Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Career Spotlight: Line Installers and Repairers

On occasion, The Daily Leap will spotlight a particular career by providing an intriguing snapshot into an occupation our blog readers may or may not have considered. For those thinking about changing careers, we’re hoping these occasional spotlights prompt further exploration and possibly a move toward new career options that might not have otherwise been considered. Today’s spotlight is on Line Installers and Repairers.

The Work
Line installers and repairers construct and maintain vast networks of wires and cables that deliver customers electrical power, voice, video and data communications services. Electrical and telecommunications line installers construct new lines by erecting utility poles and towers, or digging underground trenches to carry the wires and cables.

Once construction is finished, line installers string cable along poles and towers or through tunnels and trenches. Other installation duties include setting up service for customers and installing network equipment.

In addition to installation, line installers and repairers are responsible for maintenance of electrical, telecommunications, and cable television lines. When a problem is identified, line repairers repair or replace defective cables or equipment.

Work Environment
The work environment requires strenuous physical activity at times, and can present serious hazards, such as, working with high-voltage power lines.

Education and Training
The minimum educational requirement is a high school diploma; however, many employers prefer people with a technical background in electricity or electronics obtained through vocational programs, community colleges or in the military.

Job Growth
Line installers and repairers are employed by electric power generation, transmission and distribution companies, electrical contractors and public utility commissions. Overall employment is expected to grow 6 percent between 2006 and 2016.

The job details in this blog entry are from the Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition. The full text is available in Career Transitions. Click on Explore Careers >Career Targets. Select “Click here to browse careers” and enter lineman in the search box. Click to learn more next to the occupation listing, and then select “Career Overview”.

To get a visual look at the job of a line installer and repairer, click here.

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