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Electrical Power-line Installer/Repairer  What They Do

Just the Facts


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

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Maintenance, Installation and Repair pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Adheres to safety practices and procedures, such as checking equipment regularly and erecting barriers around work areas.
  • Tests conductors, according to electrical diagrams and specifications, to identify corresponding conductors and to prevent incorrect connections.
  • Opens switches or attaches grounding devices to remove electrical hazards from disturbed or fallen lines or to facilitate repairs.
  • Climbs poles or uses truck-mounted buckets to access equipment.
  • Drives vehicles equipped with tools and materials to job sites.
  • Identifies defective sectionalizing devices, circuit breakers, fuses, voltage regulators, transformers, switches, relays, or wiring, using wiring diagrams and electrical-testing instruments.
  • Installs, maintains, and repairs electrical distribution and transmission systems, including conduits, cables, wires, and related equipment, such as transformers, circuit breakers, and switches.
  • Digs holes, using augers, and sets poles, using cranes and power equipment.
  • Places insulating or fireproofing materials over conductors and joints.
  • Installs watt-hour meters and connects service drops between power lines and consumers' facilities.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Maintaining a body position that prevents falling when in an unstable position
  • Identifying color and seeing differences in color, including shades and brightness
  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects

Work Hours and Travel

  • Irregular hours
  • Overtime work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Street Railway Line Installer -- Installs, inspects, and maintains street-railway electrical and related equipment, such as poles, feeder cables, trolley wires and supports, and high-tension lines, following blueprints, manuals, and work orders.
  • Trolley Wire Installer -- Installs and maintains electric wire in underground mine to provide power source for mine locomotives.
  • Aerial Lineman --
  • Electrical High Tension Tester --
  • Underground Conduit Installer --