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Career profile Substation Mechanic

Also known as Electrical and Instrumentation Technician (E I Technician), Electrical Technician, Instrument and Control Technician (I C Technician), Instrumentation and Control Technician (IC Technician), Relay Technician, Substation Electrician, Substation Mechanic, Substation Technician, Substation Wireman, Wireman

Substation Mechanic

Also known as Electrical and Instrumentation Technician (E I Technician), Electrical Technician, Instrument and Control Technician (I C Technician)

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$54,680 - $110,110 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Critical Thinking
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Repairing
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Mathematics
Core tasks
  • Inspect and test equipment and circuits to identify malfunctions or defects, using wiring diagrams and testing devices such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, or ammeters.
  • Prepare and maintain records detailing tests, repairs, and maintenance.
  • Consult manuals, schematics, wiring diagrams, and engineering personnel to troubleshoot and solve equipment problems and to determine optimum equipment functioning.
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What does a Substation Mechanic do?

Substation Mechanics inspect, test, repair, or maintain electrical equipment in generating stations, substations, and in-service relays.

What kind of tasks does a Substation Mechanic perform regularly?

Substation Mechanics are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Inspect and test equipment and circuits to identify malfunctions or defects, using wiring diagrams and testing devices such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, or ammeters.
  • Prepare and maintain records detailing tests, repairs, and maintenance.
  • Consult manuals, schematics, wiring diagrams, and engineering personnel to troubleshoot and solve equipment problems and to determine optimum equipment functioning.
  • Analyze test data to diagnose malfunctions, to determine performance characteristics of systems, or to evaluate effects of system modifications.
  • Open and close switches to isolate defective relays, performing adjustments or repairs.
  • Notify facility personnel of equipment shutdowns.
  • Repair, replace, and clean equipment and components such as circuit breakers, brushes, and commutators.
  • Run signal quality and connectivity tests for individual cables, and record results.
  • Maintain inventories of spare parts for all equipment, requisitioning parts as necessary.

The above responsibilities are specific to Substation Mechanics. More generally, Substation Mechanics are involved in several broader types of activities:

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment
Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

What is a Substation Mechanic salary?

The median salary for a Substation Mechanic is $85,340, and the average salary is $83,150. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Substation Mechanic salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Substation Mechanics earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Substation Mechanics earn less than $54,680 per year, 25% earn less than $68,820, 75% earn less than $99,390, and 90% earn less than $110,110.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Substation Mechanics is expected to change by -2.6%, and there should be roughly 1,700 open positions for Substation Mechanics every year.

Median annual salary
$85,340
Typical salary range
$54,680 - $110,110
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-2.6%

What personality traits are common among Substation Mechanics?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Substation Mechanic are usually higher in their Realistic interests.

Substation Mechanics typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Substation Mechanic tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Substation Mechanics strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Substation Mechanics strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Substation Mechanics moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Substation Mechanics must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, analytical thinking, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Substation Mechanics, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Analytical Thinking
Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Substation Mechanics need?

Substation Mechanics often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Substation Mechanics usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Substation Mechanics

  • 8.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 30.1% completed high school or secondary school
  • 30.8% completed some college coursework
  • 16.9% earned a Associate's degree
  • 13.0% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.2% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Substation Mechanics

Substation Mechanics may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, engineering and technology, or mathematics knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Substation Mechanics might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Substation Mechanics

Substation Mechanics must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Substation Mechanics need abilities such as near vision, oral comprehension, and problem sensitivity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Substation Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Substation Mechanics

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Substation Mechanics frequently use skills like critical thinking, equipment maintenance, and repairing to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Substation Mechanics, ranked by their relative importance.

Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Equipment Maintenance
Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Repairing
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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