Power Line Installer and Repairer

How to Become a Power Line Installer and Repairer
Job Duties of Power Line Installers and Repairers
Skills and Qualities of a Power Line Installer
Salaries for Power Line Installers and Repairers
Influential Professionals in this Field
Leading Organizations in this Field
Top Cities for Power Line Installer and Repairer Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become a Power Line Installer and Repairer

Power line installers and repairers at this time are only required to have a high school diploma. However, they are required to have several years of on the job training, apprenticeship and some sort of formal classroom work to become skilled. Companies prefer to employ those with a working knowledge of electricity, which can be gained through community colleges, military training or community colleges.

While the minimum requirement is a high school diploma it is recommended that an interested candidate obtain an associate's degree in technology as it is applied to telecommunications and utilities. Another avenue to increase your knowledge would be to obtain certification, which may be offered through your employer from a local training center, the main focus of this type of certification is offering individuals knowledge through hands on field work.

Again, most of the knowledge needed to become a skilled power line installer/repairer is obtained through on the job training. But remember you are more likely to be hired if you obtain a degree or certification that focuses on technology and teaches you about electricity, fiber optics, and microwave transmission.1 Another thing you will need to have vast knowledge of the Government safety regulations for power line workers.

Examples of companies that employee power line installers and repairers are electric companies, cable companies, and telephone companies. Entry-level line installers could be brought on as ground field workers, apprentices, or tree trimmers. These employees could move ahead to work stringing cable and conducting service installations. With time, they may be able to advance to more complicated positions and become responsible for much bigger sections of the network. Promotions to supervisory or training positions are a possibility, but higher level management jobs will most often require you to obtain a college degree.

What does a Power Line Installer do?

The scope of work that you will do as a line installer/repairer is working with the networks of wires and cables that provide end users with power and communication services. Installers produce new lines either through utility poles and towers or by installing underground lines, which is becoming more popular because lines are less likely to become damaged during storms and underground utility lines preserve the aesthetic value of an area. For example, in Gatlinburg, TN they are currently switching from utility poles to underground utilities as this is an area people go to enjoy the beauty of the surroundings and the utility poles and power lines in the town take away from that beauty. Once the poles are set or the underground trenches are dug it is the installers responsibility to run the lines, ensure that they are secure and attach them to the networks that provide either electrical supply or communication systems. During this process the installer may need to splice cables or wires for the purpose of putting them together.

Other tasks completed by line installers are getting services up and running for customers and the installation of network equipment. When setting up services the installer runs cable from the end users premises to the closest provider lines. During this process they must insure that the proper voltage is being sent out and that all equipment is functioning properly. There are also several instances that will require you as the repair technician to identify problems, such as bad switches or fuses, to restore services to customers.

Maintenance of lines is another responsibility for power line workers, this maintenance is performed in routine intervals and requires visual inspection and the use of monitoring equipment that will automatically detect problems or potential problems within the network, for example a low flow of current. If and when problems are identified repairers go to the location and fix the issue.

Natural disasters (such as hurricanes or earthquakes) or bad weather can cause massive amounts of damage to electrical and cable networks. During these types of situations power line workers will be required to respond quickly and work hard to restore electrical and communication services.

The work performed by electrical power-line installers and telecommunications line installers have many things in common; however there are some distinctions between the two. Working with power lines requires specialized knowledge of transformers, electrical power distribution systems, and substations. On the other hand, working with telecommunications lines requires specific knowledge of fiber optics and telecommunications switches and routers.

What skills or qualities do I need to become a Power Line Installer?

To become a skilled line installer/repairer you must be able to read, follow and understand instructions, prepare reports, and be able to solve problems. If your position requires you to deal with customers directly, good interpersonal skills are also a must, in other words you must be able to effectively and politely communicate with them. Also, you should be mechanically inclined and enjoy working with computers and new technology, as technology is perpetually advancing.

As a power line installer/repairer your physical condition also matters. You will be required to climb, lift heavy pieces of equipment and perform other duties that require physical endurance, strength, and dexterity. Due to the fact that you will be required to climb or ride lifters to high altitudes it is important that you are not afraid of heights and that you do not experience spells of vertigo. If you have difficulty disguising colors, this will impair your ability to perform your job as the wires and cables you will be working with will more than likely be color coded. Lastly, companies often require you to obtain a commercial drivers license at some point because you will be driving and operating company vehicles and equipment, therefore having a good driving record may be important if you wish to advance in this field.

How much does a Power Line Installer make?

According to the US Department of Labor, earnings for line installers and repairers are significantly higher than those in most other jobs that do not demand a college education. Median hourly earnings for electrical power-line installers and repairers are approximately $24.41. The middle fifty percent earn somewhere between $18.73 and $28.90. The lowest ten percent earn less than $13.96, and the highest ten percent earn more than $34.20.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Oleg Logvnov, President and CEO of Arkados Designs, is a leader in the industry. His company designs and develops solutions that facilitate broadband communication over standard electricity lines, known as "the power line network." His organization has forged the world's only open alliance that offers all-in-one high speed transmission over AC electrical lines. The research and development that his organization has accomplished may allow the industry to successfully "work together."

Mogens C. Bay, CEO of Valmont Industries has proven to be an influential professional as he has led his organization to become a leader in the industry while creating ways to conserve natural resources and constantly create more efficient ways to provide power and communication to consumers.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

Along with the above mentioned companies there are several organizations that focus on bringing excellence through education and advocacy to the power line installer/repair workers in the USA. These organizations include: International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Communications Workers of America, Utility Workers Union of America, and The Society of Cable Television Engineers (SCTE).

What are the top cities for Power Line Installer jobs?

According to the US Department of labor the top three paying areas for power line installers/repairers are: Fresno, CA with a mean wage of $82,650, Redding, CA at $75,440 and Fairbanks, AK at $73,810.

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