Occ. Code 7223500






New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard





Canal Electrical Supervisors direct the operation, repair, and maintenance of all canal structures and electrical systems and equipment for one of the seven sections into which the canal system is organizationally divided.


These positions exist only in the New York State Canal Corporation.




Canal Electrical Supervisors, under the general supervision of a Canal Section Superintendent, are directly responsible for training, supervising, and assigning staff to cover all locks, lift bridges, guard gates, and movable dams on a round-the-clock basis during the open season; repairing and maintaining all electrical equipment and systems for an assigned section, including electrical equipment and systems used to operate structures, engines, vessels, and equipment in buildings and in machine shops; fabricating repair and replacement parts and equipment; laying out and installing electrical systems for buildings, and canal structures including communications systems, alarm systems, and temporary power lines; and, on occasion, designing major repairs and new electrical installations. In addition, Canal Electrical Supervisors review and approve repair and maintenance schedules, projects, and plans submitted by Chief Lock Operators and others, to be performed while the canal system is closed for the winter months. These positions serve as the highest level of technical proficiency in electrical theory and practice for their assigned section.


Typically, each Canal Electrical Supervisor supervises between 25 to 44 permanent full-time employees, including a section electrical crew, Chief Lock Operators, Canal Structure Operators, and unskilled and semiskilled workers. In addition, permanent staff is supplemented by between 2 to 24 seasonal workers, assigned to staff canal locks, lift bridges, guard gates, and dams in each section during the navigation season, which is approximately seven months a year. The Canal Electrical Supervisor directs staff by assuring staff is properly trained, scheduling staff to cover structures on a 24 hour basis, including weekends and holidays, conducting periodic inspections of structures, reviewing work reports, performing emergency repairs, conducting unscheduled spot checks of duty posts, and assuring staff comply with safety procedures.


The work of these positions is complicated by factors particular to the canal system. Many of the structures, vessels, and related operating equipment are from 1920 or before and repair and replacement parts are not available, requiring the Canal Electrical Supervisors to design and fabricate replacement parts or redesign equipment and systems to accommodate equipment failures. In addition, there is a wide diversity of new equipment and systems for which incumbents are also responsible, including hydraulic systems, electronic equipment, building and vehicle electrical systems, communications systems, generators, high voltage equipment, motors, construction equipment and vehicles, etc.  Other complicating factors include the danger of working on high voltage electrical equipment used on, near, or under water, the need for immediate repair of malfunctioning equipment due to the effect on public safety and the use of the canal system by commercial and private interests, the round-the­-clock operation of the canal, the high turnover rate of seasonal staff and the demands this places on training and supervision, and the assignment of staff to widely dispersed work locations.


Canal Electrical Supervisors are distinguished from other supervisory maintenance positions by their responsibility for operations and electrical maintenance. Canal Maintenance Supervisors 2 are responsible for planning the work and directing all skilled, semiskilled, and unskilled blue collar workers assigned to shore based maintenance and construction projects in an assigned section. Canal Maintenance Shop Supervisors direct staff assigned to the major repair and maintenance shops of the canal system. Floating Plant Supervisors supervise the operation and maintenance of all vessels in an assigned floating plant district.


Canal Electrical Supervisors are distinguished from Canal Section Superintendents by the latter class's responsibility for directing all maintenance and operations for a canal section and serving as the highest non-engineering supervisory position in the section.




During the navigation season, supervises staff assigned to the operation of canal locks, dams, bridges, and guard gates.


·      Assigns personnel to assure that all structures are staffed as needed and covered at all times.


·      Periodically inspects each structure to assure that it is operated and maintained properly.


·      Reviews daily reports submitted by operators and follows up to find out the extent of problems or malfunctions.


·      Approves all requests for vacation and personal leave.


·      In the event of staff shortages, assigns operators to rove among structures on an assigned shift.


·      Assures staff are trained to operate and maintain structures and equipment.


Supervises the maintenance of canal structures and electrical equipment in the section buildings and other equipment.


·      During the periodic inspections, uses megometers to test electrical circuitry and components.


·      Designs and fabricates parts and equipment.


·      Inspects electrical feeder lines to canal structures and buildings and orders repair or replacement as needed.


