Be a Substation Technician's Apprentice: Training Info and Requirements

Learn how to become a substation technician's apprentice. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required for starting a career through this type of an apprenticeship. View article »

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Video Transcript

Substation Technician's Apprentice

Substation technician's apprentices assist technicians in maintaining, repairing and installing substations, circuit breakers and related electrical equipment. After repairing and reassembling, apprentices might test equipment to determine functionality. Safety precautions must be followed when working with electricity.

Career Requirements

Training Required Associate available; postsecondary courses in electronics or electrical experience; OSHA safety courses
Experience Licensing or experience as an electrician
Key Skills Mechanical spatial ability; first aid/CPR certification
Salary $55,160 (2015 median for electrical and electronic installers and repairers)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Getting into this career typically requires high school grads to complete post-secondary courses in electronics or have electrical experiences, as well as first aid and CPR. Substation technician's apprentices need to have a license or experience as an electrician as well as mechanical and spatial ability skills. In 2015, electrical and electronic installers and repairers earned a median annual wage of $55,160, stated the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Now let's check out the specific steps to becoming a substation technician's apprentice.

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Career Steps

Step 1: Consider a Degree in Electrical Power Maintenance

Substation technician's apprentices are generally trained on the job. Applicants with a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent who have electrical experience and knowledge may be able to find employment as a substation technician apprentice. An employer may look for individuals whose educational background is in mathematics, having taken coursework in algebra and trigonometry. An associate's degree in electrical power maintenance may help those trying to gain an apprenticeship and when looking for a position after completion of training.

Step 2: Complete Safety Training Courses

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) offers courses in electrical safety. Some states, such as California, require substation technicians to comply with state mandated electrical safety orders. Safety orders may differ depending if an apprentice is working on low-voltage or high-voltage equipment.

Since working with electrical equipment can be dangerous, employers may ask applicants to certify in first aid and CPR. Organizations, such as the American Red Cross, offer training classes in first aid and CPR. Upon completion, students are given a certification card and are required to renew it every two years.

Step 3: Pass Required Examination

Substation workers may be asked to pass a series of aptitude exams that test mechanical comprehension. These pre-employment tests are given to employees in the construction and industrial industries. They help an employer determine an applicant's mechanical spatial ability.

Step 4: Attain Applicable Licensure

While no specific licensure is required to become a substation technician apprentice, some employers may prefer apprentices in their jurisdiction to have an electrician's background. Most states require electricians to be licensed. Licensed electricians are required to have on-the-job training and classroom instruction. It is best to contact the appropriate state for specifics on licensing requirements.

Step 5: Gain Job-Related Experience

An employer may require apprentice applicants to have some skills or experience. Experience can be obtained on the job through previous employment in electrical work, construction or electrical contracting. Those working towards a degree in electrical power maintenance or electrical engineering may be able to acquire internships in order to gain experience.

To recap, with a background in electronics, possibly licensure, and applicable training in mechanics, substation technician's apprentices can earn about $55,160 a year to assist technicians in maintaining, repairing, and installing substations, circuit breakers, and related electrical equipment.

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