Systems Power Dispatcher Candidate

City of Tacoma, WA
November 3, 2023
Tacoma, WA
Job Type


Position Description

Tacoma Power is currently hiring for Systems Power Dispatcher Candidate! Candidates are enrolled in Tacoma Power's Systems Power Dispatcher training program and must successfully pass the apprenticeship and obtain NERC certification for continued employment and appointment as a Systems Power Dispatcher.

Systems Power Dispatcher Candidates work rotating shifts, e.g. 7 on, 3 off, 7 on, 4 off, 7 on, 3 off, etc. rotating between day, swing and grave each shift cycle.

Systems Power Dispatcher Candidates learn and perform skilled work to insure the real-time safe, reliable and economic delivery of power to utility customers through the coordination and control of Tacoma Power generation, transmission and distribution electrical systems; maintaining system integrity and reliability during normal and emergency conditions by anticipating and responding appropriately to safeguard utility employees and the public through control of high voltage switching and electrical clearances; insuring operations meet NERC and WECC reliability standards; maintaining real-time balance between load and generation, appropriate frequency, interchange and operating reserves and by taking action to preserve the Interconnection up to and including manual load shedding.

Ideal candidates can stay calm under pressure, make sound, quick decisions, can collaborate with a team but take charge when the situation warrants it. Additionally, we're looking for people who are self-motivated, detail oriented, adaptable, and resilient.

Tacoma Power
Tacoma Power is an almost 100% hydroelectric, municipally-owned public power utility, located in Tacoma. We serve approximately 170,000 customers as one of the three operating divisions of Tacoma Public Utilities, alongside Tacoma Water and Tacoma Rail. As one of the most livable, walkable cities in the country, you'll find that Tacoma is a great fit for all interests with places to bike, run, hike, and explore, the perks of a big city, and the charm of a small town.

The City of Tacoma
Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city that sits along the Puget Sound with a population of nearly 210,000. The third largest city in the state of Washington, it is a diverse, progressive international gateway to the Pacific Rim.

Propelled by significant developments such as the University of Washington Tacoma, the Tacoma Link light rail system, the restored urban waterfront of the Thea Foss Waterway, the expansions of both the MultiCare and Franciscan health systems, and a significant influx of foreign direct investment in its downtown core, Tacoma has evolved considerably since the 1990s.

Tacoma boasts the state's highest density of art and history museums, and is home to a flourishing creative community of writers, artists, musicians, photographers, filmmakers, chefs, entrepreneurs, and small business owners who each add their unique flair to the city's vibrant commercial landscape. The iconic Tacoma Dome has endured as a high-demand venue for some of the largest names in the entertainment industry.

A magnet for families looking for affordable housing options in the Puget Sound area, Tacoma also draws those who prefer to live in a more urban downtown setting with competitively priced condos and apartments that feature panoramic mountain and water views.

Tacoma's natural beauty and proximity to the Puget Sound and Mount Rainier draws hikers, runners, bicyclists, and maritime enthusiasts to the area. Its lively social scene is infused with energy by thousands of students attending the University of Washington Tacoma, the University of Puget Sound, the Evergreen State College Tacoma campus, and Tacoma Community College, as well as a number of local trade and technical colleges. Its prime location - just 20 minutes south of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, 30 miles north of the state capital in Olympia, and within 10 miles of the U.S. Department of Defense's premier military installation on the West Coast - only adds to Tacoma's desirability.

Graduation from high school or equivalent and:

  • Successful completion of an electrical utility apprenticeship program


  • Bachelor's Degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) or related field. Four (4) years of System Operations, Utility Operations, Power Marketing, or direct supporting roles can be substituted for education on a year-for-year basis.


  • Be a journey-level electrician working in an electrical utility system operating at 4 kV or above or military equivalent (Navy nuclear power, Army prime power, etc.)


  • Three (3) years of experience in Power System Operations of an electric utility operating at 4 kV including but not limited to Power System Operator, Systems Power Dispatcher, Substation, or Generation Operator
  • NERC Certification desired

Knowledge & Skills

  • Electrical theory as applied to electrical circuits and power systems
  • All applicable laws, codes, regulations, safety rules, policies and procedures
  • Location of streets, roads, and substations within utility service area
  • Effective oral and written communication skills, including English grammar, spelling, punctuation and vocabulary
  • Record keeping techniques using state of the art technologies
  • Radio and telephone technique and etiquette
  • Interpersonal skills, using tact, patience and courtesy
  • Mathematics that includes algebra, geometry and trigonometry
  • Learn the skills and tasks required of a Systems Power Dispatcher
  • Understand and follow complex oral and written instructions in exact detail
  • React quickly and efficiently in emergencies
  • Learn the skills associated with operating a computer, electronic equipment and communication equipment
  • Establish and maintain cooperative and effective working relationships with others
  • Observe proper safety rules and precautions
  • Operate a variety of tools, machinery, and equipment
  • Effective teamwork skills
  • Detail oriented with the ability to multi-task

Selection Process & Supplemental Information
Interested individuals should apply online and attach a detailed resume and cover letter that includes job experience, major responsibilities and accomplishments related to this position.

Candidates will be evaluated and ranked on an eligibility list. This list is used for vacancies that occur at the City of Tacoma for one year.

This position is represented by Local 483.

Individuals given a conditional offer of employment must also pass a background check and a pre-employment medical examination that includes a drug screening. May also be required to pass a Department of Homeland Security background check which must result in the issuance of a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). An employee in this classification is subject to passing an annual exam required for working in and around facilities and obtaining access to secure information.

Communication from the City of Tacoma
We primarily communicate via e-mail during the application process. E-mails from and/or must be placed on your safe domain list to ensure that you receive notifications in a timely manner. As a precaution, you may also want to check your junk e-mail folders.

Tacoma Diversity and Inclusion
Tacoma's diversity is its greatest asset. Tacoma embraces its multi-cultural and multi-ethnic character. Communities of color and immigrant communities are fundamental to Tacoma's entrepreneurial spirit, workforce, and long-term success. In Tacoma, equity and empowerment are top priorities, meaning that all Tacoma residents must have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential and share in the benefits of community progress. One of our goals is for the City of Tacoma workforce to reflect the community it serves. We actively work to eliminate racial and other disparities and welcome candidates with diverse backgrounds and/or multicultural skill sets and experiences. Our goal is for Tacoma to be an inclusive and equitable place to live, work, and play.

The City of Tacoma is an Equal Opportunity Employer and values diversity in its workplace. Applicants are considered for positions without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital or veteran status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other basis prohibited by federal, state, and local laws.

If you have any questions regarding this posting, please contact the Human Resources Department at 253.591.5400.

The City of Tacoma provides excellent medical, dental and vision plans for the whole family; paid holidays and paid leave; participation in the Tacoma Public Employees' Retirement System (alternate plan for Police/Fire); continuing education and advancement opportunities and a growing variety of City-sponsored health and wellness opportunities and incentives.

Medical Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Dental Coverage: For eligible employees and their families, including domestic partners and dependent children age 26 or younger.

Vision Coverage: For eligible employees and their eligible dependents.

Paid Leave: City employees are entitled to received paid holidays, sick/vacation leave or personal time off (PTO), depending upon union affiliation and appointment type.

Insurance Plans: Employees are covered by a long-term disability plan. Short-term and expanded long-term disability insurance plans are also available to employees. The State Industrial Insurance Act also covers employees.

Deferred Compensation: Income can be set aside on a pretax basis and invested for supplementation of normal retirement income.

Retirement: All employees of the City, except members of the Police and Fire services, Tacoma Rail and certain project employees, are included in the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System. Information on the Tacoma Employees' Retirement System can be found at or by calling (253) 502-8200.

Other Employment Information

Direct Deposit: Employees are paid on a bi-weekly schedule by direct deposit.

Salary Increases: Based on satisfactory job performance, the City provides for a regular progression of salary increases for most classifications according to the salary schedule.

Union Affiliation: Many job classifications are covered by union security provisions which require union membership, dues, or payment of equivalent service fees.

Note: The provisions of this job announcement do not constitute an expressed or implied contract. Any provision contained herein may be modified and/or revoked without notice.

Closing Date/Time: 11/15/2023 4:00 PM Pacific

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