Power Plant Technology

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Power Plant Technology

Good salary, stable employment, and opportunity for advancement.

Program Contact: 
Doug Furr
Program Coordinator
Office ET 418


Kimberly Cale
Adminisitrative Assistant
(304) 367-4961

Pierpont's Power Plant Technology program was developed in partnership with First Energy. This program is designed to prepare students for employment as power plant operators. Due in part to an aging employee population, First Energy and other electrical power generation stations throughout the country have a need for entry-level operators.  The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment prospects in this field will be good for those with related training and good mechanical skills (US BLS, January 8, 2014).  The field offers stable regional and nationwide employment and significant opportunities for advancement for those with industry knowledge, skills and apptitude.

Students may choose to complete either the one-year Certificate of Applied Science or the two-year Associate of Applied Science degree option, or both.

Typical starting wages at area power generation stations are about $17 - $18 per hour.  Entry-level power station operators can earn approximately $40,000 -$45,000 per year. Pay increases can be expected with experience and proven skills within various watch standing duty areas.

About the program:

  • Classes are held in a cohort format, with students progressing together through the program. 
  • Class sizes are limited to match the predicted employment needs of regional power stations, thus assuring a high probability of employment.
  • An 8- to 10-week paid internship is offered on a competitive basis at local power stations, providing studentsvaluable field experience. 

NOTE:  Internship opportunities are contingent upon successful completion of the POSS/MASS tests, a comprehensive background investigation, post-offer physical examination, drug screening, and availability of intern positions.  First Energy has offered internships for the past five years.  Our 2012 graduating class had a 93% placement rate.

How to apply:

  1. Enroll at Pierpont Community & Technical College.   
  2. All students must take a compass test or ACT test to be eligible for this program.  (Minimum test scores required to enter the program:  Compass Algebra 36, Compass English 71, Compass Reading 75  OR  minimum ACT MATH score of 19 and ACT English score of 18.)

NOTE: Students who do not meet the minimum academic requirements for Math and English can enroll in developmental coursework. Students should complete compass or ACT testing as early as possible so that if needed, the student may enroll in developmental English or Math courses particularly during the summer semester.

Program Learning Outcomes:

  • Upon successful completion of the Power Plant Technology program, students will be able to do the following:
  • Demonstrate theoretical knowledge of power plant operations, including applicable physical laws, boiler and flue gas processes, steam and thermodynamics, water treatment, emissions controls, instrumentation and controls, electrical and plant component fundamentals
  • Demonstrate practical and theoretical knowledge of typical and selected power plant systems
  • Have practical knowledge of power plant operations gained through participation power plant start-up, shut down and abnormal conditions on a plant referenced simulator, lab activities and/or internship
  • Be prepared to successfully complete the Edison Electric Institute POSS and MASS battery of tests


Power Plant Tech CAS Consumer Disclosure

Program Costs by Academic Year (AY)
How much will this program cost?
Historical Program Costs for On-Campus, West Virginia Residents
CostsAY 2010-2011AY 2011-2012AY 2012-2013
Tuition & Fees$4,280$4,680$4862
Books & Supplies$500-$650$500-$650$500-$650
On-Campus Room & Board$6,566-$7,950$6,846-$8,376$7,180-$10,074
Historical Program Specific Costs for All Students
AY 2010-2011AY 2011-2012AY 2012-2013
New Student Fee$120$120$120
Travel to PracticaVariableVariableVariable
Financing by Academic Year (AY)
What are the program financing options?
In addition to any grant and scholarship aid for which they are eligible, graduates also used loans to finance their education.
Historical Percentage of Graduates who used Student Loans and Median Graduate Debt*
AY 2010-2011AY 2011-2012AY 2012-2013
Percentage of Graduates who used Student Loans67%82%73%
Median Federal Loan Amount for Graduates$8,355$7,478$9,454
Median Private Loan Amount for GraduatesN/AN/AN/A
Median Institutional Loans for GraduatesN/AN/AN/A
*Loan amounts listed do not include Grant and Scholarship Aid
What percentage of students are able to pay back their student loans?
Historical Percentage of Graduates who Successfully Repaid Student Loans
Calendar Year 2009*Calendar Year 2010Most Recent Available
Program CohortN/A91.9%N/A
*Combined Data (Pierpont & Fairmont State)
Program Success by Academic Year (AY)
How long does it take to complete this program?
The program is designed to take 12 months to complete.
Historical Percentage of Students who Completed the Program within Specified Duration
AY 2010-2011AY 2011-2012AY 2012-2013
What percentage of graduates are offered employment?
Historical Job Placement Rate for Program Graduates by Cohort
AY 2010-2011AY 2011-2012AY 2012-2013
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