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System Protection Engineer I, II or Senior

Location: Rapid City, SD, United States
Job ID: 33758
Date Posted: Mar 23, 2022
Salary: $60350 to $90600 annually

Job Description

Job Specifications

Perform tasks related to substation protection systems and relay settings used in the control and operation of utility transmission and distribution facilities. Analyze the performance of protective relay operations to ensure reliability and proper coordination of the overall electric system. Assist with creating equipment specifications and standards for substation protection, automation, and communications equipment. 

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

  • Level I: $58,900 - $88,400
  • Level II: $71,550 - $107,400
  • Senior: $78,200 - $117,300

REPORTING RELATIONSHIP:   Protection Engineering Manager

LOCATION: Our Corporate Headquarters in Rapid City, SD.

  • To learn more about our locations, please visit our locations page on our career website. 
  • Relocation assistance is available for this position! Package is based on distance/complexity of the move, and individual circumstances. Contents of our relocation program are subject to change and may vary based on position.


  • Support Black Hills Energy’s electric utilities by performing tasks of limited and specific scope under the direction of experienced personnel. Primary focus will be on learning to engineer and design protective relay settings and systems while following all industry regulations. 
  • Effectively prepare or review documentation with a high degree of accuracy and completeness using tools and templates available, including detailed control schematics, wiring diagrams and protection logic drawings.
  • Conduct short circuit analysis and fault studies to ensure the reliable and secure operation of protective systems.
  • Investigate and analyze transmission system disturbances and relay operations to determine root cause, recommend system improvements and develop corrective action plans for mis-operations.
  • Assist with the development and coordination of relay settings database, test standards, and maintenance procedures.
  • Coordinate SCADA database implementation and operation of field RTU equipment.
  • Coordinate with field personnel in the installation, verification, and upgrade of substation protection, communication and control equipment.
  • Support system operations personnel during outages and emergencies with analysis of digital fault data and relay sequence of operations review.
  • Maintain a safe work environment by developing knowledge of Black Hills Energy’s safety policies, procedures and stop work authority. 


  • Complete all assigned training tasks. Continuously train to improve job skills.
  • Work to establish positive, professional relationships throughout Black Hills Energy and with external organizations. Be responsive to internal and external customers.
  • Support process improvements. Participate on continuous improvement teams. Demonstrate agility and a positive demeanor in aligning with the implementation of changes.


Level I

  • No experience required. Training provided. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering required.

Level II

  • Minimum of (3) three years of utility or consultant experience in protection and controls engineering required. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering required.


  • Minimum of (4) four years of utility or consultant experience in protection and controls engineering required. 
  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering required.


  • Basic understanding of protective relay principals and their applications to three phase power systems.
  • Ability to learn and use short circuit analysis software (ASPEN, CAPE, ETAP, CYME).
  • Ability to learn and apply basic fundamental concepts, practices and procedures of electrical engineering.
  • Strong verbal and written communications skills.
  • Ability to interact in a team environment.
  • Strong digital literacy, including proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite - Excel, Word, Power Point, Project and Outlook.
  • Ability to maintain proficiency with new systems and software as technology evolves.
  • Ability to work concurrently on multiple projects independently or as part of a team.
  • Ability to document and track projects and work goals.
  • Self-motivated with a desire to learn diverse topics and skills. 
  • Requires travel within the utility service territory and for support of corporate subsidiaries.
  • Perform work in close proximity to energized electrical facilities.

The mental and physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. 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 is continuously (67% or more) required to: stand, walk, balance, bend or stoop, crawl, work at elevated heights, maintain eye and hand coordination, maintain finger and hand dexterity, hear, rotate and extend neck, maintain body posture, reach, talk, and have visual acuity to operate machines and equipment. Employee is frequently (34-66%) required to: access low and high areas with additional equipment, ascend/descend stairs, maintain hand and foot coordination, move hands in repetitive motion, kneel, reach above the shoulder, and sit. The employee may occasionally (less than 33%) be required to: use a respirator, and sit. Employee must be able to operate job related equipment and tools. Must be able to routinely perform this work for an average of 8-10 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: Light work. The employee is continuously moving about the job site or office space. Exerting up to 25 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. If the use of reaching and moving controls exertion of forces greater than that for sedentary work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for light work.

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 25% (e.g. 1 week or 5 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 collective bargaining unit agreement will apply.

About our Company: We are a customer focused, growth-oriented utility company that is devoted to our communities. We have a mission to improve life with energy and a vision to be the energy partner of choice. Our diverse culture sparks unique perspectives, opening doors to new ideas and possibilities. Based in Rapid City, South Dakota, we have over 2900 employees and serve 1.2 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 incentive program (based on percentage of eligible earnings), 401(k) (6% company match and up to 9% company retirement contribution), tuition reimbursement, paid time off, additional Veteran PTO, military leave differential pay, paid holidays and annual floating holidays, company paid short term and long term disability, paid maternity and paternity benefits, health and wellness program, and competitive medical, dental and vision insurance.

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

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

Black Hills Corporation is 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.

Wage: 60350 to 90600
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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.

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