This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:High Voltage Electrician/Lineman/Substation Operator Apprentice (Student)

Department:Department Of Energy

Agency:Bonneville Power Administration

Job Announcement Number:200199

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.


$27.00 to $27.00 / Per Hour


Monday, January 07, 2013 to Tuesday, February 05, 2013




Full Time - Permanent - No time limit


Few vacancies in the following location:
Vancouver, WashingtonView Map


United States Citizens


The Bonneville Power Administration has been powering people and careers for nearly 75 years. We are a non-profit federal agency that provides clean, emissions-free hydroelectricity to the Pacific Northwest and maintains a high voltage transmission system to deliver that electricity. We are a leader in sustainability and environmental stewardship, promoting energy efficiency, renewable wind and hydropower, the smart grid, fish and wildlife protection and initiatives to address climate change. We are a visionary and innovative agency that values diversity and creativity and encourages continuous learning. We are located throughout the Pacific Northwest with opportunities in cities, smaller communities and in the field. You can learn more about BPA at

Applications for this position are being processed through an on-line applicant assessment system that has been specifically configured for Bonneville Power Administration applicants. Even if you have already developed a resume in USAJOBS, you will need to access this on-line system to complete the application process. To obtain information about this position and TO APPLY, please click on


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(The duties described reflect the full performance level of this position)

BPA has one of the most highly acclaimed high-voltage electrical apprentice programs in the world. Our electrical apprenticeship is an approved post-secondary education program by the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Labor. The BPA Electrical Apprenticeship Program consists of 3 1/2 to 4 years of intensive (1) classroom study, (2) homework, and (3) on-the-job training. End of step presentations, exams, and reviews are required every six months and if successful, the apprentice will be promoted to the next step of the apprenticeship program and finally to Journeyman.
Electrical apprentices are trained to perform a variety of tasks and duties associated with the operation, maintenance, and construction of high voltage electrical power system equipment and facilities. Apprentices receive on-the job training by working with journeyman of the trade in learning the various tasks, work procedures, and skills of the trade. In addition, apprentices receive classroom instruction in electrical theory, print and schematic drawings, and other topics associated with the particular trade. Apprentices receive progressively more difficult and complex tasks and work assignments as they gain skill and knowledge in the trade and are required to successfully demonstrate their skill level and knowledge at the end of each step of the program. Apprentices are required to work safely and follow safety procedures and guidelines. Be sure to check our website for detailed information about the BPA Electrical Apprenticeship and application process.
Power System Electrician Apprentices are trained to perform a variety of tasks that typically involve the construction, installation, maintenance, and repair of high voltage power system electrical equipment. Maintenance tasks typically include the routine inspection, modification, installation, and troubleshooting of electrical equipment and facilities. The type of equipment maintained may be electrical, hydraulic, mechanical, pneumatic, and/or electronic. Apprentices work from sketches, drawings, blueprints, wiring diagrams, instruction books, and equipment manuals.
Lineman Apprentices are trained to maintain and construct high voltage wood pole and steel structure transmission lines. Apprentices receive training that includes, but is not limited to: climbing techniques and procedures; care and inspection of transmission structure hardware, tools, gear, and a variety of equipment (e.g., vehicles, bucket trucks, etc.); digging procedures; guying of pole structures; right-of-way maintenance procedures; rigging and handling of conductor; conductor splicing; steel tower erection, and other work techniques.
Substation Operator Apprentices are trained to operate high voltage power system equipment to remove and return substation equipment to service. Work tasks may include, but are not limited to: the review of station logs; checking equipment automatic logging devices, event recorders, and other devices for proper operation. Apprentices also read and analyze substation drawings, plan and perform switching procedures, tag equipment, and coordinate with power system dispatchers. In addition, apprentices read meters, instruments, gauges, and other equipment and maintain records; inspect switchyards and out-building for proper security.

Performs maintenance and repair work for high voltage electric power-controlling equipment and/or distribution lines.


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You will be evaluated on your ability to perform the duties of the position rather than length of experience. Eligibility will be determined by the relevance, scope and quality of all experience and training you provide in your application and/or resume, regardless of where or how acquired, on your potential, and on your written aptitude examination test results. Applicants will be ranked and rated based on their knowledge of the Technical Qualifications identified above.

See Other Information for further requirements.


You will be rated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the education, experience and training you report relative to this position which shows that you possess the knowledges, skills and abilities required. Paid or unpaid experience will be considered.


