These positions are located throughout the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) service area. The duty location is decided at the time of selection. You are encouraged to select all locations.Learn more about this agency
The position of Substation Operator Apprentice will, under direct supervision of a journeymen Substation Operator or another journeymen Electrical Worker, operate high voltage electrical equipment in electrical power transmission system substations and on transmission lines. The Substation Apprentice is expected to gain knowledge of the various work processes, high voltage power system equipment, associated protective relays, and become proficient in the use of proper terminology. Tasks will be progressively more difficult throughout the apprenticeship. They will read meters, complete periodic reports, perform equipment and substation inspections, and perform janitorial duties and grounds maintenance work.
A Substation Operator Apprentice:
- Operates energized high and low voltage electrical power transmission system substations following strict procedures and safety requirements.
- Checks and reviews station conditions. Responsible for station security and safety of others in the station.
- Performs inspections on all high and low voltage equipment in substations and keeps records. Periodically inspects station, including all components in the switchyard, outlying buildings, and the perimeter of the property.
- Monitors and operates various communications systems. All processes require clear oral communication.
- Completes associated documentation required of the above listed tasks.
Occasional travel - 25% or less travel required.
Who May Apply
This job is open to…
- Current Federal employees with competitive status
- Former Federal employees with reinstatement eligibility
- CTAP/ICTAP eligibles
- Veterans with VOW, VEOA or VRA eligibility
- Those eligible under an OPM interchange agreement or special appointing authority
Job family (Series)
Conditions of Employment
- You must be a United States Citizen.
- This employer participates in the e-Verify program.
- Males must abide by Selective Service registration requirements.
- Work in close proximity to substances, such as acids, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), pesticides, asbestos, mercury, and solvents, etc., which may have affects on health unless prescribed handling procedures are followed. If exposed to health hazards, have periodic physical examinations as prescribed by competent medical authority at BPA expense.
- Become knowledgeable with and follow the safety practices of the BPA Accident Prevention Manual.
- Establish a residence in accordance with negotiated requirements, that is within one hour or less commuting time under normal weather and road conditions to the duty station headquarters.
- Possess or obtain a Restricted Electrical Workers’ permit within the first year of employment and maintain it continuously thereafter.
- At all times possess a valid state driver’s license. Traffic citations indicating poor driving habits may disqualify applicants, and can be cause for removal from the program.
- Obtain certification on assigned equipment associated with substation operations.
- Take First Aid training to obtain a First Aid and CPR Card within the six months of employment and maintain continuously thereafter.
- Subject to call for emergency work at any time.
- Operate any type of motor vehicle applicable to assigned duties.
- As part of the job requirements, and at the discretion of the Chief Substation Operator III, the Substation Operator Apprentice shall be required to apply restricted use pesticides and may be required to obtain a pesticide applicator’s license. The Administration shall provide the necessary training for such a license.
- In addition to a successful evaluation on the final review, the Step 7 Apprentice must pass the current year’s Standard Clearance Certification examination. Satisfactory completion of the clearance certification examination is a mandatory requirement for graduation to the journeyman level.
- During the eight steps of the Apprenticeship Program the Standard Clearance Certification Examination for Electrician will be administered to the Apprentice. Satisfactory completion of this examination is a mandatory requirement for graduation to the journeyman level.
- Apprentices may be selected for and relocated to their first assigned duty station during the last 12-months of their apprenticeship program in accordance with BPA-CPTC memorandum of understanding (MOU).
- Drives 15-20% of the time in all weather conditions.
QualificationsApplicants must meet the requirements of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Job Qualification System for Trades and Labor Occupations (X-118C).
Your qualifications will be evaluated on the basis of your level of knowledge, skills, abilities and/or competencies in the job elements and screen-out listed below.
This job has a screen-out element which will be used to determine minimum eligibility for this job. Applicants who do not receive a minimum of two points on the screen-out element, will be found ineligible. The Screen-out Element for this position is: Aptitude and Interest for Learning Trade Theory and Practice such as: Experience training or working in a vocational or trade related field or willingness and ability to learn a trade.
- Aptitude and Interest to Learn Trade Theory and Practice (Screen-out).
- Ability to Follow Directions in a Shop.
- Reliability and Dependability.
- Ability to Use Prints and Drawings.
- Kowledge of Equipment Assembly, Installation and Repair, etc.
- Technical Practices (theoretical, precise, artistic).
In addition to meeting the minimum qualifications for this position, you must pass a written aptitude examination demonstrating your potential for learning and advancing in a Substation Operator Apptentice 1 position. Failure to pass the examination will result in an ineligible rating.
