What does a line installer do?
Line installers install and maintain a variety of network systems by constructing utility poles and towers and digging underground trenches to hold the cables and wires. They use many different types of equipment such as cranes, cable plows, augers, trenchers, borers, and digger derricks. Line installers install network equipment and set up service for customers. They are also responsible for maintaining many different telecommunications, electrical, and cable television lines. Line installers often work for telecommunications companies, construction contractors, and utilities companies. They typically specialize in a certain area such as telecommunications and electrical power-lines.
What kind of training does a line installer need?
Line installers typically need at least a high school diploma and sufficient on the job training. Many line installers complete formal apprenticeships that combine classroom instruction and paid on the job training. Some line installers complete postsecondary education from community colleges and vocational and technical schools. Prospective line installers often complete courses in electronics, electricity, fiber optics, and microwave transmission. Employers provide long-term on the job training where new workers shadow experienced employees. They typically start out completing simple tasks and move on to more advanced duties as they gain the necessary skills and experience. Line installers complete additional training as needed throughout their careers to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field.
What are the prospects for a career as a line installer?
Employment of line installers is expected to experience little to no change, increasing 2% from 2008 to 2018 (1). Population growth and expansion of many different cities will create some job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good especially for those that specialize in electrical work. Many job openings will stem from the need to replace line installers that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.
How much do line installers make?
As of March 2010, the average annual salary for line installers is $36,000; average annual line installer salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a line installer is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in installing and maintaining a variety of network systems. Line installers must have a solid understanding of installation techniques and the make-up of a many different network systems. They must also have a good technical knowledge of electricity and electronics. Physical fitness, manual dexterity, detail orientation, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Line installers must be comfortable with varying heights and spaces. They must be able to effectively work as part of team and always follow the necessary safety procedures to minimize injury.