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Plant and System Operator Salary Information

The salary statistics of plant and system operators are shown in Table 1. The average hourly salary of plant and system operators in the United States is shown in Table 2. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of plant and system operators within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The plant and system operators annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1. Plant and System Operator Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$32,850
25th Percentile Wage
$43,270
50th Percentile Wage
$58,350
75th Percentile Wage
$76,560
90th Percentile Wage
$94,420

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for plant and system operators. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) plant and system operators is $94,420. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $58,350. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $32,850. Notice that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 187% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2017)

The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of plant and system operators from 2012 to 2017.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
2017
$58,350
0.43% 7.76%
2016
$58,100
1.62% -
2015
$57,160
2.26% -
2014
$55,870
2.43% -
2013
$54,510
1.27% -
2012
$53,820
- -

Table 2. Plant and System Operator Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of plant and system operators in 18 major industry sectors are shown in Table 2. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for plant and system operators occupations is the management of companies and enterprises sector with an annual salary $79,460. The lowest paying sector is the retail trade sector (annual salary $41,290).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$79,460
Utilities
$73,390
Transportation and Warehousing
$67,070
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$66,700
Manufacturing
$62,600
Finance and Insurance
$62,460
Mining
$61,200
Health Care and Social Assistance
$61,110
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$57,960
Educational Services
$53,880
Accommodation and Food Services
$52,760
Wholesale Trade
$52,300
Construction
$52,230
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$52,030
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$50,330
Federal, State, and Local Government
$49,360
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$46,920
Retail Trade
$41,290

Table 3. Salaries of Plant and System Operator Related Occupations

The average annual salary of plant and system operator related occupations at the national level is given in Table 3. For more salary information about a specific occupation, use the links below.

Occupation Median Annual Salary
Nuclear Power Reactor Operators
$106,440
Power Distributors and Dispatchers
$95,600
Stationary Engineers and Boiler Operators
$81,830
Power Plant Operators
$81,020
Power Plant Operators, Distributors, and Dispatchers
$80,440
Other Plant and System Operators
$65,820
Miscellaneous Plant and System Operators
$64,560
Gas Plant Operators
$64,220
Petroleum Pump System Operators, Refinery Operators, and Gaugers
$60,900
Chemical Plant and System Operators
$58,460
Water and Wastewater Treatment Plant and System Operators
$44,910



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