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Power Distributors and Dispatchers
SOC Code: 51-8012.00

Coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam.

Sample of reported job titles: Control Operator, Distribution Dispatcher, Distribution Operations Supervisor, Distribution System Operator, Electric System Operator, Journeyman Lineman, Power System Dispatcher, Power System Operator, System Operator, Transmission System Operator

Tasks

  • Respond to emergencies, such as transformer or transmission line failures, and route current around affected areas.
  • Prepare switching orders that will isolate work areas without causing power outages, referring to drawings of power systems.
  • Control, monitor, or operate equipment that regulates or distributes electricity or steam, using data obtained from instruments or computers.
  • Coordinate with engineers, planners, field personnel, or other utility workers to provide information such as clearances, switching orders, or distribution process changes.
  • Distribute or regulate the flow of power between entities, such as generating stations, substations, distribution lines, or users, keeping track of the status of circuits or connections.
  • Record and compile operational data, such as chart or meter readings, power demands, or usage and operating times, using transmission system maps.
  • Manipulate controls to adjust or activate power distribution equipment or machines.
  • Track conditions that could affect power needs, such as changes in the weather, and adjust equipment to meet any anticipated changes.
  • Calculate load estimates or equipment requirements to determine required control settings.
  • Direct personnel engaged in controlling or operating distribution equipment or machinery, such as instructing control room operators to start boilers or generators.
  • Monitor and record switchboard or control board readings to ensure that electrical or steam distribution equipment is operating properly.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure that specifications are met or to detect any defects.
  • Implement energy schedules, including real-time transmission reservations or schedules.
  • Tend auxiliary equipment used in the power distribution process.
  • Repair, maintain, or clean equipment or machinery, using hand tools.

Technology Skills

  • Data base user interface and query software - Microsoft Access
  • Industrial control software - ABB MicroSCADA Pro DMS; OSI monarch/SGP; Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software ; Wide area monitoring system WAMS software (see all 21 examples)
  • Map creation software - Geographic information system GIS software
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel

Tools Used

  • Distribution or control board fixtures - Panelboard switches; Panelboards
  • Electrical control panels for generators - Integrated power system switchboards; Multi-metering switchboards
  • Mainframe computers

Knowledge

  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

Skills

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Interests

  • Interest code: RIC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Context

  • Frequency of Decision Making - 80% responded “Every day.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 77% responded “Very important results.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 81% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 63% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 70% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 52% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 56% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Telephone - 78% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 49% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 54% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Consequence of Error - 80% responded “Extremely serious.”
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks - 46% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Time Pressure
  • Deal With External Customers - 47% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 34% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 61% responded “40 hours.”
  • Electronic Mail
  • Spend Time Sitting
  • Physical Proximity - 45% responded “Moderately close (at arm's length).”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 34% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 43% responded “More than half the time.”
  • Letters and Memos - 22% responded “Every day.”
  • In an Enclosed Vehicle or Equipment - 36% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
52%High school diploma or equivalent
18%Post-secondary certificate
15%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $39.67 hourly, $82,510 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 12,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Decline (-2% or lower)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 1,000

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