An electrical lineman performs highly-skilled power line work including complex construction, evaluation, alteration, maintenance, trouble-shooting and repair of de-energized and energized, overhead or underground electrical transmission and distribution lines and related equipment. Experienced linemen have an extensive knowledge of electrical theory and are highly competent in technical skills.
Linemen install, remove, repair, and replace system components such as poles, transformers, cables, conductors, anchors, regulators, capacitors, switches, meters, and fuses. They perform evaluations and quality inspections of electrical transmission and distribution systems and design, plan, and calculate materials/costs, scope of work, etc. for transmission and distribution projects. Linemen may be required to have a commercial driver’s license as they may need to operate and maintain a variety of large equipment such as augers, trenchers, trucks and cranes.
Linemen work in a variety of settings and environmental conditions. Linemen must have good general health, strength, stamina, and physical ability in addition to being comfortable working at high elevations or in confined spaces. Due to the often dangerous nature of their work, linemen should be well-trained and compliant with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements and fully adhere to regulations, policies, and procedures for health, safety, and environmental compliance. Many linemen maintain first aid and CPR certification and are trained in rescue skills.
Most linemen are on-call and are required to work long or irregular hours. Some linemen work in crews that travel frequently and must be able to adapt to changing work locations.
Most linemen start out within a company as a groundman assisting other linemen. After receiving technical training or completing an apprenticeship, over time with additional experience and training, a lineman can advance to become a foremen or job superintendent.
Utility companies, telecommunication companies, construction companies, private contractors.
EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS (AAS, BS)
Employers may only require a high school diploma along with an established minimum level of technical knowledge and experience in line work. Most linemen have attended career or technical school or have participated in an apprenticeship. An associate degree in Electrical Distribution, Lineman Technology or similar field of study, or a Journeyman Lineman Certificate is typically required for this occupation.
LINKS TO CAREER/INDUSTRY RESOURCES
What It Takes to Be a Lineman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NI9R7V7Or5I
Get into Energy Career Profile: Lineworker: http://getintoenergy.com/lineworker/
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW): http://www.ibew.org
National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee (NJATC): http://www.njatc.org
National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA): http://www.necanet.org
Independent Electrical Contractors, Inc. (IECI): http://www.ieci.org
O*NET Online: http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/49-9051.00
Images courtesy of Tennessee Valley Authority and United States Department of Agriculture
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