Substation technicians operate, troubleshoot and maintain equipment and systems in electric substation facilities. They use their knowledge of substation design construction and maintenance to install, calibrate, maintain and evaluate systems and equipment such as; circuit breakers, transformers, switches, capacitors, regulators, and other related equipment.
Substation technicians perform switching, grounding and clearing of substation equipment. They also use a variety of diagnostic and measurement equipment. Substation technicians need to be able to analyze diagrams and schematics, and update them as needed. Substation technician also need to have the ability to understand technical equipment operation and maintenance manuals. Substation technicians must have good computer skills. They use computers for documentation and report-writing, to analyze data, as well as to test and program equipment.
Substation technicians may be required to have a commercial driver’s license as they may need to operate and maintain a variety of large equipment. Substation technicians should have self-starter and interpersonal skills as they may be required to work independently as well as in teams.
Substation technicians spend most of their time working in outdoor environments in which they may be exposed to indoor and outdoor hazards. Due to the dangerous nature of working with high voltage electricity, substation technicians should be well-trained in occupational safety and personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, and fully adhere to health and safety regulations, policies, and procedures.
Substation technicians must have good general health, strength, stamina, and physical ability. Some substation technicians are on-call and are required to work long or irregular hours in addition to holidays and weekends. Some substation technicians work in crews that may be required to travel on a regular basis.
Utility companies, private contractors, federal, state and local organizations.
Most substation technicians have attended career or technical school or have participated in extensive on-the-job training or apprenticeships. Most employers require at least a two-year technical degree with related experiences. An associate degree or bachelor’s degree might be required by some companies.
LINKS TO CAREER/INDUSTRY RESOURCES
A Day in the Life of Our Substation Crews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BOkg5Zf_ZQs
Get into Energy Career Profile: Utility Technician: http://getintoenergy.com/utility-technician/
American Public Power Association: https://www.publicpower.org/
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC): https://www.nerc.com/Pages/default.aspx
Photos courtesy of Western Area Power Administration and Department of Energy.
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