Share this Job

Distribution System Operator - Trainee


Erie, PA, US, 16509-3680

Job Function:  Distribution
Employee Type:  Reg Full Time (FT)
Requisition ID:  47269


FirstEnergy at a Glance

We are a forward-thinking electric utility powered by a diverse team of employees committed to making customers’ lives brighter, the environment better and our communities stronger.

FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE) is dedicated to integrity, safety, reliability and operational excellence. Headquartered in Akron, Ohio, FirstEnergy includes one of the nation's largest investor-owned electric systems, more than 24,000 miles of transmission lines that connect the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions, and a regulated generating fleet with a total capacity of more than 3,500 megawatts.

About the Opportunity

This is for 3 (three) open positions with Penelec, a subsidiary of FirstEnergy Corp. [PN]


Distribution System Operator Trainee starting rate of $32.49 per hour.


This position, located in Erie, PA, reports under the general supervision of the Regional Distribution Control Center staff.

Responsibilities include:


  • Demonstrating sound internal and/or external customer service.
  • Monitoring the day-to-day operations of the regional distribution system.
  • Outage restoration during emergency or abnormal conditions with timely and accurate documentation associated with the distribution system.
  • Demonstrating a solid commitment to all aspects of safety, including adherence to the Accident Prevention Handbook (APH) and Manual of Operations.
  • Operating the Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, Energy Management System(EMS), Automated Mapping/Facilities Management (GIS) computer system, PowerOn Outage ManagementSystem (OMS), Energy Delivery Outage Application (EDOA) and Regional Dispatch Operations (RDO)notifications as well as radio and telephone systems.
  • Analyzing and acting promptly in cases of system disturbance so that the system can be restored to a normal configuration.
  • Recommending operational improvements and communicating system events to appropriate personnel.
  • Providing technical analysis, monitoring systems, scheduling and authorizing distribution equipment outages and load transfers.
  • Developing detailed scenarios to identify operating problems caused by contingency outages.
  • Assigning and directing switching activities and work assignments to field personnel.
  • Monitoring system and weather conditions.
  • Coordinating staffing requirements by calling additional resources to handle emergencies.
  • Completing training and development to progress to the Regional Distribution System Operator level.
  • Possessing basic understanding of bargaining unit agreements with field labor.




  • Associate's degree or greater in Electrical Engineering/Electrical Engineering Technology, or related certification from an ABET-accredited institution is required.
  • In lieu of above stated educational requirements, equivalent working experience with demonstrated understanding to operate the distribution system will be considered: minimum of 2-4 years of related work experience is required.
  • Pass the EEI System Operator/Power Dispatching Test (SOPD II).
  • Capable of effective performance in problem solving, multi-tasking and teamwork.
  • Demonstrate effective performance in prioritizing work for efficient and safe operations.
  • Possess knowledge of, or ability to learn Transmission and Distribution (T&D) operation, maintenance and construction practices, procedures, work methods, materials, equipment and tools to operate the distribution system.
  • Possess reading and comprehension skills to effectively interpret switching requests, engineering drawings,schematics, equipment instruction manuals, standards and procedures used to develop distribution switching orders.
  • Possess skills in the development, collection, organization and analysis of information from a variety of sources to develop switching orders and recommendations.
  • Effective oral and written communication skills to effectively communicate with customers, supervisors,peers, employees, and contractors involved with the construction, operation and maintenance of the T&D facilities.
  • Demonstrate a questioning attitude to learn, produce results and develop relationships.
  • Have sufficient maturity to exercise independent judgment on moderately complex projects and assignments.
  • Excellent interpersonal and analytical skills to make quick assessments and deliver well-thought decisions, when situations occur that require independent judgment.
  • Knowledge of, or ability to learn, specific mainframe and PC applications.
  • Able to remain professional and maintain a calm demeanor in high stress, high volume work environment

EEI Testing

We administer selection tests for a variety of positions. The required tests have been developed by the Edison Electric Institute (EEI), a trade association of investor-owned electric utility companies.  We strongly encourage potential employees to review all information, including the sample test brochures, and to use the available practice tests before taking the actual tests.  Click this link to access the practice tests. You will be prompted for a name and password. Use firstenergy for both.

Practice tests provide sample questions and detailed discussions of the correct answers. It's important to take the practice test as you would the actual one, with similar intensity and concentration.  You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your computer. 

Note: EEI website does not allow access to actual tests. Testing is held at various locations throughout our service territory based on where the job is located.

Benefits, Compensation & Workforce Diversity

At FirstEnergy, employees are key to our success. We depend on their talents to meet the challenges of our changing business environment. We are committed to rewarding individual and team efforts through our total rewards philosophy which includes competitive pay plus incentive compensation, a company-sponsored pension plan, 401(k) savings plan with matching employer contribution, a choice of medical, prescription drug, dental, vision, and life insurance programs, as well as skills development training with tuition reimbursement. Please visit our website at to learn more about all of our employee rewards programs. FirstEnergy proudly supports workforce diversity. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, status as a protected veteran, or status as a qualified individual with a disability. No recruiters or agencies without a previously signed contract. Unable to sponsor or transfer H-1B visas at this time.


Safety is a core value for FirstEnergy and is essential to all of our business activities. We ensure employees have the tools, information, and processes to perform their duties in a manner that assures safety for themselves, their co-workers, our customers and the public. Our goals are to provide a safe work environment, to maintain an accident-free, injury-free workplace, and to promote and maintain public safety. To meet these goals, we dedicate ourselves to achieving world-class safety standards.

Position Classification


FirstEnergy Human Resources Team

Job Segment: Electrical Engineering, Geology, GIS, Mainframe, Electrical, Engineering, Technology