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Powerhouse and Substation Electrical Repairers

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Powerhouse and Substation Electrical Repairers Overview

Knowledge of electronics and electrical equipment is a must for powerhouse and substation electrical repairers. Employers also often require a professional certification and prefer an associate degree in electronics. Therefore, an associate degree, certification or related experience leads to the best job opportunities. Overall, job growth is expected to be small for powerhouse and substation electrical repairers.

Nature of the Work for Powerhouse and Substation Electrical Repairers

Powerhouse and Substation Electrical Repairers

Businesses and organizations rely on complex electronic equipment in a variety of ways. Electric power companies for example use electronic equipment to control and operate substations, monitoring plants and generating plants. This complex electronic equipment must be maintained, repaired and installed by powerhouse and substation electrical repairers.

These powerhouse and substation electrical repairers, also known as field technicians, often have to travel to other locations to repair equipment. Many times they have an assigned area to perform preventive maintenance regularly. They go to the customer’s site when equipment breaks down.

While most equipment contains both electrical and electronic equipment, the two are very different types of equipment. Electrical parts power equipment while electronic parts control it.

Some equipment that powerhouse and substation electrical repairers work on is self-monitoring so it will alert the technician when there is a malfunction. When there is a break down, powerhouse and substation electrical repairers start with simple trouble shooting for common problems such as loose connections or defective parts that are obvious. After routine checks, they may refer to manufacturer instructions for tracing problems. These systems are increasingly complex making the job of powerhouse and substation electrical repairers increasingly more challenging. Software programs and testing equipment are often used to diagnose malfunctions. Powerhouse and substation electrical repairers may also measure voltage, current and resistance with a multimeter or measure capacitance, current gain of transistors and inductance with an advanced multimeter. Hand tools including soldering irons, wrenches, pliers and screwdrivers also often come in handy for powerhouse and substation electrical repairers.

When a defective unit caused problems for production, powerhouse and substation electrical repairers may remove the unit and replace it rather than repairing it. They may then send it to the manufacturer or a repair shop.

Some powerhouse and substation electrical repairers must retrofit older equipment with new automated control devices to help them run more efficiently. Also, some older equipment is limited for replacement parts.

Powerhouse and substation electrical repairers maintain, inspect, test and repair electrical equipment used in generating stations, in-service relays and substations. They’re also known as power transformer repairers, relay technicians and powerhouse electricians.

Heavy lifting and uncomfortable working positions are common for electric motor, power tool and related repairers. Safety guidelines must be followed including wearing protective goggles.

Training, Other Qualifications and Advancement for Powerhouse and Substation Electrical Repairers

Powerhouse and substation electrical repairers must have knowledge of electronics and electrical equipment. Employers typically prefer to hire workers with an associate degree in electronics from a technical school or community college. That said, some will hire those with only a high school diploma. Entry-level powerhouse and substation electrical repairers often work alongside experienced technicians until they develop the necessary skills to work independently.

Good eyesight and color perception is important for powerhouse and substation electrical repairers working with intricate electronic components.

Many organizations, including the Electronics Technicians Association (ETA) and the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians, offer certification programs. They range in subject area and competency level. For certification powerhouse and substation electrical repairers must meet prerequisites and pass an exam. A certification can demonstrate a level of competency and appeal to employers for jobs and later, for advancement.

With experience and advanced training, many powerhouse and substation electrical repairers go on to become troubleshooters or specialists who work with other repairers to diagnose tough problems. Those with leadership skills may become supervisors. And with years of experience, some powerhouse and substation electrical repairers open their own businesses.

Top 10 Most Popular Electrical/Electronics Equipment Installation and Repair Schools

1. Mt San Antonio College (Walnut, California)
2. South Florida Institute of Technology (Miami, Florida)
3. Wichita Technical Institute, Wichita (Main) (Wichita, Kansas)
4. Lincoln Tech, Columbia (Columbia, Maryland)
5. New England Institute of Technology, East Greenwich (Warwick, Rhode Island)
6. Industrial Management Training Institute (Waterbury, Connecticut)
7. East Los Angeles College (Monterey Park, California)
8. Contra Costa College (San Pablo, California)
9. Harper College (Palatine, Illinois)
10. TESST College of Technology (Multiple Campus Locations)

See All Electrical/Electronics Equipment Installation and Repair Schools

Employment and Job Outlook for Powerhouse and Substation Electrical Repairers

Number of People in Profession

22,870

Changing Employment (2008-2018)

Employment is projected to grow about as fast as average (increase 7 - 13%).

There are 23,400 powerhouse and substation electrical repairers working, many for repair and maintenance establishments.

In the range of electrical and electronics installers and repairers, powerhouse and substation electrical repairers are expected to enjoy the largest job growth. While still an average pass compared to other occupations, jobs for powerhouse and substation electrical repairers are expected to grow by about 12 percent. Privatization in utilities industries is projected to improve productivity and hinder employment growth, but at the same time employment will be spurred by the demand for newer and energy efficient green technologies.

An associate degree, certification or related experience will help powerhouse and substation electrical repairers find the best job prospects. In addition to employment growth, jobs will open up as workers leave the occupation.

Earnings and Salary for Powerhouse and Substation Electrical Repairers

Median hourly wages for powerhouse and substation electrical repairers were $29.94. The highest 10 percent earned over $39.21, the lowest 10 percent earned below $20.90 and the middle 50 percent earned between $25.82 and $34.33. The industry employing the largest number of powerhouse and substation electrical repairers is electric power generation, transmission and distribution. Those employers offered median hourly wages of $29.66.

Hourly Wage for Powerhouse and Substation Electrical Repairers

On average, Powerhouse and Substation Electrical Repairers earn $29.94 per hour.

10% 25% 75% 90% $20.90 $25.82 $34.33 $39.21

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook