Hydroelectric Operator I at the Boundary Hydroelectric Project

City of Seattle, WA
September 1, 2023
Job Type


Position Description

Seattle City Light, a department of the City of Seattle, is one of the nation's largest municipally-owned utilities in terms of the number of customers served. Over the years, we have worked very hard to keep Seattle's electricity affordable, reliable, and environmentally sound. Today, Seattle City Light is a recognized national leader in energy efficiency and environmental stewardship.

Generation Operations is recruiting Hydroelectric Operators for the Boundary Hydroelectric Project. The Hydroelectric Operator I participates in an On-the-Job (OJT) Training Program which upon successful completion is promoted to a Hydroelectric Operator II. The length of the OJT training program is normally two (2) years; however, the length of the program may be determined based upon the candidate's experience and training.

The Hydroelectric Operator II is a journey-level position that operates a hydroelectric power plant and related equipment under the direction of the Powerhouse Supervisor. Hydroelectric Operator II's inspect equipment to ensure that the plant is operated properly and safely, coordinates activities affecting the operation of the plant and its workers, informs appropriate personnel of any problems or abnormal conditions, and maintains records and reports. This position reports to the Boundary Chief Hydroelectric Operator.

Job Responsibilities

  • Operates and monitors electric, electronic, mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic equipment which includes valves, spill gates, generators, and other equipment related to operating a hydroelectric plant.
  • Ensures worker safety when malfunctions occur.
  • Issues switching orders and grants clearances, keep and hold opens for local distribution systems; recommends when plant equipment may be taken out of service.
  • Receives instructions for power plant operations from dispatchers at the System Operations Center in Seattle, WA.
  • Inspects powerhouses, dams, switchyards and equipment; notifies appropriate personnel when abnormal conditions exist or when equipment needs repairs, maintenance, and/or replacement.
  • Inspects and operates high voltage switching station.
  • Maintains logs pertaining to installation, maintenance activities, operations, metering, and instrumentation status activities.
  • Prepares and updates reports such as the Daily Visual Dam Surveillance Report, National Weather Service Daily Observation Reports, and Powerhouse Inspection Reports.
  • Acts as the local plant 911 emergency dispatcher and monitors security alarms.
  • Participate and contribute to assigned special projects.
  • Hydroelectric Operator II's train Hydroelectric Operator I's to operate a hydroelectric plant and related equipment as well as coordinating activities affecting the operation and safety of the hydroelectric plant, dams, waterways, and workers.
  • Performs other related duties of a comparable level/type as assigned.


Required Qualifications: In addition to the skills and experience mentioned above, a successful applicant will have experience that reflects a commitment to creating fair and equitable outcomes and has:


Two years' experience in the electrical trade or as a Hydroelectric Operator (or a combination of education, and/or training and/or experience which provides an equivalent background required to perform the work of the class).

Certification/License/Other Requirements:

  • Current Washington State Driver's License
  • Normal sense of smell, hearing and color vision
  • Required to be on call 24 hours/day to respond to emergency situations
  • Required to work nights, evenings, weekends, holidays and/or rotating shifts
  • Required to stand, walk or bend for extended periods of time and work at heights in confined areas
  • Required to lift objects weighing in excess of 50 pounds
  • Required to handle or work with toxic/hazardous substances, operate and work around energized equipment
  • Required to work outdoors in remote locations and travel in all types of weather
  • Required to work in a noisy environment.

Desired Qualifications:

  • 3-5 years' work experience as a journey-level Hydroelectric Operator or equivalent
  • First-hand knowledge of electrical/utility industry
  • Strong computer skills and the ability to learn new software
  • Experience operating a hydroelectric power plant over 500 MW
  • Familiarity with WECC, FERC and NERC standards
  • Team focused with problem solving and troubleshooting capabilities
  • The ability to maintain high performance in stressful situations.

Additional Information

Please note this job advertisement is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice .


The full salary range for this position is $46.87to $49.45 per hour.

Application Process

It is preferred that you submit the following with your online application:

  • A cover letter in which you clearly describe how your knowledge, experience, skills, and abilities prepare you for the job responsibilities and qualifications outlined in the job announcement
  • A current resume of your educational and professional work experience.

Who May Apply: This position is open to all candidates that meet the qualifications. Seattle City Light values diverse perspectives and life experiences. Applicants will be considered regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex, marital status, disability, religious or political affiliation, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Seattle City Light encourages people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, immigrants, refugees, women, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, veterans, and those with diverse life experiences.

Job offers are contingent on the verification of credentials and other information required by the employment process, including the completion of a background check. The background check will involve a criminal history check, which includes conviction and arrest records in compliance with the Seattle's Fair Chance Employment Ordinance , SMC 14.17 and the City of Seattle Personnel Rule 10.3 . A driving history review may be conducted in compliance with SMC 4.79.020 . Applicants will be provided an opportunity to explain or correct background information.

The City of Seattle offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, holiday, and sick leave as well as medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance for employees and their dependents. More information about employee benefits is available on the City's website at : https://www.seattle.gov/human-resources/benefits/employees-and-covered-family-members/most-employees-plans .

Want to know more about Seattle City Light? Check out our web page: https://www.seattle.gov/city-light/about-us/careers .

The City of Seattle offers a comprehensive benefits package including vacation, holiday and sick leave as well as medical, dental, vision, life and long-term disability insurance for employees and their dependents.

More information about employee benefits is available on the City's website at: Local 77 Plans - Human Resources | seattle.gov

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