Substation Engineer (Technician or Operator)

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If you have ever wondered how electricity is supplied to your home or business, you've probably concluded that it comes from the power plant. But you may not have known that before it reaches your home, it may pass through a substation or two first. An electrical substation is a subsidiary of the main power station, in which the generator is housed. These substations can lower or raise the voltage and the current of the raw electricity distributed to them, depending on the destination of that power. And substations are maintained and administered by a substations engineer (technician or operator).

In order to become a substation engineer (technician or operator), you must have a basic understanding of how a power grid works, as well as standard currents and voltages to residential and business areas. You must understand how transformers work to transform currents and voltages from high to low or vice versa, or at least why one might need a transformer to perform this kind of function. While you don't have to have a PhD in electrical engineering to work at a substation, you should still have a working knowledge of electrical engineering or at least of physics so that you can understand what's going on around you when you're at a substation.

If you want to become a substations engineer or operator, there are several steps you can take to attain your goal. Getting a college education will certainly help, especially if you major in electrical engineering or, barring that, in one of the physical sciences. If getting a formal education isn't an option for you, you may still be able to work as a technician, and perhaps even work your way up to becoming an operator for that substation. But in order to become a substations engineer, you must have the appropriate education.

The substation is what makes sure that each neighborhood or area gets the electricity it needs with exactly the right voltage and current for the needs it's going to serve. The substations engineer is the one responsible for making sure that it's functioning properly, that the equipment onsite is in good working order, and that the output of the substation is meeting the needs of the surrounding community without wasting too much energy. By evaluating these needs and making sure that the substation runs smoothly, the person in charge of it is making sure that the people in the area never have to think about the fact that there's even a substation in their area. They're free to simply go about their business and trust that they'll have access to the energy that they need at exactly the moment that they need it.

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