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PATHWAYS INTERNSHIP PROGRAM: The Pathways Internship Program integrates classroom study with paid work experience, with the objective of preparing the student for responsible placement into the agency's permanent workforce. The program is conducted in accordance with a planned schedule and a working agreement between the agency and the student. This announcement is aimed at students in high schools, colleges, trade schools, and other qualifying educational institutions, which upon graduation will provide the academic background, knowledge, and skills required for the target position. (Students must complete a minimum of 640 hours of work experience prior to graduation.)

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR EMPLOYMENT AFTER GRADUATION: Within 120 days after completion of course requirements from a qualifying educational institution conferring a diploma, certificate, or degree, interns will be eligible for conversion, at agency option, to a term or permanent appointment in the competitive service. In addition, the following requirements must be met:
- Must be a U.S. citizen.
- Must complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the internship program.
- Must meet Agency-specific requirements as outlined in the agency Participant Agreement. Interns converted at the lower grades are eligible for advancement through progressive promotions to full performance level of the position contingent upon satisfactory performance.

NEW INFORMATION ADDED 01-14-2013: As you complete the applicant questionnaire for this position, you will be prompted at various points to attach supporting documents that may apply to you, such as your driving record, school transcripts, proof of former Federal employment, and/or proof of military service. Documents can be attached at any of these points in the process, or you can access the menu item called "Attach Proof Documents" in Part I of the application process.


NOTE: Current or former federal employees eligible for transfer or reinstatement, veterans eligible for appointment under the Veterans' Employment Opportunities Act or other veterans' programs, and others eligible under special hiring authorities may apply under Merit Promotion announcement number 200205. Each announcement maybe viewed at You must submit separate and complete application packages for each announcement for which you would like to be considered.

*To be eligible to apply and be offered employment under this announcement for a Pathways Internship Program appointment, you must meet all of the following conditions:

1. Be at least 16 years of age;

2. Be enrolled in an accredited educational institution;

3. Be enrolled as a degree-seeking student; at least half-time in an accredited institution in a course of study leading to a degree or certificate that includes as part of the core-program requirements: (1) AC Theory, (2) DC Theory, (3) Pre-Algebra or higher math, and (4) English Comp 101 or equivalent .

4. Be a student in good standing with a minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA; or higher, if required by your school and/or degree program;

5. Meet all core curriculum academic program requirements for graduation prior to start of Apprenticeship Program (June 16, 2013);

6. Prior to completion of your degree/certificate program you will be required to complete 640 hours of career-related work experience with the Bonneville Power Administration. (You are prohibited from completing your education program with your school prior to completion of the work experience requirement).

7. Be eligible to take a cooperative education/internship credit during fall 2013 and then apply for the degree/certificate completion to be awarded December 2013.

This High Voltage Electrical Apprenticeship Program is hiring apprentices in the crafts of Electrician, Lineman, and Substation Operator. Descriptions of the type of work performed by these crafts are shown in the Duties section below. Applicants will be asked to choose which craft(s) they wish to be considered for in the applicant questionnaire. Positions are located in the Transmission Services/Transmission Field Services/Apprentices/(TFZ) organization.

This is an Excepted Service position, with a full-time work schedule. The starting pay is $27.00 per hour, and the promotion potential at the end of the apprenticeship is to Journeyman level, which currently pays $39.70 per hour.


SELECTIVE PLACEMENT FACTOR (Screen Out.) This position has a selective factor, Good Driving Record, which serves as a screen-out element. Applicants who do not meet this selective factor will be deemed as not qualified and receive no further consideration.

Applicants determined eligible for further consideration will be required to pass a written aptitude examination prepared and administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to receive further consideration for the position. Applicants will be notified of their eligibility (or non-eligibility) to test, the times and location of the testing sites.

