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Summary Report for:
51-8012.00 - Power Distributors and Dispatchers

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

View report: Summary  Details  Custom

Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

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.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

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

Technology used in this occupation:

Industrial control software — ABB MicroSCADA Pro DMS; OSI monarch/SGP; Siemens Spectrum Power TG; Supervisory control and data acquisition SCADA software
Map creation software — Geographic information system GIS software

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Work Activities

Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

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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.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


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

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Credentials

Find Certifications Find Apprenticeships

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $36.10 hourly, $75,080 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 12,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Little or no change (-2% to 2%) Little or no change (-2% to 2%)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 3,600
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

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