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9241.1 – Power systems operators

Power systems operators monitor and operate switchboards and related equipment in electrical control centres to control the distribution of electrical power in transmission networks.

Profile

Example titles Help

  • Apprentice power dispatcher
  • Distribution control operator - electrical power systems
  • Electrical power systems operator

Main characteristics Help

  • General learning ability to monitor and operate computerized switchboards and auxiliary equipment in electrical control centres
  • Verbal ability and Numerical ability to co-ordinate and schedule generating station and substation power loads and line voltages to meet distribution demands during daily operations, system outages, repairs, and importing and exporting of power
  • Form perception to monitor and inspect station instruments, meters and alarms to ensure that transmission voltages and line loadings are within prescribed limits, and to detect equipment failure, line disturbances and outages
  • Clerical perception to complete and maintain station records, logs and reports
  • Objective interest in controlling the distribution and regulating the flow of electrical power in transmission networks by operating switchboards and auxiliary equipment
  • Methodical interest in speaking to issue work and test permits to electrical and mechanical maintenance personnel; and in assisting during routine system testing
  • Innovative interest in analyzing information to direct generating station and substation power loads and line voltages to meet distribution demands, and to assist maintenance and technical personnel to locate and isolate system problems

Aptitudes Help

One of five levels assigned for each factor, with levels representing normal curve distribution of the labour force:

G
General learning ability
V
Verbal ability
N
Numerical ability
S
Spatial perception
P
Form perception
Q
Clerical perception
K
Motor co-ordination
F
Finger dexterity
M
Manual dexterity

Levels legend
  1. The highest 10% of the working population
  2. Upper third, exclusive of the highest 10%
  3. Middle third of the working population
  4. Lowest third, exclusive of the lowest 10%
  5. Lowest 10% of the working population

An individual's overall capacity to learn the skills needed to perform job duties is based on his or her specific aptitudes for acquiring information and transforming it into action.

General learning ability G-3

Ability to 'catch on' or understand instructions and underlying principles; to reason and make judgments.

Verbal ability V-3

Ability to understand the meaning of words and the ideas associated with them, and to use them effectively; to comprehend language, to understand relationships between words and to understand the meaning of whole sentences and paragraphs; to present information or ideas clearly.

Numerical ability N-3

Ability to carry out arithmetical processes quickly and accurately.

Spatial perception S-4

Ability to think visually about geometric forms and comprehend the two dimensional representation of three dimensional objects; to recognize the relationships resulting from the movement of objects in space. May be used in such tasks as blueprint reading and in solving geometry problems. Frequently described as the ability to 'visualize' objects of two or three dimensions.

Form perception P-3

Ability to perceive pertinent detail in objects and in pictorial and graphic material; to make visual comparisons and discriminations and to see slight differences in shapes and shadings of figures and widths and lengths of lines.

Clerical perception Q-3

Ability to perceive pertinent detail in verbal or tabular material; to observe differences in copy, to proofread words and numbers, and to avoid perceptual errors in arithmetical computation.

Motor co-ordination K-4

Ability to co-ordinate eyes, hands and fingers rapidly and accurately when required to respond with precise movements.

Finger dexterity F-4

Ability to move the fingers and manipulate small objects with the fingers rapidly and/or accurately.

Manual dexterity M-4

Ability to move the hands easily and skillfully; to work with the hands in placing and turning motions.

Interests Help

Three of five descriptive factors, assigned in order of predominance and lower case rating indicating weaker representation:

D
Directive
I
Innovative
M
Methodical
O
Objective
S
Social

Objective O

Objective persons enjoy working with tools, equipment, instruments and machinery. They like to repair and/or fabricate things from various materials according to specifications and using established techniques. Objective persons are interested in finding out how things operate and how they are built.

Methodical m

Methodical persons like to have clear rules and organized methods to guide their activities. They prefer working under the direction or supervision of others according to given instructions, or to be guided by established policies and procedures. Methodical persons like to work on one thing until it is completed. They enjoy following a set routine and prefer work that is free from the unexpected.

