What does a line worker do?
Line workers perform a variety of tasks on many different types of lines. They climb poles, towers, and other steel structures and install conductors, string wire, hang transformers, and install switchgear. Line workers also help with installing underground electrical equipment, setting poles, digging holes, trimming trees, and other tasks. They often troubleshoot problems and notify the necessary workers to assess the problems. Line workers use many different types of hydraulic tools, hand tools, and electrical equipment. They often read and interpret maps and sketches and prepare field reports for their supervisors.
What kind of training does a line worker need?
Line workers usually need at least a high school diploma and sufficient on the job training. Many line workers complete formal apprenticeship programs that combine classroom instruction and paid on the job training. Some line workers have college degrees in electricity or other related field. Others complete military training. Prospective line workers typically need a sound knowledge of electricity and electronics, basic algebra and trigonometry knowledge, and good writing and reading skills. Majority of line workers learn their skills on the job where they start out shadowing experienced workers. They begin completing simple duties and move on to more complicated tasks as they gain the essential skills and experience. Line workers complete additional training as needed throughout their careers.
What are the prospects for a career as a line worker?
Employment of line workers is expected to experience little to no change in employment, increasing 2% from 2008 to 2018 (1). The growing population and increased demand for a variety of power and communications lines will create some job growth.
Job prospects should be good because a lot of workers are expected to retire. Line workers with advanced training and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do line workers make?
As of March 2010, the average annual salary for line workers is $39,000; average annual line worker salaries vary greatly on location, employer, education, experience, and benefits (2).
A career as a line worker is a great choice for people with a strong interest in performing a variety of tasks related to many different types of wires and cables. Line workers must have a thorough knowledge of the techniques, tools, and equipment used for the maintenance of a variety of lines. Physical stamina, constant alertness, good eye-hand coordination, detail orientation, and good problem solving skills are necessary characteristics. Line workers must be able to work in all types of weather conditions and must abide by the required safety precautions to minimize damage and injury. They must also be able to work as part of a team.