Generator Operators

Manufacturing > Generator Operators > Working Conditions
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Generator Operators

Generator Operators - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, power plant operators:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Have a high level of job-required social contact. They work with coworkers throughout the day.
  • Are greatly responsible for the health and safety of coworkers.
  • Are responsible for the work outcomes of other workers, especially senior reactor operators and power dispatchers.
  • Talk with others by telephone, e-mail, and in person. They also write letters and memos, but less frequently.
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  • Usually work as part of a team.
  • Occasionally are placed in conflict situations, especially when power is down.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Often work indoors, but may on rare occasions work outdoors. Indoor locations may not have heating or air conditioning.
  • Are sometimes exposed to hazardous conditions.
  • Sometimes wear protective or safety attire. Nuclear power plant operators nearly always wear specialized, protective gear.
  • Are sometimes exposed to loud sounds and distracting noise levels.
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  • Are sometimes exposed to hazardous electrical equipment, especially those who work directly with power-generating equipment.
  • Are on rare occasions exposed to radiation when working in nuclear plants.
  • May share work space with others.
  • Sometimes must work in high places.
  • Sometimes must work where the lighting is very bright or very dim.

Work Performance

  • Must be sure that all details of the job are performed very exactly and that everything is done. Errors could cause serious safety hazards.
  • Determine some of their daily tasks and goals independently, but may seek input from a supervisor.
  • Often make decisions that significantly impact coworkers, their company, and customers. They usually make decisions without consulting a supervisor.
  • Repeat the same physical activities.
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  • Must meet strict weekly and monthly deadlines.


  • Usually work 40 hours a week. Schedules are typically established.
  • Usually work one of three daily eight-hour shifts, or one of two 12-hour shifts on a rotating basis.
  • May work weekends and holidays.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.