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Sacramento Municipal Utility District Distribution System Engineer (Journey/Senior) in Sacramento, California


Posting/Working Title:

Distribution System Engineer (Journey/Senior)


Grid Planning

No. of Openings:



Performs professional technical and analytical functions in analyzing the performance of an assigned distribution system area and identifying corrective actions needed to ensure that the distribution system is configured to meet SMUD’s short-, medium- and long-range needs in an efficient, cost-effective, and safe manner and is in compliance with SMUD’s guidelines and applicable laws and regulations.

Nature and Scope:

Serves as an advanced journey level resource in a relevant professional discipline; works independently on projects of moderate complexity; exercises independent judgment and discretion; may serve in a Lead role and assist in planning, coordinating, prioritizing, monitoring, and evaluating the work results in assigned area and in selecting, training, motivating, evaluating and developing lower-level personnel.

Job Code:


Desirable Qualifications:

Registration as a Professional Electrical Engineer (PE) with the State of California.

Base Salary Annual Low:


Base Salary Annual High:


Selection Process:

Qualifications Interview

Pay Scale Group:


Minimum Qualifications:


A Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in Electrical Engineering or related field.


Senior 5+ years of progressively responsible experience in the planning, design, and operation of electric utility distribution systems.

Journey: 3 + years of progressively responsible experience in the planning, design, and operation of electric utility distribution systems.

Knowledge To:

SMUD policies, procedures, applicable MOUs, and other special agreements; methods and techniques for planning, organizing, and overseeing work activities; methods and techniques for training staff; techniques and concepts related to teamwork; techniques for exercising leadership and authority; methods and techniques for report preparation and writing; techniques and practices for negotiating; principles and practices of economic analyses of projects and programs; techniques and practices for resolving complex technical issues; complex computer systems and resources; electronic records; database administration; interrelationships between SMUD’s operations and relevant external entities; principles, practices, and procedures related to power distribution systems; concepts and systems related to distribution construction, planning, operation, and maintenance including steady state and transient circuit analysis, electrical equipment design and application, grounding, protection and coordination; concepts and systems related to engineering analyses of reliability, power quality, root cause, and economic and systems data; computer-aided modeling and analysis; methods and equipment related to distribution system monitoring; theories and practices related to electric power system design; theories and practices related to electric distribution system planning; load data analysis and forecasting methodologies; policies, practices, and procedures related to distribution system maintenance; performance management techniques related to project management; principles and practices for contract management; procedures and practices for cost control and project scheduling; procedures and practices for monitoring and managing projects; governing codes, industry standards, and generally accepted utility practices utilized in distribution system design and operation; budgeting processes, techniques, and tools; computer-aided modeling and analysis; vegetation management techniques; safety policies, practices, and procedures

Skill To:

Identify and assess training needs for staff; interact with others to influence and motivate; interpret SMUD policies, procedures, applicable MOUs, and/or other special agreements; oversee adherence to safety policies and procedures; analyze complex issues and develop/implement resolution alternatives; analyze procedures/systems and develop/implement operational improvements; analyze situations, documents, and data for conformance to established policies and procedures; apply applicable laws, codes, and regulations; appraise situations and people accurately and adopt an effective course of action; determine the potential long-term outcomes of a change in operations; develop an estimation of how a system should work under ideal conditions; evaluate and resolve complex technical issues; interpret, analyze, and apply pertinent policies, procedures, regulations and requirements; organize highly complex and conflicting data in a readily understandable manner for various audiences; prepare a business case to weigh the relative costs and benefits of a potential action; serve as reference person for other employees; serve as an expert witness in court; monitor and manage projects; perform complex technical engineering analysis and forecasting; use complex computer-aided modeling and analysis tools; write technical documents; assist in budget preparation and administration; perform engineering economic analysis;

The full job description can be found here .


  • Valid California Driver’s License.

Position Type:

Regular - Full Time

Physical Requirements:

Applicants must be able to perform the essential job functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.

The health and wellbeing of our employees and our community is our top priority. SMUD follows CDC guidance and adheres to all local, county and state orders. To this end, if you are scheduled to come on a SMUD campus, you will need to monitor your health (ensuring your temperature is below 100.4° and you’re free of COVID-19 symptoms), wear a face covering, and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

Major Duties & Responsibilities:

Work may include, but is not limited to, the following: (NOTE: While in general all the functions and requirements listed are essential, individual positions and/or locations may not require all duties be performed.)

  • Ensures a safe, reliable, and economical power service to customers and to meet SMUD’s power needs; leads and performs complex distribution system planning and design including to monitor system planning and design; develops and maintains SMUD’s distribution system maintenance philosophy; develops, maintains, and revises safety practices related to planning and operations.

