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Substation Operator

  • Full Time
  • Malin, Ore.
  • Salary: $57.77 per hour
  • Posting End Date: October 2, 2022

Website Bonneville Power Administration

Wage or Salary:
$57.77 per hour

Apply at:

As a SUBSTATION OPERATOR, you will perform the following duties:

General Operation – Checks and reviews station conditions. Reviews station log book and Substation Operating Manual. Responsible for Control of Entry, Station Security, and safety of others in the station. May be assigned other duties such as Safety Watching and escorting others. Keeps System Dispatchers and others informed of all local information pertinent to the operation of the power system. Notifies specified BPA personnel and others of power system emergencies. Has contact with the public and BPA customers.

Inspections – Checks indication and tags on control panel against actual station conditions. Checks for adherence to the station voltage schedule. Checks for compliance with prescribed operating limits on lines and equipment (load, voltage, temperature, etc.). Periodically inspects station, including all components in switchyard, control house, relay houses, and other buildings. Conducts security check of perimeter fences, gates, doors, and windows. Checks for conditions constituting hazards to personnel, property, or equipment. Takes action to correct abnormal conditions or notifies others concerned with the condition.

Switching – Ascertains, plans, and performs any switching scheduled during tour of duty. Writes switch orders, plans and performs switching as delegated by system dispatcher. Performs operating functions in accordance with the Switching and Clearance Procedures, the Accident Prevention Manual, and the Substation Operating Manual which includes: operating bulletins, substation standing operating orders, station instructions, etc. During loss of communication with control centers, operates a substation in accordance with preapproved, written orders and instructions. In case of trouble involving possible injury, loss of life, or damage to property, operates substation in accordance with best personal judgment.

Communications – Monitors and operates various communications systems. These systems include mobile radios, commercial phone lines, and various BPA communications systems. These communications systems are operated for purposes including voice communications, relaying, and billing.

Records and Reports – Complete, files and maintains various records and reports in accordance with instructions. May read, record, and report various meters, instruments, gauges, and billing meters. Files, maintains, corrects, and as necessary, orders new substation prints.
Instructing – Leads and instructs others as assigned.

Non-electric Plant – Performs non-electric plant duties as assigned, such as building and grounds maintenance.

Environmental – May perform preventive and/or corrective containment and/or cleanup measures to protect the environment.

Additional Information:

In order to qualify for this position, your resume must provide sufficient experience and/or education, knowledge, skills, and abilities, to perform the duties of the specific position for which you are being considered. Your resume is the key means we have for evaluating your skills, knowledge, and abilities, as they relate to this position. Therefore, we encourage you to submit a thorough resume that directly relates to this position.

Applicants must meet the requirements of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Job Qualification System for Trades and Labor Occupations (X-118C).Although a specific length of time and experience is not required for most trade and labor occupations, you must show through experience and training that you possess the quality level of knowledge and skill necessary to perform the duties of the position at the level for which you are applying. Qualification requirements emphasis is on the quality of experience, not necessarily the length of time.

Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the job elements and screen out listed below. This job has a screen-out factors which will be used to determine minimum eligibility for this job. Applicants who do not receive a minimum of two points on this screen-out element(s) will be found ineligible.The screen-out element for this position is defined as planning, inspecting, troubleshooting, operating, and documenting switching plans (switch order) and performing switching in a high-voltage electric power substation and associated equipment for a primary electric power system, and applying instructions, diagrams, and schematics to plan and perform work without more than normal supervision. Failure to meet this screen-out element will result in an ineligible rating.

In addition to the screen-out element you will be evaluated on the following job elements through your resume and responses to the on-line assessment questionnaire:

Ability To Do The Work Of The Position Without More Than Normal Supervision
Ability To Interpret Instructions, Specifications, etc. (other than blueprints)
Dexterity and Safety
Knowledge of Equipment Assembly, Installation, Repair, etc.
Operation of Equipment Relevant to Trade
Technical Practices (theoretical, precise, artistic)
Use of Measuring Instruments
If your knowledge and ability in the SCREEN OUT factor above is not sufficient, you will receive no further consideration. In preparing your application, describe in detail the experience and training which you have had that specifically prepared you for this job and to perform the duties described for this job. Experience should be clearly described and documented in your resume. The qualifications reviewer will not assume performance of such duties by Job Titles alone.

This position has a selective placement factor, failure to meet this requirement(s) will result in an ineligible rating:

Applicants must possess a current valid U.S. motor vehicle operator's license from state of residence.
"Experience" refers to paid and unpaid experience. Examples of qualifying unpaid experience may include: volunteer work done through National Service programs (such as Peace Corps and AmeriCorps); as well as work for other community-based philanthropic and social organizations. Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills; and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Work is performed both indoors and outdoors under all prevailing weather conditions during the day or night. Work is also performed on uneven, outdoor surfaces, including steep inclines, on rocked or graveled surfaces and unimproved surfaces. Hazards include working around high voltage equipment and machinery with moving parts. The possibility of explosion or fire is ever-present. The Substation Operator may climb stairs, ladders, etc. and work from various heights on platforms, scaffolding, or stairs averaging 4 feet. The work environment will occasionally include high noise levels and/or exposure to hazardous substances (such as acids, PCBs, pesticides, asbestos, mercury, solvents, etc.) that could, if precautions are not followed, pose a health risk. Personal protective equipment including respirators shall be worn when hazardous substances are being handled. Emergencies, critical system conditions, or outage limitations may require that work be done at night and/or under time restraints. System priorities may require extended periods of overtime, including working weekends and holidays.


Operates energized high and low voltage electrical power transmission system substations following strict procedures and safety requirements.
Checks and reviews station conditions. Responsible for station security and safety of others in the station.
Performs inspections on all high and low voltage equipment in substations and keeps records. Periodically inspects station, including all components in the switchyard, outlying buildings, and the perimeter of the property.
Monitors and operates various communications systems. All processes require clear oral communication.
Completes associated documentation required of the above listed tasks.
Drives 15-20% of the time in all weather conditions.

Possess within one year after appointment, and maintain continuously thereafter, a First Aid Card.
Follow and enforce the safety practices of BPA.
Operate any type of motor vehicles applicable to assigned duties.
As part of the job requirements, and, at the discretion of the Regional Office, the Substation Operator shall be required to apply restricted use pesticides and may be required to obtain a pesticide applicator's license. The Administration shall provide the necessary training for such a license.
Subject to call for emergency work at any time.
May be placed in an available status during off hours subject to negotiated agreement.
CTAP/ICTAP candidates: To be considered "well qualified" you must meet all of the requirements as described in this section.

You must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
There is no substitution of education for experience for Federal Wage Grade (WG) positions.

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