Testing sesssions will be held 4-6 weeks following the closing date of the announcement. The next Substation Operator Apprentice class is scheduled to begin in June 2017.
CTAP/ICTAP candidates: To be considered "well qualified" you must meet all of the requirements as described in this section.
You must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
There are no education requirements or substitution of education to meet the requirements.
- The U.S. Department of Energy fosters a diverse and inclusive workplace and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
- Veterans and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, please visit the links at the bottom of this page or visit the FedsHireVets website.
- If you believe that you are eligible for the Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP), please visit the OPM ICTAP/CTAP website for more information. In order to be considered under the ICTAP program, your application must score within the pre-established "well qualified" category as stated in the Qualifications section.
- More than one selection may be made from this vacancy announcement.
- Some positions may require completion of a probationary period of up to 1 (one) year.
- Many positions require successful completion of a background investigation.
- All males born after December 31st 1959 must abide by laws regarding Selective Service registration. To learn more about this law, visit the Selective Service web page, Who Must Register. If you are not registered and don't have an approved exemption, you will not be eligible for employment with the Federal government.
Mandatory pay retention applies to current federal employees entering a formal employee development program generally utilized Government wide.
EEO Policy: http://www.usajobs.gov/eeo
Reasonable Accommodation Policy: http://www.usajobs.gov/raps
Veterans Information: http://www.usajobs.gov/vi
Selective Service Registration: http://www.sss.gov/
BPA strives to ensure a safe, positive, inclusive work environment, supported by leadership behaviors to drive management excellence. For more information on the Leadership Behaviors visit: www.bpa.gov/goto/LeadershipBehaviors We also understand the importance of work/life balance and offer a variety of programs and policies designed to create more flexible, responsive work environments supportive of commitments to community, home and family members. BPA also supports employees’ overall wellness through its Be Well program, which helps employees adopt healthier lifestyles and feel better about their work/life balance. The program supports five key areas of life: career, community, financial, physical and social.
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
The Department of Energy uses an application tracking system to evaluate the responses you provide in the applicant assessment questionnaire to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications necessary for this position. Once complete, the HR Office and/or Subject Matter Expert (SME) will conduct a quality review of your application and supporting documentation to determine if your qualifications meet the criteria for referral to the selecting official. Additionally, applicants must self-certify possession or ability to obtain a valid driver's license, good driving record and availability to take a written aptitude examination in Portland, Oregon. Negative responses to these self-certification questions will result in an ineligible rating. If you are found eligible and qualified, you will be notified by e-mail of the specific times and location of the testing sites. Notifications will be sent to the primary e-mail address listed in your applicant profile.
Only those applicants who attend a testing session, prepared and administered by the Office of Personnel Management and pass the written aptitude examination, will receive further consideration for the position. Applicants will receive a numerical score based on responses to the written test. The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position. Applicants rated as qualified will be referred to the Selecting Official for further consideration under Merit Promotion procedures; non-competitive candidates with a passing score will be referred as appropriate.
In the merit promotion selection process, due weight will be given to incentive awards and performance appraisals. Current federal employees must have at least a fully successful or equivalent performance rating to receive consideration for this position.
If you are eligible for career transition assistance plans such as ICTAP or CTAP, you must meet the definition of "well qualified" which is defined as having a score of 85 or better.
If your resume is incomplete or does not support the responses you provided in your online questionnaire, or if you fail to submit all required documentation before the vacancy closes, you may be rated 'ineligible', 'not qualified', or your score may be adjusted accordingly.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Please carefully review the following list to determine what documentation you need to submit. Some documents may not apply to all applicants.
If you are unsure, click the link for each document type to read more.
ALL APPLICANTS: You must submit a resume supporting your specialized experience and responses to the online questionnaire.
- Your resume should list all work experience (paid and unpaid); you must list the full name and address of the each employer.
- For all types of work experience, you should indicate the start and end dates (include month, day, and year); you must also list the average number of hours per week that you worked.
- For paid work experience, please indicate your starting grade/salary for each position and the highest grade/salary you earned (if different).
- Your resume should also include any education and training you have completed (list the program title, subject area, number of hours completed, and completion date).
- For more information about what to include in your resume, please view this USAJOBS Resume Tutorial video on YouTube.
Current and former Federal employees: Most recent SF-50 (Standard Form 50 - Notice of Personnel Action).
To properly verify status eligibility, your SF-50 must show the following. If you do not submit an appropriate SF-50, we cannot verify your status eligibility!
