What do they do?
Electrical power line installers and repairers install and maintain the power grid. They routinely work with high voltage electricity that can range from hundreds of thousands of volts for long-distance transmission lines that make up the power grid to less than 10,000 volts for distribution lines that supply electricity to homes and businesses. Line workers who maintain the interstate power grid work in crews that travel to work locations throughout a large region to maintain transmission lines and towers. Workers employed by local utilities work mainly with lower voltage distribution lines, maintaining equipment such as transformers, voltage regulators, and switches. They may also work on traffic lights and streetlights.
The path to being a Line Worker typically begins at the Ground Crew or Pre-Apprenticeship level. From there, one can apply to become an Apprentice. A completed apprenticeship leads to becoming a Journey Level Line Worker. Typically, Line Workers stay in that position but it is possible to move into a Line Foreman role and on to General Foreman, Manager, and from there, it is possible to move into the Dispatcher role.
The types of employers for this position are utility companies.
Completion of industry standard apprenticeship required. (Apprenticeship programs may vary by state and by employer but typically consist of 2000 hours on the job plus 144 hours of related classroom instruction each year for three to four years.) Training within utilities may include the 144 hours of training per year that is required for apprentices and is offered off-the-job. Utility companies generally provide on-going training for journey level workers to keep employees current on new equipment, procedures and safety.
See our College Programs resource guide for energy industry educational programs.