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Career profile Electrical Lineworker

Also known as A Class Lineman, Apprentice Lineman Third Step, Class A Lineman, Electric Lineman, Electrical Lineman (Power), Electrical Lineworker, Journeyman Lineman, Lineman, Lineworker, Power Lineman

Electrical Lineworker

Also known as A Class Lineman, Apprentice Lineman Third Step, Class A Lineman

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$39,090 - $108,380 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Troubleshooting
  • Active Listening
  • Operation and Control
Knowledge Areas
  • Building and Construction
  • Transportation
  • Education and Training
Core tasks
  • Drive vehicles equipped with tools and materials to job sites.
  • Adhere to safety practices and procedures, such as checking equipment regularly and erecting barriers around work areas.
  • Open switches or attach grounding devices to remove electrical hazards from disturbed or fallen lines or to facilitate repairs.
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What does an Electrical Lineworker do?

Electrical Lineworkers install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems.

In addition, Electrical Lineworkers may erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.

What kind of tasks does an Electrical Lineworker perform regularly?

Electrical Lineworkers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

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

The above responsibilities are specific to Electrical Lineworkers. More generally, Electrical Lineworkers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

What is an Electrical Lineworker salary?

The median salary for an Electrical Lineworker is $75,030, and the average salary is $74,410. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Electrical Lineworker salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Electrical Lineworkers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Electrical Lineworkers earn less than $39,090 per year, 25% earn less than $54,250, 75% earn less than $94,580, and 90% earn less than $108,380.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Electrical Lineworkers is expected to change by 1.3%, and there should be roughly 10,200 open positions for Electrical Lineworkers every year.

Median annual salary
$75,030
Typical salary range
$39,090 - $108,380
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
1.3%

What personality traits are common among Electrical Lineworkers?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Electrical Lineworker are usually higher in their Realistic, Investigative, and Conventional interests.

Electrical Lineworkers typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Electrical Lineworkers typically have moderate Investigative interests. Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Lastly, Electrical Lineworkers typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Electrical Lineworker tend to value Support, Independence, and Working Conditions.

Most importantly, Electrical Lineworkers very strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Electrical Lineworkers moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Electrical Lineworkers moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Electrical Lineworkers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and self-control.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Electrical Lineworkers, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Self-Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

What education and training do Electrical Lineworkers need?

Working as an Electrical Lineworker usually requires a high school diploma.

Electrical Lineworkers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Electrical Lineworkers

  • 5.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 38.8% completed high school or secondary school
  • 32.4% completed some college coursework
  • 17.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.8% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Electrical Lineworkers

Electrical Lineworkers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as building and construction, transportation, or education and training knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Electrical Lineworkers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Transportation
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Important Abilities needed by Electrical Lineworkers

Electrical Lineworkers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Electrical Lineworkers need abilities such as problem sensitivity, arm-hand steadiness, and multilimb coordination in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Electrical Lineworkers, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.

Critical Skills needed by Electrical Lineworkers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Electrical Lineworkers frequently use skills like troubleshooting, active listening, and operation and control to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Electrical Lineworkers, ranked by their relative importance.

Troubleshooting
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Monitoring
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

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