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Electrical Engineer (Protection)

Full Time • Posted June 12

  • Organization: Western Area Power Administration (WAPA)
  • Location: Phoenix, AZ
  • Website:
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Company Description

​Congress, Native American power customers, special interest groups and offices within WAPA are just a few entities served by Western Area Power Administration's headquarters (HQ) office. Whether we are submitting budget requests, helping regional offices administer contracts or conducting public meetings, we recognize the importance of providing excellent service to our internal and external customers.

WAPA annually markets and transmits more than 10,000 megawatts of power from 57 hydropower plants and one coal-fired plant in the central and western half of the United States. We sell about 40 percent of regional hydroelectric generation in a service area that covers 1.3 million square miles in 15 states. We sell power to 730 wholesale customers, including cities and towns, Native American tribes, rural electric cooperatives, public utility and irrigation districts, Federal and state agencies, investor-owned utilities, power marketers and the Bureau of Reclamation.

Job Description

  • Responsible for providing all electrical engineering support requirements associated with the safe and reliable operation of protective relaying schemes from 69kV to 500kV.
  • Serves as Maintenance Engineering’s principal point-of-contact for all issues related to Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) and the applicable North American Electric Reliability Corporation/Western Electricity Coordinating Council (NERC/WECC) reliability standards.
  • Responsible for electrical engineering associated with power system protection, equipment and facilities and providing highly specialized engineering and overall technical leadership within the Maintenance Office for projects and activities.
  • Responsible for additions, replacements, and modifications to equipment and facilities.
  • Serve as project leader and technical expert for Maintenance Office and other personnel for protective relaying schemes and control systems.
  • Provide field engineering for predictive and preventative maintenance programs, trouble shooting, facility enhancements, and operations support.

Above duties are at the GS-13 level. For the lower grade level, incumbent will perform a wide range of tasks described in the above duties, but at a lower level of work designed to further develop and refine the knowledge and skills of the incumbent. Assignments will typically combine productive work with on-going training and instruction. Supervision received at the lower level will be closer with oversight and review being provided more frequently.

Travel Required

50% or less - Travel approximately 10 or more days per month of overnight travel.

  • Open & closing dates:   06/10/2019 to 07/05/201

  • Pay scale & grade:  GS 12 - 13

  • Salary: $98,890 to $132,919 per year




Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • This employer participates in the e-Verify program
  • See "Other Information" section regarding Selective Service requirements

Degree: professional engineering. To be acceptable, the curriculum must: 

  1. be in a school of engineering with at least one curriculum accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as a professional engineering curriculum; or
  2. include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.

In addition to meeting the basic entry qualification requirements, applicants MUST have specialized experience at the next lower grade level to qualify. 

Transcripts MUST be submitted to be considered, if you do not submit your transcripts you will be deemed ineligibe. ( A copy of your degree is NOT sufficiant. Transcripts do not have to be originals).



You must meet all the qualification and eligibility requirements for the position by the closing date of the announcement. You may review the qualification requirements here.


A qualified candidate's online application and resume must demonstrate at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower grade level in the Federal service. Specialized experience for this position is defined as:

For the GS-12 level the specialized experience requirement is:  Knowledge and/or experience in developing protective relay settings for transmission systems. Ability to identify corrective action for relay operations. Knowledge of the electric utility industry or electric utility maintenance practices. Knowledge of reliability standards as they relate to the industry to help interpret and to make recommendations to meet those standards.    

For the GS-13 level the specialized experience requirement is:  Experience in developing protective relay settings for high voltage transmission systems. Experience analyzing and recommending corrective action for relay operations. Experience in the electric utility industry and electric utility maintenance practices. Experience with the use of NERC, MRO reliability standards and CIP standards as they relate to the industry in order to interpret and to make judgments on requirements to meet these standards.    

Your application and resume should demonstrate that you possess the following knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs). Do not provide a separate narrative written statement. Rather, you must describe in your application how your past work experience demonstrates that you possess the KSAs identified below. Cite specific examples of employment or experience contained in your resume and describe how this experience has prepared you to successfully perform the duties of this position. DO NOT write "see resume" in your application!

  1. Knowledge of advanced engineering theories, principles, concepts, standards, and methods for a wide range of power systems equipment used in the electric utility industry.
  2. Knowledge of the interrelationships of design, construction, and operation of facilities and their associated planning, design maintenance, repair, and construction activities.
  3. Knowledge of operation and maintenance practices associated with major electrical apparatus, protective relays, and outdoor substation equipment, metering equipment, and communications systems.

"Experience" refers to paid and unpaid experience. Examples of qualifying unpaid experience may include: volunteer work done through National Service programs (such as Peace Corps and AmeriCorps); as well as work for other community-based philanthropic and social organizations. Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills; and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Time-in-Grade: Current Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement to receive consideration.

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.

Current federal employees, please apply at the link below.

New to federal employment, please use this link.



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