If selected, you will be required to:

1. Pass a pre-appointment background check, drug screen and physical examination.

2. This position is a Drug and Alcohol Testing Position In accordance with DOE Order 3792.3, this position is subject to random drug testing. and are subject to periodic unannounced random drug testing while employed. A determination of illegal drug use will result in non-selection and withdrawal of an employment offer, based upon your failure to meet a condition of employment. While employed, failure to pass a random or post-accident drug test may result in disciplinary action, up to and including removal from the Federal Service. If the position you are selected for requires the operation of equipment requiring a commercial driver's license (CDL), you are subject to random alcohol testing under Department of Transportation regulations

3. Enter into a "Continuation of Service" Agreement, prior to your entry on duty. The agreement will obligate you to remain with BPA for a period of one (1) year upon completion of apprenticeship training. If you fail to complete the required period of service with BPA, you would be liable (indebted), in most cases, to BPA for the cost of the training received. Specific information regarding the Continuation Service Agreement will be provided to selected applicants in future correspondence. Of course, we are hopeful that you would remain with BPA for your entire career, as nearly all of BPA's electrical employees have chosen to do so.


Apprentices are required to meet some or all of the following conditions:

1. Participate in all training activities. Satisfactory completion of each step of training is mandatory for advancement.

2. Positions that require unescorted access to a nuclear facility will be required to take annual radiation training.

3. If exposed to health hazards, have periodic physical examinations.

4. Follow BPA safety practices.

5. Live within one-hour travel time of duty location.

6. Obtain and maintain a Restricted Electrical Workers's permit.

7. Ability to obtain and maintain a valid commercial driver's license (CDL), when required during the apprentice program.

8. Obtain and maintain certification on equipment assigned to use or operate.

9. Take First Aid training and possess and maintain a CPR card.

10. Be available for emergency call-outs.

11. Be able to wear protective apparel.

12. Apply restricted use pesticides if required.

13, Satisfactorily complete the Standard Clearance Certification Examination.

14. Be able to relocate as business needs dictate.

15. Upon successful completion of the apprentice program, management will determine the final duty station placement.

Working Conditions: Vary depending on the specific apprentice craft and tasks assigned. Some or all of the following conditions may apply: Work may be performed outside in all weather conditions during the day or night. System priorities may require extended periods of overtime, including working weekends. Work may be performed around energized equipment, and at various heights that may be in excess of 100 feet, such as on steel framework, platforms, and ladders adjacent to energized high-voltage equipment. At times, work may be physically demanding, and the work environment will occasionally include high noise levels or exposure to hazardous substances such as mercury, acids, radiation, solvents, PCBs, etc. Apprentices will be required to be in a travel status for a substantial amount of time during their training program to gain experience, and assignments away from the headquarters will be required (may be up to 6 months in duration) to complete some work processes.

Physical Requirements: Incumbents must be physically and mentally able to efficiently perform the duties of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation, without hazard to themselves or others. Depending on the craft and tasks assigned, work may require some or all of the following: Extensive bending, pushing, pulling, reaching, and climbing; occasional crawling; and working in cramped confined positions. Walking long distances over rugged terrain. The ability to grip and hold lines and ropes with 75 to 90 pounds of weight attached and the ability to work with small components. Working around machinery with moving parts. Strenuous tasks that include loading or unloading crates or other equipment weighing up to 75 pounds. The ability to work at heights that may be in excess of 535 feet (lineman occupation only). The ability to perform work under varying terrain and climatic conditions. Good distance vision in at least one eye and the ability to read printed material the size of typewritten characters. The ability to distinguish different electrical components based on color-coding. The ability to hear the conversational voice. The ability to clearly communicate. Extensive day and night driving. The ability to move and position loads weighing up to 120 pounds. The ability to wear protective apparel that includes respirators. Working with both arms overhead. Working alone under stressful situations requiring exacting procedures and the pressure of emergencies.


Please note: BPA's apprenticeship program is a very lengthy process and several procesing steps will require email communication with applicants; therefore, we highly recommend that you provide your primary email address in your online application and ensure that it is kept updated throughout this entire apprentice hiring process. We have provided the application and hiring timeline below for your convenience.

- Early February 2013 - BPA evaluates applications, makes minimum qualification determinations, and notifies applicants of results

- February 23, 2013 - Apprentice written examinations in Spokane, WA for those who pass minimum qualifications (by invitation only)

- February 23-25, 2013 - Apprentice written examinations in Portland, OR for those who pass minimum qualifications (by invitation only)

- April 2013 - Apprentice interviews in Vancouver, Washington

- May 2013 - Selections and tentative job offers extended

- May 2013 - Applicant background investigation, physicals & drug screening

- May/June 2013 - Final job offers extended by June 3, 2013

- June 2013 - Hire Date - June 16, 2013

Candidates will be evaluated on the basis of experience, education, training, reference checks, and/or potential on the listed elements to determine those who are best, well, or minimally qualified. Applicants who have qualifying experience performed on less than a full-time basis must specify the percentage and length of time spent in performance of such duties.

