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Electricity generation worker Power station worker

Electricity generation workers operate and maintain equipment in power stations.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £18,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You can get into this job through an apprenticeship. You could also start as a trainee.

Experience in engineering or maintenance work could help you get into this career. Engineering qualifications could also help.

Most employers will expect you to have 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in:

  • English
  • maths
  • science or engineering, or design and technology

You must register with a power industry safety scheme.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • practical skills to find and fix faults
  • the ability to read technical drawings and technical manuals
  • physics and maths to understand electricity generation
  • the ability to think and act quickly in an emergency

3. What you'll do

You could work in the following types of power generation:

  • coal and gas
  • nuclear
  • hydro-electricity
  • wind
  • solar
  • biomass (burning timber and waste)

Your day-to-day tasks may include:

  • operating machinery in a power plant, or running it remotely from a control room
  • finding and fixing faults
  • handling materials used to generate electricity
  • testing equipment
  • reacting to emergencies, for example shutting down a system

You'll need to follow strict safety procedures and environmental good practice.

4. Salary

Starter: £18,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000 or more

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll usually work 40 hours and do a 5-day week. You may work shifts including nights and weekends or be on standby for emergencies.

You could be in a clean control room or a dusty repair workshop. You'll wear protective clothing.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could become a supervisor, control and instrumentation engineer or operations or maintenance technician.

You could also take a foundation degree, HND or degree in power engineering and become an electrical or mechanical engineer.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017