How To Become An Electrical Lineman
If you are interested in a career that would allow you to install or repair wires for electrical distribution systems then you can consider a career as an electrical lineman. In this profession, your main task will be to set up, fix or replace electrical transmission and distribution systems.
You will be dealing with cables, wires and conduits. You will also be working with transformers, switches and circuit breakers. It is also part of your job to install watt-hour meters and link the service drops to the consumer’s area from the main power line. You will also be attaching cables and wire conductors from poles to towers and ensuring that the lines are properly put in place.
A job as an electrical lineman can be physically demanding. You are expected to dig holes so that the poles can be firmly set, cut tree branches that could impede the normal functioning of electrical wires and preparing trenches for cables that need to be buried underground. The work will also involve manually pulling cables from huge reels in trucks to get them ready for installation.
Since you will be dealing with electricity, it’s very important to observe safety rules and follow the proper protocols to prevent accidents. You must check your equipment and tools on a regular basis to ensure that they are fully functional. You should also wear rubber gloves, goggles and other personal protective equipment while doing your job.
While undertaking repairs, you should not forget to attach grounding devices so that the electrical hazards emanating from fallen lines are removed. You may also need to conduct investigations by air or by land to check if power lines are properly insulated and free from any obstructions.
To succeed as an electrical lineman, you need to possess accurate vision inasmuch as electrical components are usually color coded. You also need to possess technical and analytical skills so you can determine what the problem is and make the necessary repairs. You should not also have any fear of heights since you will be doing your work from poles high above the ground.
Why Become An Electrical Lineman
A career as an electrical lineman is best suited for those who are interested in electrical, mechanical and technical work. It is also ideal for those who want to do physically challenging work outdoors since installing wires and cables is done outside. Moreover, it is a fulfilling job financially since linemen are paid rather well.
Electrical Lineman Work Environment
Electrical linemen work for electrical power generation, transmission and distribution firms and utility firms. The work can be dangerous because they deal mostly with live power lines. Even de-energized power lines pose hazards if they happen to get energy from another source. To minimize or avert injuries, they must wear protective equipment and strictly follow safety protocols.
Electrical Lineman Salary
Electrical linemen belong to the broader occupational category of electrical and electronic equipment mechanics, installers and repairers. The Occupational Equipment and Wages report of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics revealed that the mean annual wage of this occupation is $48,880.
Average Electrical Lineman Annual Salary
The average annual salary for electrical linemans is $68,710 a year. Salaries start at $37,600 a year and go up to $99,860 a year.
Average Electrical Lineman Hourly Wage
The average hourly wage for a electrical lineman is $33.04. Hourly wages are between $18.08 and $48.01 an hour.
Stats were based out of 116,650 employed electrical linemans in the United States.
Highest Paying States For Electrical Linemans
- 1. California $46.04 / hr $95,760 / yr
- 2. Oregon $43.08 / hr $89,610 / yr
- 3. Alaska $41.64 / hr $86,610 / yr
- 4. Massachusetts $40.77 / hr $84,800 / yr
- 5. Washington $40.53 / hr $84,300 / yr
Top Paying Cities For Electrical Linemans
- 1. Oakland, CA $51.08 / hr$106,250 / yr
- 2. San Jose, CA $50.95 / hr$105,980 / yr
- 3. Oxnard, CA $48.50 / hr$100,880 / yr
- 4. Vallejo, CA $47.82 / hr$99,460 / yr
- 5. Los Angeles, CA $46.05 / hr$95,780 / yr
Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Electrical Lineman Career Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the job outlook of electrical and electronics installers and repairers in general is not expected to have any change in the decade covering 2012 to 2022. Thus, only about 900 jobs will be added in that time period, increasing the 144,700 workers employed in 2012 to 145,600 in 2022.
Electrical Lineman Degree
The educational requirement to become an electrical lineman is an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree in electrical repair or electronics. Getting voluntary certification from organizations like the Electronics Technicians Association International and the International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians will be helpful in getting a job.