Control Area Operator Career

Job Description: Coordinate, regulate, or distribute electricity or steam.

*A job as a Control Area Operator falls under the broader career category of Power Distributors and Dispatchers. The information on this page will generally apply to all careers in this category. We are still seeking more specific information about this career from experts in this field. If you can provide us with more information, .

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Control Area Operator Career

What Control Area Operators do:

  • Coordinate with engineers, planners, field personnel, or other utility workers to provide information such as clearances, switching orders, or distribution process changes.
  • Prepare switching orders that will isolate work areas without causing power outages, referring to drawings of power systems.
  • Control, monitor, or operate equipment that regulates or distributes electricity or steam, using data obtained from instruments or computers.
  • Record and compile operational data, such as chart or meter readings, power demands, or usage and operating times, using transmission system maps.
  • Respond to emergencies, such as transformer or transmission line failures, and route current around affected areas.
  • Track conditions that could affect power needs, such as changes in the weather, and adjust equipment to meet any anticipated changes.
  • Manipulate controls to adjust or activate power distribution equipment or machines.
  • Calculate load estimates or equipment requirements to determine required control settings.
  • Distribute or regulate the flow of power between entities, such as generating stations, substations, distribution lines, or users, keeping track of the status of circuits or connections.
  • Monitor and record switchboard or control board readings to ensure that electrical or steam distribution equipment is operating properly.
  • Direct personnel engaged in controlling or operating distribution equipment or machinery, such as instructing control room operators to start boilers or generators.
  • Inspect equipment to ensure that specifications are met or to detect any defects.
  • Tend auxiliary equipment used in the power distribution process.
  • Implement energy schedules, including real-time transmission reservations or schedules.
  • Repair, maintain, or clean equipment or machinery, using hand tools.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

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 Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Performing for or Working Directly with the Public - Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment - Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

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.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Performing General Physical Activities - Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Holland Code Chart for a Control Area Operator