How to Become a Systems Operator

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


Energy is an essential part of everyday living and a variety of systems are involved in the operation of power plants and other related companies. Systems operators are highly trained workers that perform a variety of task to ensure the effective function of many different systems.

What does a systems operator do?

Systems operators typically control electricity flow through transmission lines to companies that supply electricity to meet the needs of residential and commercial properties. They monitor and control circuit breakers, voltage transformers, and current converters. They also watch other equipment and take note of readings and report potential problems. Systems operators anticipate power need changes due to weather and increased construction. They also respond to structural changes due to malfunctions and failures. System operators often communicate with other professionals to route energy from generating areas to customers. They usually work for power plants, utility companies, and a variety of other companies that have access to energy. Systems operators that work for substations control and monitor equipment that increases and decreases energy voltage.

What kind of training does a systems operator need?

Systems operators must have at least a high school diploma, but many employers prefer applicants with some postsecondary training. Many systems operators have a bachelor degree in engineering, physical science, or related field. Most employers provide intensive on the job training to new systems operators to enable them to learn the necessary policies and procedures. They typically provide classroom instruction and on the job training. New systems operators often work with experienced workers until the gain the necessary skills and experience. Systems operators must complete continuing education on a regular basis to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.

What are the prospects for a career as a systems operator?

Employment of systems operators is expected to experience little or no change through 2018. The growing population and increase demand in energy will create some job growth.

Job prospects are expected to excellent because many job openings will occur from the need to replace systems operators that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons. Systems operators with extensive experience and excellent qualifications will have the best job opportunities.

How much do systems operators make?

As of this year, the average annual salary for systems operators is $44,000; average annual systems operator salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits.

A career as a systems operator is a great choice for people with a strong interest in power plant operations and a variety of related systems. Systems operators must have a solid understanding of the operations and functions of the systems of their employer. Mechanical aptitude, strong mathematical skills, good problem solving, and manual dexterity are necessary characteristics. Systems operators should have good communication and interpersonal skills and ability to work as part of a team.

Becoming a Systems Operator Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Systems Operator? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the College Mouse Degree Search tool to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Do you know what the top highest-paying engineering jobs are? Set yourself up for a good salary job with an engineering degree!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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