Careers: Frequently Asked Questions
What does S&C Electric Company do?
S&C traces its roots back over 100 years to the invention of the first practical high-voltage fuse, which was crucial to the development of the electric power industry. Today, S&C maintains its focus on solutions for electric power switching and protection, and through this concentration, has developed a reputation for technical leadership in the industry. S&C’s customers for products and services include electric utilities and large users of electric power around the world.
Where are S&C’s facilities?
The company is headquartered at the John R. Conrad Industrial Complex, one of Chicago’s largest and most modern manufacturing centers. Located about eight miles north of Chicago’s Loop, the S&C complex includes production, engineering, laboratory, and office facilities on 46 landscaped acres. Other locations include California (Alameda), Washington (Duvall), Arizona (Phoenix), Wisconsin (Franklin), Texas (Dallas), Florida (Orlando; West Palm Beach), Maryland (Rockville), Canada (Toronto), Mexico (Aguascalientes), China (Suzhou), United Kingdom (Swansea), Australia (Melbourne), and Brazil (Curitiba).
What are the company’s plans for new products/services and future growth?
New product development and recent acquisitions have kept S&C in the forefront of its industry, especially in such fields as distribution automation, power reliability, and power quality. With more new products in the pipeline, a burgeoning services business and a growing presence in international markets, S&C expects continued strong growth for the foreseeable future.
Who are S&C’s major competitors, and what sets us apart from them?
S&C’s main competitors are individual divisions of very large companies like Siemens and ABB. S&C is a specialist in engineered solutions related to electric power switching and protection, and that specialization gives S&C an edge over companies that are not as clearly focused. As a privately held company, S&C has historically reinvested a significant proportion of its operating income in people, plant, and equipment for the future. Publicly traded companies find this a difficult strategy to follow.
What kinds of job opportunities does S&C offer?
S&C has a very wide variety of job opportunities from maintenance and office jobs to machinists, assemblers, CNC programmers, engineers, designers, sales support, and leadership.
Does S&C have an internship or co-op program?
S&C typically employs 50 co-ops and interns during the calendar year across multiple locations. S&C co-ops and interns come from Purdue University/West Lafayette, Northwestern University, University of Illinois/Chicago, University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign, and other top universities.
Where do technical and engineering graduates typically start in your company?
Most people hired immediately after college work in our major product divisions — focusing on fuses, switches, and metal-enclosed-gear products — and in our Product Innovation, Power Quality, and Power Systems Services areas.
New team members work on development, design, testing, marketing, and manufacturing of S&C’s product line. Responsibilities might include new product development, electrical and mechanical testing, investigation of new concepts and materials in circuit-interruption technology, participation in industry standards development, manufacturing process improvement, marketing and sales support, and providing assistance to customers.
Where does someone start in manufacturing?
That depends on how much training or experience the candidate brings. There are opportunities for machinists, welders, punch press operators, assemblers, and others. S&C has on-premises training and certification programs to help employees increase their skills and advance to higher positions.
Are there positions available for experienced candidates?
What type of compensation and benefits package do you offer?
S&C provides very competitive compensation. The S&C team member benefits package includes health care and dental coverage, life insurance, 401(k) and pension plans, long-term disability coverage, and a generous tuition reimbursement plan. Team members receive paid time off every year between Christmas and New Year’s in addition to regular paid vacation.
Landing the Job
When, where, and how does S&C recruit?
At the college level, S&C’s recruiting focuses on engineers and technical professionals from top universities. We typically visit a small number of schools in the Fall and Spring for on-campus interviews. However, all interested candidates are invited to visit the S&C Careers page on our website for current opportunities. Female and minority candidates are encouraged to apply.
Are there any interview tips for interested candidates?
Interested candidates should have obtained some basic background information about S&C from our website or other sources.
How about any red flags?
Because so much of our work is collaborative, a candidate who has difficulty working in a team-based setting would not enjoy the work environment at S&C.
What is S&C’s ideal candidate?
We’re looking for team players with excellent technical and communication skills. Although a strong background in S&C’s industry and products is desirable, it is at least as important for candidates to have a genuine interest in an S&C career and a drive to expand their knowledge and skills.
Working at S&C
Describe S&C’s unique culture and attitude.
The S&C Statement of Purpose and Guiding Principles declares that “each S&C employee will be treated with respect, dignity, and fairness within S&C’s diverse community of people.” While many companies make similar statements, S&C has worked successfully to make those words a reality and a deeply felt part of the company’s culture.
S&C is the acknowledged leader in electric power switching and protection, and S&C team members at all levels take pride in their reputation as the best team in the business.
What makes S&C a desirable working environment?
Team members who have come to S&C from other companies frequently comment on the extraordinarily strong and positive working relationships among team members. Experienced S&C team members show an extraordinary willingness to share their knowledge and to act as guides and mentors for those new to the company. These positive relationships are fostered away from work, too, through popular sports leagues, professional groups, and periodic company outings to local attractions like Great America.
Describe the typical work week and the amount of expected travel.
Most team members in technical and professional positions work about 45 hours per week. Manufacturing jobs often include overtime when business volume is high. Travel depends on the particular job and work at hand. Positions that might require travel include sales, marketing, engineering, and field service. In recent years manufacturing employees have traveled to S&C subsidiaries to provide training in S&C methods.
What is S&C’s dress code?
Describe the level of diversity at S&C.
S&C’s headquarters is in one of the most culturally diverse areas of Chicago, which is one of the world’s most diverse cities. For years, S&C has recognized the strength that diversity brings to the S&C team. That team today includes employees born in a virtual "United Nations" of countries around the world. S&C has a tradition of providing equal employment opportunities.
Climbing the Ladder
What are the most important attributes for success at S&C?
Technical capability, teamwork, good communication skills, commitment to getting the job done, and a strong desire to expand one’s knowledge and learn new skills.
What are the opportunities for growth and advancement?
Team members have numerous opportunities to acquire detailed knowledge of our products, processes, and industry through varied work assignments, thereby making themselves more valuable to the company. S&C has no single path for advancement. It has opportunities for employees who develop themselves as individual contributors as well as those who move into supervision.
Describe the S&C performance review process.
Performance reviews are held annually, focusing on the past year’s accomplishments along with goals and development plans for the future.
Any final thoughts?
S&C is a special company with a reputation for integrity, innovation, and customer service. Like many other organizations, we have attracted top-notch people. Unlike many others, we have retained a significant proportion of these world-class employees. S&C is a place where talented people can find rewarding and challenging careers.