Innovative i

Innovative persons like to explore things in depth and arrive at solutions to problems by experimenting. They are interested in initiating and creating different ways to solve questions and present information. They enjoy scientific subjects. Innovative persons prefer to be challenged with new and unexpected experiences. They adjust to change easily.

Data, people, and things Help

Data

0
Synthesizing
1
Co-ordinating
2
Analyzing
3
Compiling
4
Computing
5
Copying
6
Comparing
7
N/A
8
Not Significant

People

0
Mentoring
1
Negotiating
2
Instructing - Consulting
3
Supervising
4
Diverting
5
Persuading
6
Speaking - Signaling
7
Serving - Assisting
8
Not significant

Things

0
Setting up
1
Precision working
2
Controlling
3
Driving - Operating
4
Operating - Manipulating
5
Tending
6
Feeding - Offbearing
7
Handling
8
Not significant
Data Analyzing 2

Examining and evaluating data; frequently presenting alternative action in relation to the evaluation.

People speaking 6

Talking with and/or signalling people to convey or exchange information; giving assignments and/or directions to helpers.

Things Controlling 2

Starting, stopping, controlling and adjusting machines and equipment designed to fabricate and/or process objects or materials. Operating machines involves minimal set up and adjustment as the work progresses. Controlling equipment involves observing gauges, dials and other indicators, and turning valves and other devices to control factors such as temperature, pressure, flow of liquids, speed of pumps and reactions of materials.

Physical activities Help

V - Vision

1
Close visual acuity
2
Near vision
3
Near and far vision
4
Total visual field

H - Hearing

1
Limited
2
Verbal interaction
3
Other sound discrimination

L - Limb co-ordination

0
Not relevant
1
Upper limb co-ordination
2
Multiple limb co-ordination

C - Colour discrimination

0
Not relevant
1
Relevant

B - Body position

1
Sitting
2
Standing and/or walking
3
Sitting, standing, walking
4
Other body positions

S - Strength

1
Limited
2
Light
3
Medium
4
Heavy
Vision Vision V-2

The use of sight in the work performed. The levels are organized in terms of the visual field involved in the performance of the work.

2 - Near vision

Work activities are performed near the worker. The scope of the visual field is broader than in Close visual acuity (1).

Examples:

  • reading and interpreting drawings and specifications
  • using computer keyboards and reading computer monitors
  • repairing automobile engines
  • setting up and operating machine tools
Colour discrimination Colour discrimination C-0

The use of colour descrimination to identify, distinguish and match colours and different shades of the same colours.

0 - Not relevant

Colour discrimination is not relevant in the performance of the work.

Examples:

  • cleaning windows
  • providing information over the telephone
  • interviewing, hiring and overseeing staff training
  • translating documents
Hearing Hearing H-2

The use of hearing in the work performed. The levels are organized in terms of the type of auditory discrimination involved in the performance of the work.

2 - Verbal interaction

Work activities involve communication with colleagues, clients and/or the public on a regular basis.

Examples:

  • operating directory listing systems to provide directory assistance to customers
  • resolving work problems and recommending measures to improve productivity
  • consulting with families of the deceased regarding funeral services
  • analyzing and providing advice on managerial methods and organization of establishments
Body position Body position B-3

Primary type of posture or body movement involved in performing the work. These postures or body movements range from simple to complex and from sedentary to mobile.

3 - Sitting, standing, walking

This level involves work activities in combinations and varying degrees of Sitting (1) and Standing and/or walking (2).

Examples:

  • teaching students through lectures, discussions, audio-visual presentations and field studies
  • assessing land values for taxation purposes
  • ensuring that systems and equipment are operating efficiently on job sites
  • supervising and co-ordinating the activities of workers who cut or stitch fabric, fur or leather garments
Limb co-ordination Limb co-ordination L-0

The use of limbs in performing work.

0 - Not relevant

Work activities do not involve co-ordination of limbs.

