Get Into Energy Career Pathways Roadmap: Industry

» Transmission & Distribution Technicians: Putting Stem to Work

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Learn More / Earn More
Educational Opportunities for Advancement
Pass Pre-Employment Tests and Become a
Substation Mechanic,
Relay Technician,
Meter Technician,
Engineering Technician
1-4 Years
Experienced Substation Mechanic, Relay, Meter, Engineering Technician
  • Associate's Degree
  • Long-Term On-the-Job Training
3-6 Years
Utility Supervisor
8+ Years
T & D Technicians: What will you do? What competencies will you need? (built on energy foundational competencies—incremental as career advances)
Note: Most utilities use a pre-employment test—to pass you will need math, communications, problem solving, and mechanical reasoning skills.

Apprenticeship Training Components:

  • Fundamentals of Electricity (Alternating Current / Direct Current)
  • Substation Mechanical Operations
  • Advanced Substation Mechanics
  • Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)
  • Electric Distribution Fundamentals: Technical–Advanced
  • 4 KV & 13 KV Basic Relaying
  • Generator Relaying
  • Fundamentals of Electronic Test Equipment
  • Transmission Relaying
  • Polyphase Meter
  • Transformer Meter
  • Wiring Inspection
  • Advanced Meter
  • Teamwork
  • Able to lift 75 lbs
  • Listen and follow directions
  • Math skills including algebra, trig, and geometry
  • Come to work on time and prepared
  • Physical ability to climb stairs and ladders
  • Operate stiff valves manually, lift weights, control pneumatic or hydraulic wrenches
  • Read and interpret information displayed in simple graphic, chart, or print form (e.g., blueprints, sketches, diagrams, or drawings).
  • Apply knowledge learned in training to work environment

Experienced Technician:

  • Read diagrams of electric circuits
  • Serve as an expert on how a substation works and its equipment
  • Perform routine operations at the substation
  • Open and close switches to isolate defective relays, then perform adjustments or repairs
  • Inspect and test equipment to identify problems using special wiring diagrams and testing devices
  • Disconnect and replace equipment that manages voltage on high voltage power lines
  • Set and remove meters
  • Inspect wiring to meters
  • Repair meters
  • Participate in surveying to lay out installation of new customer services
  • Inspect project sites to ensure crews are following design specification
  • Use information to diagnose and solve problems
  • Be able to manage multiple tasks at once
  • Demonstrate understanding of basic mechanical principles (e.g., gear trains, centrifugal force, heat flow)
  • Comprehend entire systems and how they function
  • Foresee system implications of malfunctions or of own actions
  • Anticipate required future conditions in numerous interacting systems
  • Evaluate alternative procedures and select the most effective approach to a job in terms of safety, time, material, or other requirements.
  • Solve problems involving limited options (e.g., selecting the correct instrument or gauge for a job).
  • Adapt work procedures or priorities in response to changing or unforeseen requirements or conditions

Utilty Supervisor:

  • Determine schedules and work activities of team members
  • Review team member performance and provide feedback
  • Prepare and manage budgets
  • Report to management
  • Deal with potentially stressful situations
  • People management
  • Communications skills
  • Financial management
  • Computer skills for report preparation
  • Assign priority or sequence to the steps for completing a job
  • Coordinate several, competing activities for efficient use of time and material

Energy Industry Competency Model

competency model

Energy industry careers offer:
  • Excellent salaries
  • Opportunities for advancement
  • Job growth & stability
  • Community service
  • Great benefits

Where can I find training?
Use the Get Into Energy Training Program Locator at

Where can I find a job?
Use the Get Into Energy Jobs website at