Electrician Career Types

Outside Lineman Training

An Outside Lineman works on outside wiring attached to utility poles. In this job you may work from a bucket truck or you might have to climb utility poles, therefore you should be in good physical condition to even consider this profession. In addition, you will have to work in all kinds of bad weather repairing downed power lines. This is an important and dangerous job. An apprenticeship is required that could last for up to five years. This is to make sure you will be safe around high voltage lines when working solo. This is a high paying electrical career since the job is risky, and the working conditions unpleasant at times.

Outside Lineman training consits of climbing poles or in bucket trucks, installing or repairing electrical power lines outdoors.
IBEW, NJATC, and NECA works together to create an outstanding program such as this for people who wants to be an electrician.

This program lasts from three-and-a-half to four years with a minimum of 7,000 hours of OJT and 400 hours of classroom.

It is perfect for someone who enjoys being outdoors. The American Council on Education(ACE)recommends 28 credits for this program.

Duties Include:

  • Planning and Initiating Projects.
  • Establishing OSHA and Customer Safety Requirements.
  • Setting Towers and Poles
  • Constructing Other Devices to Support
  • Transmission/Distribution Cables.
  • Establishing work positions for maintaining and repairing overhead distribution or transmission
  • lines.
  • Stringing new wire or maintaining old wire.
  • Installing and maintaining insulators.

They install and maintain transformers and other equipment. They use climbing tools, hand tools, and heavy equipment on a daily basis. They have working knowledge with energized circuits, and occasionally perform emergency rescue. Important skills To Be Learned:

  • Skill at Working on High Voltage Lines While Wearing Protective Equipment Such As Rubber Gloves.
  • Skill at Performing CPR.
  • Skill at Rigging Equipment.
  • Skill at tying knots.
  • Skill at operating a bucket truck.
  • Skill at splicing high voltage cable.
  • Skill at splicing aluminum or copper cable.
  • Skill at driving a truck.

Outside lineman work specifically with power lines and other equipment furnished by the various utility companies that supply electricity throughout the country.  In short, outside linemen are employed by electric companies to install and maintain power lines and poles, transformers, insulators, etc…  You often see an outside lineman working in a bucket truck or strapped in a harness attached to the side of a power pole they just climbed.

Becoming an outside lineman requires much of the same educational and work experience as any other specialty in the electrical field.  There are some major differences though.  Outside lineman must also learn things like pole climbing and safety knots, how to operate bucket trucks, hand signals used to communicate with ground crews, etc…

Outside lineman work with high voltage and sometimes “live” (energized) wires.  Because of this, learning safety precautions and emergency rescues are a must.  Of all the electrical specialties, an outside lineman’s job is perhaps the most dangerous which gives some understanding as to why it is often a higher paying job than other electrician jobs.

Outside lineman are the heroes in the aftermath of storms that go out during inclement weather and work to turn the power back on.  The job can be physically stressful, involving working in extremely cold weather at times or conversely, at the top of a power pole in extremely hot weather.   The physical demands of the job may not be for everyone.  However, for those who love working outdoors, are looking for job security in a field that will be needed for a long time to come, and earning the great rate of an electrician salary, becoming an outside lineman is a great choice…