Examples:

  • counselling clients and providing therapy
  • proofreading materials before publication
  • greeting patrons at entrances to restaurant dining rooms
  • responding to enquiries at an information desk
Strength Strength S-1

The use of strength in the handling of loads such as pulling, pushing, lifting and/or moving objects during the work performed.

1 - Limited

Work activities involve handling loads up to 5 kg.

Examples:

  • examining and analyzing financial information
  • selling insurance to clients
  • conducting economic and technical feasibility studies
  • administering and marking written tests

Environmental conditions Help

Location

L1
Regulated inside climate
L2
Unregulated inside climate
L3
Outside
L4
In a vehicle or cab

Hazards

H1
Dangerous chemical substances
H2
Biological agents
H3
Equipment, machinery, tools
H4
Electricity
H5
Radiation
H6
Flying particles, falling objects
H7
Fire, steam, hot surfaces
H8
Dangerous locations

Discomforts

D1
Noise
D2
Vibration
D3
Odours
D4
Non-toxic dusts
D5
Wetness
Hazards Radiation H5

Potential hazards to which the worker may be exposed. The codes provide an indication of the type(s) of hazard(s) most likely to be present in the workplace environment. They are not a measure of frequency, duration or degree of exposure to hazards, but an indication of the presence or absence of a particular hazard in the work environment.

H5 - Radiation

Exposure to ionizing radiation such as X-rays and radioactive substances or non-ionizing radiation such as radio frequencies and infrared, ultraviolet or visible light that may affect health adversely.

Examples:

  • taking dental X-rays
  • preparing and administering radioactive drugs
  • operating welding equipment (ultraviolet)
  • controlling the flow of air traffic using radar monitors, radio and other equipment (radio frequencies)
  • conducting atmospheric research (visible laser light)
  • creating glass objects (infrared)
Location Regulated inside climate L1

The work performed is carried out indoors in a regulated environment, indoors in an unregulated environment, outdoors or in a vehicle. In many occupations, the Main Duties may be performed in more than one location. Therefore, a group may have more than one Location code, for example:

  • firefighting and fire prevention duties
  • maintenance of interior/exterior of buildings
  • managing operations and paperwork of farms

L1 - Regulated inside climate

A normal controlled environment such as an office, hospital or school.

Employment requirements Help

Education/training Help

1
No formal education or training requirements
2
Some high school education and/or on the job training or experience
3
High school
4
Course work, training, workshops and/or experience related to the occupation
5
Apprenticeship, specialized training, vocational school training
6
College, technical school (certificate, diploma)
7
Undergraduate degree
8
Post-graduate or professional degree
+
Additional requirement beyond education and training
R
Regulated requirement(s)
4+, 5, R
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Power systems operators require completion of a three- to five-year power system operator apprenticeship program
    or
    over three years of work experience in the trade and some college or industry courses in electrical and electronic technology.
  • Trade certification is available, but voluntary for power systems operators in Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Control room operators at nuclear power plants require licensing from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.

Workplaces/employers Help

  • Electric power utilities
  • Hospitals
  • Government and commercial establishments
  • Manufacturing plants
  • Power generation plants
  • Universities

Occupational options Help

  • Progression from lower to higher classes for power or stationary engineers is dependent on further training and experience.
  • Progression from lower to higher classes for power or stationary engineers is dependent on further training and experience.
  • Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
  • Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.
  • There is little mobility between nuclear power generation station operators and other classic or alternative power generation station operators.

Exclusions Help

Remarks Help

  • For some occupations in this group, Hazards H5(Radiation) may also apply

Breakdown summary

Broad occupational category
9 – Occupations in manufacturing and utilities
Skill level
B – Occupations usually require college education, specialized training or apprenticeship training
Major group
92 – Processing, manufacturing and utilities supervisors and central control operators
Minor group
924 – Utilities equipment operators and controllers
Unit group
9241 – Power engineers and power systems operators
Version
2016.3
Date modified: