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Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers
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Description: what do they do?
Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.
Also known as:
Electric Lineman, Electrical Lineman (Power), Electrical Lineworker, Apprentice Lineman Third Step, Journeyman Lineman, Class A Lineman, A Class Lineman, Power Lineman, Lineworker, Lineman

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
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    Transcript: Electricity… telephone… cable TV… Internet... the communication lines that support access to these modern essentials are in constant use. Line installers and repairers maintain the power systems and cables needed to keep access flowing. The power grid is the network of power lines that moves electricity from generating plants to customers. Electrical power-line installers and repairers install and maintain the power grid. Telecommunications line installers and repairers work on the lines and cables used by network communications companies. Line installers dig underground trenches and erect poles and towers to install new cable. They use construction equipment, such as trucks equipped with augers and cranes, to dig holes and set poles in place. Line repairers replace old equipment and maintain existing lines. The work can be physically demanding. Work is often performed at great heights or in confined spaces, and outdoors under challenging weather conditions. Workers need good balance, and the strength to climb utility poles and transmission towers. Line workers maintain strict safety procedures, as they encounter hazards such as falls, high-voltages or dangerous gases, which make the occupation among the most dangerous. Although most work regular full-time business hours, some must work evenings and weekends. Some workers travel to maintain a large region. In emergencies workers may have to work long hours for several days in a row. Most entry level positions require a high school diploma or equivalent; line installers and repairers receive long-term on-the-job training to become fully proficient.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.

This occupation is:
  • Expected to grow much faster than average


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
United States
120,900
2016 Employment
137,700
2026 Employment
14%
Percent change
11,700
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016, the number expected to be employed in 2026, and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2016-26.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers in United States
LocationUnited States
10%$37,600
25%$52,070
Median$69,380
75%$85,370
90%$99,860


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2017 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • More than 1 year on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections Education and Training Data.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Monitor work areas or procedures to ensure compliance with safety procedures.
  • Test electrical circuits or components for proper functioning.
  • Control power supply connections.
  • Climb equipment or structures to access work areas.
  • Drive trucks or other vehicles to or at work sites.
  • Inspect electrical or electronic systems for defects.
  • Repair electrical circuits or wiring.
  • Assemble electrical components, subsystems, or systems.
  • Dig holes or trenches.
  • Operate cranes, hoists, or other moving or lifting equipment.
  • Install metering equipment.
  • Connect electrical components or equipment.
  • Install insulation in equipment or structures.
  • Travel to work sites to perform installation, repair or maintenance work.
  • Solder parts or connections between parts.
  • Run wiring to connect equipment.
  • Test electrical equipment or systems to ensure proper functioning.
  • Assemble mechanical components or machine parts.
  • Confer with coworkers to coordinate work activities.
  • Align equipment or machinery.
  • Cut materials according to specifications or needs.
  • Lay cables to connect equipment.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Troubleshooting - Figuring out what is causing equipment, machines, wiring, or computer programs to not work.
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Multilimb Coordination - Using your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.
  • Control Precision - Quickly changing the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Finger Dexterity - Putting together small parts with your fingers.
  • Inductive Reasoning - Making general rules or coming up with answers from lots of detailed information.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Adhere to safety practices and procedures, such as checking equipment regularly and erecting barriers around work areas.
  • Test conductors, according to electrical diagrams and specifications, to identify corresponding conductors and to prevent incorrect connections.
  • Open switches or attach grounding devices to remove electrical hazards from disturbed or fallen lines or to facilitate repairs.
  • Climb poles or use truck-mounted buckets to access equipment.
  • Drive vehicles equipped with tools and materials to job sites.
  • Identify defective sectionalizing devices, circuit breakers, fuses, voltage regulators, transformers, switches, relays, or wiring, using wiring diagrams and electrical-testing instruments.
  • Install, maintain, and repair electrical distribution and transmission systems, including conduits, cables, wires, and related equipment, such as transformers, circuit breakers, and switches.
  • Dig holes, using augers, and set poles, using cranes and power equipment.
  • Install watt-hour meters and connect service drops between power lines and consumers' facilities.
  • Place insulating or fireproofing materials over conductors and joints.
  • Travel in trucks, helicopters, and airplanes to inspect lines for freedom from obstruction and adequacy of insulation.
  • Splice or solder cables together or to overhead transmission lines, customer service lines, or street light lines, using hand tools, epoxies, or specialized equipment.
  • String wire conductors and cables between poles, towers, trenches, pylons, and buildings, setting lines in place and using winches to adjust tension.
  • Inspect and test power lines and auxiliary equipment to locate and identify problems, using reading and testing instruments.
  • Attach cross-arms, insulators, and auxiliary equipment to poles prior to installing them.
  • Coordinate work assignment preparation and completion with other workers.
  • Replace or straighten damaged poles.
  • Trim trees that could be hazardous to the functioning of cables or wires.
  • Lay underground cable directly in trenches, or string it through conduit running through the trenches.
  • Cut and peel lead sheathing and insulation from defective or newly installed cables and conduits prior to splicing.
  • Clean, tin, and splice corresponding conductors by twisting ends together or by joining ends with metal clamps and soldering connections.
  • Cut trenches for laying underground cables, using trenchers and cable plows.
  • Pull up cable by hand from large reels mounted on trucks.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

Other resources

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.