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Career Profile: Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers

Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.

Salary and Outlook

According to the US Department of Labor, there are 115,900 people employed as electrical power-line installers and repairers in the United States. The median annual salary is $75,000. Entry level employees earn approximately $39,090 per year and senior employees earn approximately $108,380 per year.

Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.

Job Duties

  • Adhere to safety practices and procedures, such as checking equipment regularly and erecting barriers around work areas.
  • Drive vehicles equipped with tools and materials to job sites.
  • 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 conduit running through the 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.
  • Clean, tin, and splice corresponding conductors by twisting ends together or by joining ends with metal clamps and soldering connections.

Career List

Job Outlook


Total Current Jobs:
115,900
Annual Openings:
10,200
Increase in Openings by 2030:
1%
Annual Salary Range:
$39,090 - $108,380
Education Requirements:
High school diploma