Substation Operator

The Substation Operator position requires journey level experience in an electrical transmission utility that included switching and developing switching orders for transmission and distribution electrical equipment. Responsibilities may include checking for compliance with prescribed operating limits on lines and equipment (load, voltage, temperature, etc.), inspecting station, including all components in switchyard, control house, relay houses, and other buildings, checking for conditions constituting hazards to personnel, property, or equipment. Additionally, substation operators may be required to complete files and maintain various records and reports in accordance with instructions. File, maintain, correct, and as necessary order new substation prints.


$109,580 in Washington,
$90,700 in U.S. through 2028


High School Diploma,
Certificate, or Some College


30 in Washington,
1,000 in U.S. through 2026

Education & Training


Apprentices for this position can come in as new employees or from other areas of the utility. After earning their journey card, Operators typically stay in this position but it is possible to advance into Foreman and Station Leader positions, if desired.


The types of employers for this position are utility companies.


Requires journey card plus journey level work experience. (Completion of industry standard apprenticeship required to earn journey card. Apprenticeship programs may vary by state and by employer but typically consist of 2000 hours on the job plus 144 hours of related classroom instruction each year for three to four years.) Utility companies generally provide on-going training for journey level workers to keep employees current on new equipment, procedures and safety. Training within utilities may also include the 144 hours of training per year that is required for apprentices and is offered off-the-job.

College Programs

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