Applicants must submit a copy of their complete Non-Employment driving record (obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles where your license was issued, covering the past 3 years and dated within the last 90 days). Candidates with a poor driving record will be immediately disqualified from consideration (as per definition of Disqualifying Driving Records below). Failure to submit your current driving record will result in not receiving consideration. If selected, you will be required to maintain a valid state driver's license.

Disqualifying Driving Record: Within the past three years, any of the following conditions disqualify an applicant for a U.S. Government Motor Vehicle Authorization:

A. Conviction for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.

B. Conviction for leaving the scene of an accident without making his or her identity known.

C. Driver's license suspended, revoked or canceled.

D. Any recurrent record of auto accidents/incidents, traffic violations, or arrests, which demonstrate that the applicant does not have an adequate sense of responsibility. This may be shown by any of the following:

- Auto Accidents/Incidents

- Traffic Arrests

- Conviction for fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer.

- Conviction for a felony involving the use of a motor vehicle.

- Two or more accidents in which the applicant was at fault.

- Two or more excessive speeding violations (15 miles per hour or more over the posted limit).

- Four or more moving or traffic violations (including speeding).

If selected, you will be required to pass a pre-appointment background investigation, physical examination, and drug screening.

The sensitivity level of this position is designated as 'Low Risk - Nonsensitive', which requires that the selectee pass a National Agency Check with Inquiries (NACI) personnel investigation and receive a favorable suitability determination. Under existing OPM regulations, current Federal employees transferring from another department or agency who have successfully passed this level (or higher) personnel investigation will not be subject to re-investigation under OPM suitability regulations. Further, employees with unescorted access to facilities, systems, and equipment, which, if destroyed, degraded, or otherwise rendered unavailable, would affect the reliability or operability of the bulk electric system, or have access to critical cyber assets that are essential to the reliable operation of the bulk electric system will be required to undergo a Special Agency Check every seven years, thereafter (or sooner if for cause.)

How to Apply: Applications for this position are being processed through an on-line applicant assessment system that has been specifically configured for BPA applicants. Even if you have already developed a resume in USAJOBS, you will need to access this on-line system to complete the application process. Information regarding this position can be accessed at the following URL: Use the 'Search Jobs' criteria to search by job title, location, and/or grade of the position.

College transcripts are required for this position. You will be prompted to upload an electronic copy of your transcripts during the online application process. You will have until the announcement closing date to upload these documents.

Veteran's Preference: To be considered for veteran's preference, a copy of your DD-214 (Member 4) must be provided prior to appointment. Veterans claiming CP or CPS preference must also provide a copy of their SF-15 and associated documentation. You will be able to upload electronic copies during the application process.

If your application does not provide all the information requested in the vacancy announcement, you may lose consideration.

Applications must be completed in the Avue system by 8:59 P.M. PT (11:59 P.M. ET) of the closing date.

Benefits: BPA offers a comprehensive benefits package. Information on BPA benefits can be found at:

EEO Policy Statement:

Reasonable Accommodation Policy Statement:

Legal and Regulatory Guidance:

Veterans Information:

Basis of Rating: Candidates eligible for consideration for a student internship under Pathways Program will have their application package (resume, supporting documents, and responses to the questionnaire) reviewed to verify that you meet the basic eligibility and qualification requirements. Candidates determined to be qualified will have their applications rated against the required knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) and ranked against other candidates. If your final rating places you among the best qualified, your application will be referred to the selecting official for consideration. Applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority. Clearly articulating your work experience is critical to determining your qualifications for this position. Please describe your experience and thoroughly address the questions through your resume, cover letter, and/or other supporting material you choose to submit.


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Applications for this position are being processed through an on-line applicant assessment system that has been specifically configured for Bonneville Power Administration applicants. Even if you have already developed a resume in USAJOBS, you will need to access this on-line system to complete the application process. To obtain information about this position and TO APPLY, please click on

If you are unable to apply online, you may contact the employing office for alternate application procedures. Please call Sam Miller at 2535731877 or email at


See Other Information.


Human Resources, NHQ-1
Phone: 5032303230
Fax: 5032303149
Agency Information:
Bonneville Power Administration
905 NE 11th Ave
Portland, Oregon
Fax: 5032303149


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