Interested in exploring a career as a power plant manager? It’s helpful to know what you could expect from a day on the job. Short of shadowing someone who is a current manager of a power plant, this blog takes a look at the tasks and duties required of this role.

Operational Duties

Most plant managers supervise the production of electricity. That means overseeing the operation of turbines churning away to generate megawatts of electrical current. They need to know and understand the ins and outs of managing power loads, controlling production and inventory, and handling the ongoing maintenance chores accompanying any power plant. PPMs can work during the day or night, and many come to know their plants as well as they know their own homes. They must be on top of everything, so many make rounds themselves, greeting workers on their shift and personally inspecting any problem areas. This hands-on managing is one of the reasons that PPMs have such a high level of satisfaction; they get intellectual stimulation, social interaction, and physical activity all in a day’s work.

People Management Duties

As power plants operate twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, managers soon learn that aside from the technical aspects of the job, the bulk of the work comes down to managing people. No one can work a 24 hour shift day in and day out. Power plants take teams of professionals to keep the lights on, literally in this case. And it falls on the power plant manager to manage those teams. Plant managers who embrace both the operation and people management aspects of the job are the most successful at this career.

A power plant is maintained and operated by hundreds of workers, and the manager coordinates all activities. As a PPM, one could say the job is similar to being a cruise director, telling people where they need to go and who they have to meet up with at any given moment. Successful power plant managers are good at distributing their human resources, combining seriousness and a dedicated work effort with a personal approach that fosters quality work and loyalty.

Safety As Everyone’s Number One Priority

A power plant manager must know the basic rules of electrical safety. The first rule of the profession is: “When in doubt, shut it down.” Whole country grids are under the watch of PPMs. Supplying too little or too much electricity could have grave consequences, like medical equipment ceasing to function or main power trunks burning out (these can take days to fix). Successful professionals in this role are able to think before they act, to act when they need to, and to inspire others to follow them on ordinary days and in times of crisis. Keeping a level head can make all the difference in an emergency.

Job Outlook

Power plant managers became a necessary part of the workforce with the growth of the use of electricity in the early 1900s. Once cities began to be wired for electricity, the demand for the product spread rapidly, and power became part of nearly every household in America after the middle of the century. Demand for electricity is on the rise, but instead of building new plants, existing facilities are being refitted to handle the increased capacity, and power is being purchased from other sources. That said, many current professionals in this field are reaching retirement age, so there is a demand for committed individuals looking to grow their careers in energy.

For help finding the right opportunities for your career in the energy industry, connect with a recruiter at ESGI today.


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