Line installers and repairers frequently work in teams to repair or install a complex network of power lines and cables such as telecommunications cables to include fiber optics and electrical power systems. Their job is considered highly hazardous because they work with high-voltage electricity and climb great heights. A line installer and repairer’s work is physically challenging as well.
Watch a video to learn what a line installer and repairer does.
How to Become a Line Installer and Repairer
Line installers and repairers typically need a high school diploma or the equivalent. Most employers also require technical instruction and long-term on-the-job training. Apprenticeship programs are common, as well as programs in community colleges that offer courses in electronics, telecommunications, and electricity. Local companies sometimes work with students to offer 1-year certificates that give hands-on fieldwork.
There are also advanced 2-year associate’s degree programs to provide a broader knowledge of technology in electrical utilities and telecommunications. It is also helpful to have background technical knowledge of electricity or electronics from military service or vocational programs. Apprenticeship or employer training programs can last up to 3 years combining technical instruction with on-the-job training. It is not mandatory to get certified. However it is available through several associations and may be advantageous to the candidate.
Job Description of a Line Installer and Repairer
The duties of an electrical power line installer and repairer usually include the installation, maintenance, and repairs of power lines that move electricity. They must test and inspect auxiliary equipment and power lines. He or she would be responsible for finding any defective devices, switches, voltage regulators, and transformers. They have the job of stringing power lines between buildings, poles, and towers.
Line installers climb poles and transmission towers while using truck-mounted buckets to reach equipment. They need to operate power equipment when installing or repairing lines, poles, and towers. Telecommunication line installers and repairers install, maintain, and repair telecommunications equipment.
Telecommunications installers and repairers operate power equipment and drive work vehicles to job sites. He or she sets up service to customers. The duties of line installers and repairers may differ depending on the specific job description they carry.
How to Become a Line Installer Career Video Transcript
Electricity, telephone, cable TV, Internet. The communication lines that support access to these modern essentials are in constant use. Line installers and repairers maintain the power systems and cables needed to keep access flowing. The power grid is the network of power lines that moves electricity from generating plants to customers. Electrical power-line installers and repairers install and maintain the power grid.
Telecommunications line installers and repairers work on the lines and cables used by network communications companies. Line installers dig underground trenches and erect poles and towers to install new cable. They use construction equipment, such as trucks equipped with augers and cranes, to dig holes and set poles in place. Line repairers replace old equipment and maintain existing lines. The work can be physically demanding. Work is often performed at great heights or in confined spaces, and outdoors under challenging weather conditions.
Workers need good balance, and the strength to climb utility poles and transmission towers. Lineworkers maintain strict safety procedures, as they encounter hazards such as falls, high-voltages or dangerous gases, which make the occupation among the most dangerous. Although most work regular full-time business hours, some must work evenings and weekends. Some workers travel to maintain a large region. In emergencies workers may have to work long hours for several days in a row. Most entry-level positions require a high school diploma or equivalent; line installers and repairers receive long-term on-the-job training to become fully proficient.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Line Installers and Repairers.
National Center for O*NET Development. 49-9052.00. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.