cutters
- Workshop cranes
Technology used in this occupation:
- Electronic mail software — IBM Lotus Notes; Microsoft Outlook
- Facilities management software — Computerized maintenance management system CMMS software
- Industrial control software — Distributed control systems DCS software; Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
- Internet browser software — Web browser software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Detailed Work Activities
- Operate energy production equipment.
- Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
- Record operational or production data.
- Maintain sustainable energy production equipment.
- Diagnose equipment malfunctions.
- Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
- Exchange information with colleagues.
- Install mechanical components in production equipment.
- Operate welding equipment.
- Clean work areas.
- Operate pumping systems or equipment.
- Lift materials or workpieces using cranes or other lifting equipment.
- Solder parts or workpieces.
- Connect supply lines to production equipment or tools.
- Test electrical equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
- Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
- Lubricate production equipment.
- Repair production equipment or tools.
- Inspect sustainable energy production facilities or equipment.
- Assemble electromechanical or hydraulic systems.
Interest code: RCI
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Wages & Employment Trends
Median wages data collected from Plant and System Operators, All Other.
Employment data collected from Plant and System Operators, All Other.
Industry data collected from Plant and System Operators, All Other.
|Median wages (2014)||$26.55 hourly, $55,230 annual|
|Employment (2012)||12,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2012-2022)||Little or no change (-2% to 2%)|
|Projected job openings (2012-2022)||4,500|
|Top industries (2012)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2014 wage data and 2012-2022 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.