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Insights What is a transmission line engineer and why should you become one?

As the job title would suggest, a transmission line engineer will manage transmission line projects, detailing cost-effective designs. Why does this make them an integral part of a project? Without these engineers, we’d struggle to efficiently transfer electrical energy from one point to another.

Canada, Mexico, and the United States are connected by the North American Bulk Electric System (BES). This describes a 430,000 kilometres network of high voltage transmission lines. Every time that you walk, cycle or drive past transmission towers and the lines that join them, you’re looking not only looking at over 100 years of design and innovation, but you also see cables that stretch across multiple countries.

It’s not hard to see that working on these projects is an exciting prospect, but what can you expect from the role?

this is an image of power lines at sunset

What is the role of a transmission line engineer?

Essentially a transmission line engineer's role is to design transmission lines and supervise the construction of these projects. Occasionally, they’ll be expected to take on the role of a project engineer or project manager, meaning they need to have oversight of all phases of a project. One aspect of the job will be assessing a client’s needs and evaluating how high voltage direct current (HVDC) and Flexible Alternating Current Transmission Systems (FACTS) devices can be used to enhance the controllability, reliability, and safety of power networks.

As well as the many more technical aspects, you’ll be required to engage with clients and contractors, and liaise with permitting agencies and regulatory bodies. Within your company, you’ll also need to coordinate internally with various disciplines, participate in inter-department meetings, and review the work of junior engineers and technologists.

A transmission line engineer’s responsibility

The responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Conduct feasibility and planning studies.
  • Prepare planning and detailed project cost estimates, including engineering, materials, and construction.
  • Prepare construction and material specifications and scope documents for construction tenders and contracts.
  • Perform field reviews of work during construction.
  • Mentor junior engineers

Why should you become a transmission line engineer?

Changes in the market, including technological advancements and a greater focus on renewable energy in Canada , mean that the reliability and stability of the power grid have been called into question. This has created an abundance of opportunities for ambitious transmission line engineers to make a real difference. Whether you choose to work within the clean power market, with an engineering, procurement and constructions (EPC) consulting firm, or for any of the other many companies looking to hire transmission line engineers, there are plenty of reasons why it could be a great career move. Here are a few:

Good job prospects

At AtkinsRéalis , we’ve delivered some major transmission line projects across Canada over the years, and the sustained demand for infrastructure construction means we’re due to see many more projects launching. The job market is always on the lookout for more transmission line engineers who are capable of both designing and delivering customized solutions for high-voltage transmission infrastructure, and what could be a better reason to choose this career path?

It is meaningful work

If you choose to work for a global company like AtkinsRéalis , you’ll get to work on some of the most prestigious and complex projects in the world that will truly challenge you. Your job could involve working for the clean power market, where you’ll be responsible for designing, developing, and delivering engineering solutions for high voltage power transmission line and substation projects.

You can build a successful career

As mentioned before, one aspect of the role includes mentoring junior engineers. If you have the opportunity to lead others within the business, you can develop your managerial skills and prove yourself to be a competent leader. Should you want to progress to a senior transmission line engineer, having some experience under your belt will help you present yourself as a strong candidate.

Are you ready to take the next leap in your transmission line engineer career?

At AtkinsRéalis and our Atkins and Faithful+Gould businesses, we provide cutting-edge engineering solutions to projects in over 100 countries. From the Canadian Arctic to the Southern African region and Australasia, our multicultural workforce is driven by a fierce pride in their work and a pioneering vision.

Our employees are proud to build what matters. Why not read more about the people behind our brand and find out why the AtkinsRéalis Group is the place for you to bring your transmission line engineer career.

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