Job Family: Mechanic and Repair Technologists and Technicians Powerhouse Mechanics
Services Offering this Occupation
Army  | Navy  | Air Force  | Marine Corps  | Coast Guard  | National Guard

Photo 1: Technician runs power control console. Photo 2:
Technician checks power statistics.

Short Description
Power generating stations (powerhouses) provide electric power for military bases, ships, and field camps. There are many types of powerhouses, from small gas generators to large nuclear reactors. Powerhouse mechanics install, maintain, and repair electrical and mechanical equipment in power generating stations.

What They Do
Powerhouse mechanics in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Install generating equipment, such as gasoline and diesel engines, turbines, and air compressors
  • Repair and maintain nuclear power plants
  • Inspect and service pumps, generators, batteries, and cables
  • Tune engines using hand tools, timing lights, and combustion pressure gauges
  • Diagnose (troubleshoot) engine and electrical system problems
  • Replace damaged parts such as fuel injectors, valves, and pistons

Helpful Attributes
Helpful school subjects include shop mechanics and math. Helpful attributes include:
  • Interest in nuclear power
  • Interest in repairing machines and equipment
  • Preference for doing physical work

Training Provided
Job training for non-nuclear specialties consists of classroom instruction, including practice in repairing power generating equipment. Nuclear specialties have training programs that last 1 year or more, covering all aspects of nuclear power plant operations. Further training occurs on the job and through advanced courses. Training length varies depending on the specialty. Course content typically includes:
  • Principles of electricity
  • Gas and diesel engine theories
  • Hydraulic (fluid pressure) and pneumatic (air pressure) system maintenance

Work Environment
Powerhouse mechanics work in equipment repair shops, power plant stations, or power generating rooms aboard ships. Sometimes they work outdoors while repairing substation generating equipment.

Civilian Counterparts
Civilian powerhouse mechanics work for a wide variety of employers, such as utility and power companies, manufacturing companies, and others that operate their own power plants. They perform duties similar to military powerhouse mechanics.

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