- Full position title;
- appointment type;
- occupational series;
- pay plan, grade, and step;
- tenure code; and
- service computation date (SCD).
Veterans: veteran eligibility documentation (DD-214 Member #4 Copy, VA Letter, Standard Form (SF) 15 as applicable). Please note: If you are a veteran who has not yet been discharged, you may provide a statement of intent to discharge from your agency to receive Veterans Preference under the VOW (Veterans Opportunity to Work) to Hire Heroes Act of 2011.
Persons with Disabilities: Individuals with intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities may apply for appointment through the Schedule A hiring authority. Certified verification of a disability from a licensed medical professional; a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist; or any Federal, state, or District of Columbia agency or U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits will be required.
Displaced Federal employees who qualify for CTAP/ICTAP: If you are a former Federal employee who was displaced due to a Reduction-in-Force (RIF) or surplused by some other means, please submit a copy of the separation letter or RIF notice from your agency. To be selected under I/CTAP, you must still be found well-qualified for this position. Please see the OPM Guide to Career Transition for more information.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
To be considered for this position, you must submit your complete application no later than 11:59pm U.S. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement. If you do not submit a complete application prior to the closing time (regardless of when you started) the online application system will not allow you to finish! Requests for extensions will not be granted, so please begin the application process allowing yourself enough time to finish before the deadline. Our online application system displays a countdown timer at the top of the screen for your reference.
For your security, your session in our online application system will "time-out" if you are inactive for a certain period of time. We recommend that you preview the assessment questions before you apply and prepare all of your information prior to beginning the application. If you do get "timed-out" you will have to log back in to USAJOBS and re-visit the vacancy announcement, you can then click "Update Application" to finish where you left off.
Steps to submit a complete application:
- Click the "Apply Online" button. If you are not already logged in, you will need to do so.
- You must have a complete resume associated with your USAJOBS account. Please note that some DOE offices do not accept uploaded resumes and instead require that you submit a USAJOBS-formatted resume using the Resume Builder.
- You will be prompted to select a resume and any documentation you have attached to your USAJOBS account before you are transferred to the Department of Energy's online application system. Please be aware that any document you select before being transferred to our system, will not automatically be received. You must take steps to download your documents from USAJOBS during the "Documents" step within our online application system (see Step 6).
- If you are a first-time applicant to the Department of Energy, you'll be asked to register an account first. If you are a returning applicant, you will skip this step and go straight to the application portion.
- You must respond to all applicant assessment questions, carefully following all instructions provided.
- You will then be asked to upload additional supporting documentation. If you selected documents from USAJOBS prior to being transferred to our application system (Step 3), you will need to click the "USAJOBS" link to complete the transfer process. These documents ARE NOT automatically transferred! It is ultimately your responsibility to make sure all required documents are either faxed, uploaded, or transferred from USAJOBS successfully. If you are unsure that your documents went through, please contact the HR Specialist listed on the announcement BEFORE the vacancy closes.
- After reviewing your submission in the final step, you must click "Submit Application" at the bottom of the page. If you leave the application before clicking Submit, your application will not be received.
- If you experience any difficulties with the online application process (anything after you have clicked the 'Apply Online' button): contact the HR Office listed on this announcement between normal business hours. If you are receiving any kind of error message, please be ready to provide a screenshot or at a minimum, the error message text and number. If neccessary, we will put you in touch with the technical support number if we are unable to assist you personally.
- If you need help with USAJOBS (searching for jobs, account password/profile issues, or Resume Builder): please visit the USAJOBS Resource Center and select a topic of inquiry. Or, you may reach out to USAJOBS directly for support, by visiting the USAJOBS Contact Us page. We regret that we are unable to support any issues with USAJOBS, as this service is not maintained by the Department of Energy.
- If you are experiencing a significant hardship which hinders your ability to apply online please contact the HR Office listed on this announcement during normal business hours to discuss your situation.
Agency contact information
AddressBonneville Power Administration
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208-3621
After each step in the recruitment process, your status will be updated in our application tracking system. Once this happens, if you have elected to receive e-mail updates, you will be notified through your USAJOBS registered e-mail address. If you have not elected for e-mail updates, you can review your current application status in USAJOBS at any time. Please check that your USAJOBS profile contact information is current and correct each time you apply to a job--this will ensure we are able to contact you as quickly as possible.
In addition to changing your status online, we will send you e-mail notifications at each major step in the process, to include: application received, eligible or not eligible, referred or not referred, selected or not selected.
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
- An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/462414800. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.