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Systems Operator I, II or Senior

Location: Rapid City, SD, United States
Job ID: 34427
Date Posted: Nov 3, 2022
Salary: $65700 to $98500 Annually

Job Description

Job Specifications

The System Operator will independently operate Black Hills Energy's distribution electrical facilities systems expertly, efficiently, and in accordance with applicable procedures and reliability criteria.  Successfully complete all phases of Black Hills Corporation’s System Operator Training Program and pass the NERC System Operator Certification Exam. Demonstrate ability to monitor and safely direct the operation of Black Hills Corporation’s (BHC) transmission system.

SALARY RANGE:    (Determined by the knowledge, skills and abilities of the applicant.)

  • Level I: $65,700 - $98,500
  • Level II: $78,200 - $117,300
  • Senior Level: $87,600 - $144,400

REPORTING RELATIONSHIP:  Systems Operator Supervisor

LOCATION: Our Corporate Headquarters in Rapid City, South Dakota  

  • You’ll find that it is the ideal community to live, work and do business in. With hiking trails, the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park in your backyard, there are endless opportunities to enjoy nature. 
  • Relocation financial assistance is available amount may vary based on individual circumstances.


  • With guidance demonstrate proficiency to perform the following duties:
  • Implement real-time actions to ensure the safe and reliable operation of BHC’s electric distribution system. 
  • Ensure BHC electric system reliability, security, and safety by writing and implementing accurate switching, clearance orders, and restoration steps during both planned and unplanned activities.
  • Monitor power system equipment, ensuring proper operation within capability of equipment. Initiate corrective action as necessary to achieve or maintain these limitations. Take immediate remedial action to safeguard public safety and prevent overload or damage to equipment.
  • Maintain strict compliance with Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), and Western Electricity Coordinating Council (WECC) standards and operating policies for system reliability and performance criteria after obtaining NERC Certification. 
  • Obtain proficiency in using key information technology systems such as SCADA, OMS and other tools to monitor, perform analysis and control the electric power system.
  • Ensure that operational and electronic mapping tools are accurate and reflect current and correct real-time state of the electrical distribution systems.
  • Maintain a complete and accurate record of all communications and operator actions during the shift. Document system failures, mis-operations, disturbances and unusual conditions in the daily log.
  • Promote safety through training, inspections, meetings, and safety contact reports. Exhibit an awareness and concern for safety. Understand, observe and show skill in the application and implementation of safety rules, practices and safe work behaviors. Promptly correct any conditions and/or unsafe behaviors that may lead to accidents.
  • Complete all system operator training plan requirements and coursework within 18 months.


  • Initiate preliminary investigation of system disturbances and complete disturbance reports.
  • Provide operational support during large outages and emergency situations.
  • Ensure that appropriate company personnel are advised of any actions taken, or problems that have occurred, in their areas.


Level I

  • One year of relevant experience required.
  • High school diploma or equivalent required.
  • Valid NERC System Operator Certification or ability to acquire NERC Certification within 18 months.

Level II

  • 1-3 years of electric utilities experience required.
  • High school diploma or equivalent required.
  • Valid NERC System Operator Certification or ability to obtain NERC Certification within 8 months of employment.

Senior Level

  • 3 or more years of experience in electric utilities required.
  • High school diploma or equivalent required.
  • Valid NERC System Operator Certification required.


  • Ability to physically respond to the Reliability Center within 60 minutes of contact when needed for emergency assistance.
  • Knowledge of electric generation, electric transmission and/or electric distribution.
  • General knowledge of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, basic principles of physics, including electrical and mechanical theory, AC and DC theory, and the fundamentals of power flow.  
  • Knowledge and understanding of high voltage electrical utility operations and equipment.  
  • Knowledge of NERC and WECC regional procedures, government regulations, contractual agreements, operating policies and procedures, and equipment specifications.
  • Attention to safety. 
  • Ability to exercise good judgment and make informed decisions. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong digital literacy, including proficiency with Microsoft Office and web-based applications.
  • Excellent organizational skills with attention to detail, accuracy, and timeliness.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Ability to cope with and respond to stressful conditions.
  • Ability to work 12-hour rotating shifts.
  • Ability to participate in an after-hours on call rotation.
  • Ability to use fluent English language and writing on-the-job.


The mental and physical descriptions are representative of the activities an employee in an office job performs. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Mental description: Understand, remember, apply oral and/or written instructions or other information, and communicate routine factual information. Apply common sense in performing job functions, usually within a set of rules or guidelines.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee continuously accesses, inputs, and retrieves electronic information and communicates regarding the information.  Employee frequently moves about the office space. Employee may occasionally: crouch and reach. Employee must be able to operate routine office equipment including computers and similar equipment. Must be able to routinely perform this work for an average of 6-8 hours per day and occasional extended hours as necessary. Must be capable of regular, reliable, and timely attendance.

Specific lifting abilities required by this job include: Sedentary work. Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally and/or negligible amount of force frequently or continuously to lift, carry, push, pull or sitting most of the time. Jobs are sedentary if moving about is only occasionally and all other sedentary criteria are met.

Work environment: Routinely perform work indoors in climate-controlled shared work area with moderate noise level and occasionally outdoors in sometimes inclement weather. Worker may be subject to hazards including a variety of physical conditions such as proximity to moving mechanical parts, moving vehicles, electrical current, working in places of height or close quarters. Willing to travel up to 10% (e.g., 2 days/month) by automobile (as driver and passenger), commercial airlines, rental vehicles and public transportation and be able to lodge in public facilities. Travel will be necessary to conduct the duties of this job and the employee must have proper licensing to operate a motor vehicle.

This description is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of responsibilities, duties, and requirements for employees in this position. Job descriptions may and do change periodically. Where positions are covered by a collective bargaining unit agreement, the terms and conditions of the agreement will apply.

About our Company: We are a customer, growth and safety focused utility company that is dedicated to our communities. We improve life with energy as an energy partner of choice. Our diverse culture fuels unique perspectives, opening doors to new insights and possibilities. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, we have over 3000 employees and serve 1.3 million natural gas and electric utility customers across eight states (South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Arkansas).

Enjoy our Comprehensive Benefits Package!  Annual discretionary bonuses, 401(k) (6% company match and up to 9% company retirement contribution), tuition reimbursement, generous paid time off benefits, including paid holidays and parental leave, company paid life insurance and disability benefits (short and long term), an employee assistance program and well-being benefits, and competitive medical, dental and vision insurance.

Candidates must successfully pass a pre-employment drug screen and background check. 

Black Hills Energy does not sponsor applicants for work visas. All applicants must be legally authorized to work in the US.

We are an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or status as a protected veteran.  If you require reasonable accommodation, please visit for more information.   

Wage: 65700 to 98500
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Thinking of Relocating?

Rapid City, South Dakota
You'll find that it is the ideal community to live, work and do business in. With hiking trails, the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore and Badlands National Park in your backyard, there are endless opportunities to enjoy nature.

Systems Operator I, II or Senior

Rapid City, SD, United States