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Bonneville Power Administration

High Voltage Electrician/Lineman/Substation Operator Apprentice, BB-2810-00

Announcement Number:
Application Deadline:
Job Location:
Vancouver, Washington
Open Date:
Salary Range:
Location Notes:
Duty stations exist throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana, and will be determined at selection.
Pay Schedule:
Who May Apply:
Status Eligibles
Time Limit:
Permanent - No time limit
Promotion Potential:
Number of Vacancies:
Work Schedule:
Full Time

Agency Marketing Statement:

  • 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


  • 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.

    Applications will be accepted from current and former competitive service Federal employees, and those eligible under special hiring authorities. Veterans who are preference eligibles or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after 3 years or more of continuous active service may apply.

    NOTE: Positions are also being announced under vacancy announcement number 200199 for applicants eligible for appointment into Excepted Service student intern position under the Pathways Program. Each announcement maybe viewed at You must submit separate and complete application packages for each announcement for which you would like to be considered.

    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 permanent 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.


    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 is 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 of 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


  • 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.

Contact Information:

Human Resources NHQ-1
503-230-3230 or 877-975-4275
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