National average salary: $39.92 per hour
Primary duties: Powerplant operators, distributors and dispatchers control and maintain the machinery that power stations use to generate electricity. They check charts, meters and gauges to monitor the flow and voltage of electricity. They also adjust controls to regulate power flow as well as start or stop turbines, generators and other equipment as necessary.
Requirements: Power plant operators, distributors and dispatchers usually need a high school diploma or GED. However, employers may prefer candidates who have a vocational school or college degree. Employers may also require candidates to undergo rigorous, long-term technical instruction and on-the-job training. Power plant operators, distributors and dispatchers must spend several years of on-site training and experience to become fully qualified. Even fully qualified dispatchers and operators must take regular training courses to keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date.