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Electric Line Worker Apprenticeship
Did you know?*
- Earnings are higher than in most other occupations that do not require postsecondary education.
- A growing number of retirements should create very good job opportunities, especially for electrical power-line installers and repairers.
- Line installers and repairers often work outdoors, and conditions can be hazardous.
- Most line installers and repairers require several years of long-term on-the-job training.
*Statistics retrieved from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Electric line workers install, remove, maintain, and repair electric overhead and underground distribution, sub-transmission, and transmission systems. They respond to 24 hour call out to restore electric service and ensure safety for protection of public and crews.
- Install/repair poles, wire and electrical equipment associated with overhead electrical distribution and transmission systems.
- Install/repair underground cable and electrical equipment associated with electrical distribution and transmission systems.
- Ensure public and crew safety, including: personal protection equipment and emergency procedures and training.
- Remain current with all construction, maintenance, safety and work methods, specifications, materials and practices.
- Drive a variety of motor vehicles and operates hydraulic equipment; for example: back hoe trenchers, bucket trucks and digger derricks.
- Use a variety of hand tools, including chain saws, shovels, drills and compression tools.
- Maintain electronic and paper records, reports, etc.
Electric line workers are required to work outdoors in all types of weather and are subject to 24-hour call. Most usually work a 40 hour week, but when severe weather damages power lines, they may work long and irregular hours to restore service.
- 4 year training program
- 8,000 hours on-the-job training
- 640 hours paid related instruction
- Apprentice must complete Red Cross First Aid and CPR courses and maintain certification throughout the apprenticeship
- Apprentice must in his/her final year complete the Transition-To-Trainer Course.
- High school diploma
- Valid driver's license or reliable transportation
- Commercial driver's license (CDL) with an "A" endorsement or the ability to obtain a CDL
- Most employers test applicants for basic verbal, arithmetic and abstract reasoning skills
- Some employers test for physical ability, such as, balance, coordination, strength and mechanical aptitude
- Applicants apply directly to the electric utility
- Interpersonal Skills- Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Communication Skills- Legible hand-writing, the ability to interact, communicate and have the ability to listen to and understand information from co-workers, customers, and other utility companies.
- Hearing and Vision- Physical ability to hear and use near and far vision.
- Work Ethic- Must show up fit for duty every day both at work and in the classroom.
- Judgment and Decision Making- Must be able to analyze situations based on available data, resolve problems, and make appropriate decisions for each situation.
- Physical Skills:
- Climbing, all structures; pole inspection, climbing poles, working on a pole.
- Stands in a hydraulic bucket at heights of approximately 40 feet or more installing transformers or lines.
- The ability to coordinate two or more limbs while sitting, standing, and/or lying down.
- Occasionally works with energized lines which must be handled according to NESC/OSHA/NEC and other appropriate state agency specifications and safety practices to avoid electric shock.
- Frequently lifts materials and equipment weighing up to 50 pounds. Occasionally lifts items that weigh up to 100 pounds. Assist in rescuing someone injured at pole top.
- Requires the ability to stand, walk, kneel, bend, crouch, crawl, twist upper body, climb hand over hand, and manipulate a variety of objects and tools.
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics maintains information on all occupations. For more information on the Electric Line Worker trade in the United States, visit:
Sources: Bureau of Apprenticeship Standards Position Descriptions,
Apprenticeship in Wisconsin Handbook