Power Systems Institute

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Power Systems Institute

(EUTP) Electric Utility Technology Program
Program Contact: 

Pierpont Community and Technical College
Kimberly Cale, PSI Program Coordinator



In partnership with First Energy, the Power Systems Institute (PSI) Associate of Applied Science degree in Electric Utility Technology is a unique, two-year program that combines classroom learning with hands-on training.  Students who successfully complete the program are well qualified for careers, such as line workers and substation electricians, in the electric utility industry.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics careers in this sector provide a mean annual wage of $59,450 (as of May, 2011).  West Virginia workers in this sector earn an annual mean wage of $62,500, which ranks in the 83rd percentile for all job sector wages in the state. (BLS National 4-digit NAICS Industry Estimates) 

Course Curriculum

In addition to the required general education courses, the program includes technical coursework in such topics as electrical fundamentals and electrical circuits as well as technology labs and business-specific courses.

Field Experience

Following successful completion of the second semester, qualified students are required to participate in a compensated, 10-week (40 hr/week) evaluated field experience.  Work assignments begin in May and end in August. Pre-employment screening with First Energy is required.

Potential Employment

Students with the right grades, skills, and attitude will have the potential to be hired upon graduation by First Energy as staffing needs are determined.  All students who successfully complete the program will be well-qualified for employment in the energy utility industry throughout the country.

Selection Process

Careers in the electric utility industry are both physically and mentally demanding.  To ensure that students have the best chance of successfully completing the program and gaining employment in the industry upon graduation, prospective enrollees must successfully complete a rigorous 7-step screening process.

  1. Program Orientation  --  Learn more about the program and see if a career as a line worker or substation electrician might be right for you.

  2. Technical Evaluation  --  Get evaluated on a series of typical hands-on activities that are performed in the field.

  3. Placement Testing -- Take a placement test for reading, math and writing or, for applicants with prior college credits, have your transcript evaluated.

  4. Background Screening --  Pass a criminal and driving history background check.

  5. Physical Capabilties Assessment  --  Ensure you are capable of performing job duties with a strength and endurance test.

  6. D.O.T. Physical  --  Provide a completed Medical Examiner's D.O.T. certificate.

  7. Climbing Course  --  Learn the basics of climbing wood poles and steel structures and be evaluated on these skills prior to enrollment.

Classes Begin

A new cohort is formed each fall semester with classes starting in August.  The selection process begins each March.

Learn more about the Power Systems Institute program by attending one of the following information sessions:

PSI Orientation - West Virginia

Saturday, February 28, 2015 
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. 
Pierpont Community & Technical College 
Engineering Technology Building RM 305
1201 Locust Avenue
Fairmont, WV 26554


How Do I Register?

  1. Complete and submit a Pierpont Application for Admission.  Prospective PSI students should apply as "major -- Liberal Studies" Code 1005.  The major will be declared once all preliminary screening has been sucessfully completed.

  2. Submit a Statement of Interest to the PSI program and FirstEnergy.

  3. Submit high school transcript or GED and immunization record to Pierpont by August 1.


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