Program Overview

Bismarck University offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electric Power Technology online. This program is developed in collaboration with the Energy Providers Coalition for Education and is designed for both current and future electric utility workers. This program provides students with a core set of skills and competencies and a broad knowledge of the electrical industry. After completion of the core courses, students choose a specialization area to pursue. Areas of choice include Line Construction, Metering, Substation, System Design.
The Electric Power Technology program focuses on the transmission and distribution of electricity. This means keeping 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 and the equipment and safety measures used when working with electricity.

Line Construction specialty 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. Jobs opportunities in this specialty include Line Workers, Overhead Transmission Supervisor, Heavy Equipment Operators, Mechanic Operators, and Trouble Responders.

The metering specialty 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. Jobs opportunities in this specialty include Meter Readers, Meter Technicians, System Protection Technicians, and Metering Data Coordinator.

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. Jobs opportunities in this specialty include Substation Technician, Substation Electricians, Switching Operators, Trouble Responders, Distribution Dispatchers, Distribution Design, and Substation Maintenance.

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. Jobs opportunities in this specialty include Engineering Aides, Draft persons, Designers, Utility Design Coordinator, Engineering Assistants, Construction Inspectors, Electric Field Planner, and Control System Specialist.

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    Program Details

    Degree Level: Associate

    Delivery Format: 100% Online

    Accelerated Degree: No

    Accreditation & Licensing

    North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission


    Official transcripts

    School Overview

    Bismarck State College is a public, four-year institution of higher education that focuses primarily on associate’s degrees, and is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. Bismarck State College was founded in 1939 as Bismarck Junior College. In 1984, the college became a part of the North Dakota system of Higher Education and in 1987, the school’s name changed to Bismarck State College.

    Bismarck State College offers associate’s degrees, bachelor’s programs, transfer opportunities, technical programs, and continuing education. Bachelor’s degrees and graduate degrees are offered in cooperation with other North Dakota University System institutions. BSC specializes in energy education, with degrees including power and process plant technology, ethanol training, nuclear power technology, and electric power technology. The school’s mission states: “Bismarck State College, an innovative community college, offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities.”

    Students can complete associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, in addition to certificate programs, from home through Bismarck State College’s online campus. The online environment varies among programs, but most often features shorter intensive classes extending from 3 weeks to 8-week sessions that are offered throughout the entire year. 


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