Electric Power Technology

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Further your career in an industry with impact around the world
The electric grid is growing and improving in order to meet the needs of the industry and of consumers.  The online Electric Power Technology program at the Bismarck State College (BSC) National Energy Center of Excellence (NECE) is designed to provide training in electric utility fundamentals for current and future workers with its focus on transmission and distribution. 
This program focuses on the transmission and distribution of electricity, which keeps the flow of electricity safe through power lines and other means of transmission until it reaches the consumer.

This program helps students understand how the flow of electricity works, the equipment and safety measures used when working with electricity.
Become qualified in an industry with critical employment needs
This industry-driven online program is designed for current and future electric utility workers.  The ELPW program provides students with a core set of skills and competencies and a broad knowledge of the industry.
The program was developed in collaboration with the Energy Providers Coalition for Education (EPCE) and is based on industry guidelines, with a direct link to electrical utilities fundamentals training.
elpw_home.pngFlexible education to meet your needs
Students have the following options:
  • Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Electric Power Technology
  • Program Certificate in Electric Power Technology
  • Electric Power Technology Courses (college courses for professional development)
After completion of the core courses, students choose a specialization area to pursue.  Students who are undecided in their specialization typically have a good idea of what they want to choose after the first semester. An academic advisor or program manager can also assist students to determine the best route.

Areas of specialization are
Line Construction

This specialization teaches students how technicians install, modify, maintain, troubleshoot and repair overhead and underground electrical distribution systems. These systems are between a substation and the consumer. The systems include overhead lines, pole-top transformers, manholes, pad-mounted transformers and load-break disconnecting devices. Technicians are required to be certified to establish safe work clearances and switching to turn electricity off and on.

Applicable Utility Industry Job Titles

Line Workers - Overhead Lines

Overhead Transmission Supervisor

Line Workers - Underground Lines

Heavy Equipment Operators

Mechanic Operators

Trouble Responders


This specialization teaches the students how technicians install, modify, maintain, troubleshoot, repair, calibrate and perform functional tests on metering systems. This includes different types of meters depending on the type of consumer and system used. Examples are single-phase, poly-phase watt-hour meters, kilovolt-ampere meters and volt transformers.

Applicable Utility Industry Job Titles

Meter Readers

Meter Technicians

System Protection Technicians

Metering Data Coordinator


Substation Substation Electricians - Substation electricians install, modify, troubleshoot, repair and perform maintenance procedures on substation infrastructure and electrical apparatus. This includes security fences, grounding systems, gravel surfacing, buswork, transformers, battery banks, circuit breakers, disconnect switches and capacitor banks. Substation electricians must also be certified to perform switching and establishing safe work clearances.

Applicable Utility Industry Job Titles

Substation Technician

Substation Electricians

Substation Operators

Switching Operators

Trouble Responders

Distribution Dispatchers

Distribution Design

Substation Maintenance

System Design

System Design System Design Technicians - System design technicians work closely with and under the direction of design engineers to develop the design of power transmission and distribution systems. Assigned duties include conducting system load flow and fault studies, line routing studies; preparing equipment specifications and substation layouts to include ground grids and equipment arrangements. Other duties may include performing studies to facilitate site selection and preparation of drainage and surfacing specifications.

Applicable Utility Industry Job Titles

Engineering Aides

Draft persons


Utility Design Coordinator

Engineering Assistants

Construction Inspectors

Electric Field Planner

Control System Specialist

Courses begin every 3-5 weeks throughout the year.  This program has minimum entrance requirements. Details can be found here.

Prospective students should be prepared for the physical demands of the work of entry-level technician positions when considering this program. Typical industry entry-level position requirements include passing a physical exam, which may include: lifting 50+ pounds, climbing ladders, working in confined spaces, heights, etc. When applying for jobs applicants may also be required to pass a drug screen and an eye exam, including the ability to distinguish between colors accurately.
Additional Program Costs
Please see the Tuition & Fees page for information on credit hour tuition and mandatory fees.

ELPW textbook costs are estimated at $500 per semester. There are 4 semesters in this program.

For more information contact:
701-224-5651 • 800-852-5685

Gainful Employment Information
Gainful employment information reflects certificate programs only. Data excludes degree-seeking students