·      Designs repair plans to accommodate non-functioning equipment and systems.


·      Supervises the installation of all new electrical equipment and electrical systems.


·      Responds on a 24 hour basis to supervise or assist the Chief Lock Operator in emergency repairs.


·      Based on personal observations, orders specific maintenance and repair work on the various canal structures.


·      Inspects navigation aids to assure they are in good working order and orders repairs as needed.


·      Installs and removes temporary electrical service for pumps, heaters, and equipment needed for repair work.


·      Plans and maintains inventory of electrical supplies and equipment to carry out maintenance and repair programs.


Approves and supervises the non-navigation season maintenance program for each canal structure in the section.


·      Reviews the suggested program for each structure submitted by the Chief Lock Operator and insures that the most needed work has been scheduled.


·      Reviews and approves requests for time off submitted with the recommended programs.


·      Assures that sufficient work hours have been devoted to the various projects.


·      Periodically visits each structure and inspects completed work.


·      Reviews the bi-weekly progress reports submitted by each Chief Lock Operator and follows up as necessary.


Participates in all major non-navigation season repairs.


·      Coordinates electrical and mechanical crews in the preventive maintenance of structures, equipment, and buildings.


·      Provides temporary wiring for pumps to pump locks and for other projects. Works with shore-based maintenance program on structure repairs.


·      Operates the pumps used for pumping the locks.


Prepares Preventive Maintenance Schedule and Report and all other electrical work reports and canal and traffic operations reports.




Canal Electrical Supervisors have frequent oral and written communications with subordinates and supervisory canal maintenance staff to plan and schedule projects, review and report work performed, discuss and conduct emergency repairs, investigate, diagnose, and repair electrical and mechanical malfunctions, provide on-­the-job training to maintenance and operations staff, and resolve or report complaints.


Canal Electrical Supervisors have less frequent written and oral communications with canal users and marinas to provide information about schedules, level of service, and policies and procedures about using the canal and investigate and resolve complaints.




Canal Electrical Supervisors are supervised by Canal Section Superintendents who review work plans and schedules for compliance with program priorities and to assure plans and projects do not exceed fiscal constraints, provide program and policy direction, occasionally inspect structures, and coordinate major repair programs.


Canal Electrical Supervisors supervise Chief Lock Operators, Canal Structure Operators, electrical maintenance staff, and seasonal workers by assigning staff to work locations, scheduling working hours, training staff to operate and maintain structures and equipment, directing emergency repairs, reviewing work reports, approving projects for structures, planning and supervising major off-season maintenance and repair projects and programs, assuring staff comply with safety procedures, conducting performance and probation evaluations, approving use of vacation and personal leave, conducting inspections of work sites, conducting unscheduled spot checks of staff assigned to all shifts, and providing technical assistance and advice. This is a supervisory class and, as such, supervisory duties and responsibilities are important in classifying these positions.




Canal Electrical Supervisors use a variety of hand and power tools and electrical and electronic testing devices appropriate to the electrical and mechanical trades.   Positions also operate motor vehicles.




·      Good knowledge of the principles of supervision.


·      Good knowledge of work planning, project planning, and scheduling appropriate to the electrical trade and canal operations.


·      Working knowledge of AC and DC electricity.


·      Working knowledge of the operation and maintenance of electrical equipment, circuits, hydraulic pumps, electronic devices, valves, and canal structures.


·      Working knowledge of Canal Rules and Regulations and the policies and procedures covering canal operations.


·      Working knowledge of safety procedures.


·      Ability to train and supervise subordinate staff.


·      Ability to diagnose, repair, and maintain electrical, electronic, hydraulic, and mechanical devices and equipment.


·      Ability to design, fabricate, and repair parts and equipment.


·      Ability to use hand and power tools and testing devices.


·      Ability to read and interpret written and oral instructions, schematic drawings, and repair manuals.


·      Ability to determine inventories of tools and equipment needed for the repair and maintenance program.




Promotion: One year of permanent competitive or non-competitive service as a Chief Lock Operator, Bridge Electrician or Electrician and a motor vehicle license appropriate to the equipment used.




Reviewed:  4/05





NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all of the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications above are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification Standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.