  • Ensures that SMUD’s distribution system is configured and operated to provide the maximum output and the maximum operating flexibility within contractual, emissions, and other limits; conducts analyses of system performance and projected systems demands by forecasting electrical load growth, modeling and analyzing system impacts, identifying system deficiencies, recommending cost-effective corrective actions, performing work justification studies, producing annual work plans for capital and O&M expenditures, evaluating new technologies, and reviewing safety trends to identify areas for improvement.

  • Ensures that projects and programs meet SMUD and other standards for cost-effectiveness, safety, and quality of power produced; provides high-level expertise and guidance by providing technical review of community projects and programs with potential SMUD-wide impact, reviewing co-generation proposals to evaluate system impacts, drafting interconnection agreements including required mitigation, evaluating the impact of distributed technologies including energy efficiency and dispersed generation, performing technical and economical analysis of distribution automation alternatives, identifying and recommending automation investments, and performing detailed analysis of power quality data and recommending and planning solutions to power quality related problems.

  • Ensures the safe and reliable operation of the assigned distribution system and the achievement of SMUD’s business objectives; performs and leads the performance of activities related to system protection by identifying and resolving difficult distribution system protection issues that impact distribution system performance and safety. analyzing system protection, operation, and electrical system configuration, preparing operating criteria that include system protection, reliability, safety, and economics, developing distribution system protection standards, guidelines and practices, evaluating the need for and conducting definitive distribution system protection studies, maintaining protection databases and documentation, developing and maintaining the distribution system inspection and maintenance programs, and performing root cause analysis to determine and correct the cause of system failures.

  • Ensures that staff are trained and capable of meeting SMUD’s performance expectations; assists in developing the required employee competencies by assessing employee skills and training needs, evaluating, selecting, and modifying training programs, developing and presenting technical training, arranging for and coordinating training conducted by others, facilitating the exchange of expertise and knowledge within the work group and with other work groups, and providing coaching and mentoring as needed.

  • Assists in planning, reviewing, and conducting work activities and researching required project information associated with department internal/external projects in accordance with established task objectives and schedule as outlined in the project plan/contract; supports the overall achievement and completion of department projects.

  • Performs related duties as required.

Additional Posting Info for Candidate:

Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) - Who We Are

As the nation's sixth-largest community-owned electric service provider, we're proud of our reputation as one of the best places to work in Sacramento. Our employees tell us in our engagement surveys they're "Happy, satisfied and engaged" which helps create a workplace that best serves our customers.

Sacramento was named as the 2nd happiest place to work in America by Forbes Magazine. Lake Tahoe, San Francisco and the world-renowned Napa Valley are within easy driving distance of our locations.

Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

SMUD respects, values and celebrates the unique attributes, characteristics and perspectives that make each person who they are. Diversity and inclusion are guiding principles to deliver a culture that reflects the broader values of the community and our customers. Our Board's policy for Employee Relation sets our commitment to developing and maintaining a high quality, inclusive workplace that engages and inspires employees to commit to SMUD's purpose, vision and values.

SMUD is committed to ensuring we're a workplace where diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), are part of who we are and how we do things. Supporting efforts that promote pay equality is part of that. Salary placement for the selected candidate will be determined in alignment with the California Equal Pay Act.

Why Sacramento, California?

The capitol of California, Sacramento is the state's sixth-largest city, and the 35th largest in the U.S. Local universities include California State University, University of the Pacific's McGeorge School of Law, and the University of California, Davis and several competitive community colleges. The UC Davis Medical Center, a world-renowned research hospital, is one of more than a dozen hospitals and shared services centers in the Sacramento region. Part of the agriculturally-rich Central Valley, Sacramento is at the forefront of the farm-to-fork food movement. Northern California is home to some of the country's top technology companies, including Google and LinkedIn, and a multitude of startups in many industries. Sacramento is home to the NBA Kings, the River Cats (AAA baseball), the Republic FC (soccer) and the San Francisco Giants, NBA Warriors and NFL 49er's aren't far away. Sacramento offers an affluent liberal arts community with Broadway, Mondavi Center, Crocker Museum and summer musical theater to name a few.


This engineering position provides short and long-term planning functions for the distribution and sub-transmission systems at SMUD. This includes forecasting, modeling, and analysis of customer loads and behind the meter generation.

  • Maintain multi-year plan that identities future needs and recommends solutions to solve capacity and reliability issues

  • Perform load flow studies for distribution circuits using modern software tools

  • Perform interconnection studies for Distributed Energy Resources with knowledge of California Rule 21

  • Perform protection and coordination reviews.

  • Create protection settings for microprocessor and electromechanical relays

  • Read substation single-line and relay drawings

  • Investigate incidents and provided recommendations based on facts

  • Design the distribution system for customers loads including subdivisions, large commercial, EV charging stations and distributed energy resources that meets short and long-term system objectives.

The current vacancy may be filled at the journey or senior level depending on candidate pool. Eligibility list for both levels will be established.

Journey level: $88,140-$116,724

Senior level:$124,476-$164,884