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Power Line Worker: Substation


Building on the foundational skills covered in Power Line Worker, the two-level Power Line Worker: Substation covers key skills for safe power line work on substations, including electrical concepts, concrete, rigging, system protection and control, and more.

Craft Snapshot

Journey Level
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Curriculum Details

To address the need for one standardized and nationally recognized Power Line Worker curriculum, NCCER has developed Power Line Worker Level One. Common to transmission, distribution, and substation, Power Line Worker Level One addresses the fundamental aspects of power line work to include safety, electrical theory, climbing techniques, aerial framing and rigging, and operating utility service equipment. After Level One, the training program diverges into the three specialty areas (transmission, distribution, and substation) for two additional years of skills training.

Introduction to Substations
10 Hours

Module ID 82201-12: Provides an overview of the different types and functions of substations. Identifies the various voltage classes and introduces the primary equipment and components found in substations. Safe work practices and access issues related to substations are presented, as well as an introduction to one-line diagrams.

Managing Electrical Hazards
12.5 Hours

Module ID 26501-12; from Electrical, Second Edition: Introduces electrical hazards in the workplace and describes how to avoid them. Explains how to analyze and document shock and arc flash hazards, and how to plan and conduct work around them. Includes examples of how to complete an energized electrical work permit, and how to select the specialized personal protective equipment required for electrical work.

Alternating Current and Three-Phase Systems
17.5 Hours

Module ID 80201-12; from Power Line Worker: Distribution Level Two: Introduces the development of both single- and three-phase alternating current. Analyzes the relationship of AC phases and introduces key components used to refine AC power. Discusses the operation of transformers and introduces advanced AC concepts such as reactive power and the power factor.

Conductors and Cables
10 Hours

Module ID 82202-12: Identifies the many types, sizes, and applications of conductors and cables. Fiber-optic cable is also introduced. Reviews the use of cable drawings and schedules. Provides coverage of the methods of routing cables underground in the substation environment.

Cable Tray
7.5 Hours

Module ID 26207-11; from Electrical Level Two, Seventh Edition: Focuses on NEC® installation requirements for cable tray, including cable installations.

Conduit Bending
15 Hours

Module ID 26204-11; from Electrical Level Two, Seventh Edition: Covers bends in conduit up to 6 inches. Focuses on mechanical, hydraulic, and electrical benders.

Conductor Installations
10 Hours

Module ID 26206-11; from Electrical Level Two, Seventh Edition: Covers the transportation, storage, and setup of cable reels; methods of rigging; and procedures for complete cable pulls in raceways and cable trays.

Conductor Terminations and Splicing
7.5 Hours

Module ID 26208-11; from Electrical Level Two, Seventh Edition: Describes methods of terminating and splicing conductors, including preparing and taping conductors.

Grounding Systems
12.5 Hours

Module ID 82203-12: Describes the purpose and arrangement of grounding systems installed beneath a substation. Covers the materials of construction and the approaches to reliable ground system connections. Introduces safety concerns and precautions associated with substation and grounding grid expansion.

15 Hours

Module ID 22106-12; from Heavy Equipment Operations Level One: Introduces the concept of preparing graded surfaces using heavy equipment. Covers identification of construction stakes and interpretation of marks on each type of stake. Describes the process for grading slopes.

Concrete Work
35 Hours

Module ID 82204-12: Provides comprehensive coverage of concrete pouring and finishing techniques. Includes detailed information on concrete types and their uses. Form layout and construction, along with basic surveying skills, is presented. Also provides detailed coverage of rebar types and their common geometric forms.

Mechanical Construction Methods and Materials
17.5 Hours

Module ID 82205-12: Covers the diverse types of substation structures and their composition. Identifies components commonly supported by structures and the various bus forms and materials of construction. Includes thorough coverage of threaded fasteners along with mechanical torquing tools and procedures.

Intermediate Rigging
10 Hours

Module ID 38201-11; from Intermediate Rigger, Second Edition: Describes basic procedures for using various slings in hitches and calculating sling stress. Introduces tools and equipment used for the lateral movement of loads without a crane. Trainees learn how to reeve block and tackle, invert loads with hoists, and drift a load between two hoists.

Temporary Grounding
15 Hours

Module ID 40308-09; from Industrial Maintenance E&I Level Three: Covers the methods used to eliminate or reduce electrical shock hazards to personnel working on electrical equipment.

Advanced Drawing Reading
20 Hours

Module ID 82301-12: Covers the drawings typically associated with substations and the skills needed for their interpretation. Provides detailed instruction on elementary, schematic, and general component arrangement drawings. Wiring diagrams and drawing schedules are also covered.

Connectors, Conductor Terminations, and Splicing
25 Hours

Module ID 82304-12: Describes the procedures and materials required to prepare and complete terminations and splices on insulated and non-insulated conductors and cables. Coverage is provided for both medium- and high-voltage circuits. Hydraulic presses and crimpers are introduced, along with hi-pot testing procedures for terminations and splices.

Equipment Testing and Maintenance
30 Hours

Module ID 82305-12: Identifies the testing procedures required and explains how to properly maintain substation components. Coverage of testing and maintenance procedures is provided for power transformers, potential devices, various circuit breakers, disconnects and switches, capacitors, and reactors.

System Protection and Control
12.5 Hours

Module ID 82306-12: Describes the protective functions required in the substation environment to defend against overloads, fault currents, and other incidents that can disrupt service or damage the system. Offers coverage of the components used to provide both protection and system control. An introduction to the various protective relay schemes used in today’s substations is included.

Medium- and High-Voltage Equipment Installation
25 Hours

Module ID 82302-12: Presents the typical installation procedures for primary substation components. Identifies the common and unique factors related to the proper installation of transformers, circuit breakers, capacitors, reactors, bus systems, and insulators. A discussion of corona and how proper installation techniques can prevent it is also included.

Control House
20 Hours

Module ID 82303-12: Provides an overview of the substation control house and its function in the substation. The components and protective systems generally contained within a control house are examined, including the essential DC power systems and emergency power supplies. Coverage of racking systems and their layout is also included.

Fundamentals of Crew Leadership
20 Hours

Module ID 46101-11, Second Edition: Covers basic leadership skills and explains different leadership styles, communication, delegating, and problem solving. Jobsite safety and the crew leader’s role in safety are discussed, as well as project planning, scheduling, and estimating. Includes performance tasks to assist the learning process.

Instructor Resources

Instructor Toolbox

NCCER’s Instructor Toolbox provides easy access to important instructional resources for your training program. You’ll find downloadable course planning tools, examples of classroom activities and projects, and instructor tips and best practices to help you enhance your program.


NCCER’s assessments evaluate the knowledge of an individual in a specific craft area and provide a prescription for upgrade training when needed. All assessments are based upon the NCCER Curriculum and have been developed in conjunction with subject matter experts from the industry. Click the assessment title below to open its specifications.

Power Line Worker - Substation