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Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers

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NOC:7244
Occupation:Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers
Category:Trades and Transportation

About the job

Nature of work:

Electrical power line and cable workers construct, maintain and repair overhead and underground electrical power transmission and distribution systems. They are employed by electric power generation, transmission and distribution companies, electrical contractors and public utility commissions.

Job duties:
Electrical power line and cable workers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Install, maintain, troubleshoot and repair electrical distribution and transmission systems including overhead and underground power lines and cables, insulators, conductors, lightning arrestors, switches, transformers and other associated equipment.
  • Erect and maintain steel, wood or concrete poles, towers and guy wires.
  • Splice, solder and insulate conductors and related wiring to connect power distribution and transmission networks using splicing tools, related electrical equipment and tools.
  • Inspect and test overhead and underground power lines and cables and auxiliary equipment using electrical test equipment.
  • Climb ladders or operate hydraulic buckets when working aloft on poles and towers, or work in confined spaces such as trenches and tunnels to install power lines and cables and associated equipment.
  • Install and maintain street lighting systems.
  • Communicate with other workers to coordinate the preparation and completion of work assignments.
Sample job titles:
  • cable installer and repairer - electric power systems
  • cable line worker
  • emergency servicer - electric power systems
  • line repairer - electric power systems
  • meter installer - electric power systems
  • powerline technician
  • repair lineman/woman - electric power systems
  • service lineman/woman - electric power systems
Skills:

This work requires accuracy, caution, and attention to detail. You must be able to work to precise specifications and adhere to safety practices and procedures when installing and repairing cables and power lines. Physical stamina, good hand-eye coordination, and an electrical aptitude are needed. You should also have a strong background in mathematics and the sciences. Workers in this group typically work at heights, climb ladders, or operate hydraulic buckets when working on poles and towers, or work in confined spaces such as trenches and tunnels.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a provincial three- or four-year lineman/woman apprenticeship program or a combination of over four years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in electrical technology is usually required for electrical power line and cable workers.
  • Trade certification for powerline technicians is available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified powerline technicians upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
Other considerations:

Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to decline moderately over the next few years, which will likely limit the number of new opportunities available. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs may either be permanent or temporary positions, as both are common. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 59% of Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $104,891. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers250decline5Moderate
Minimum: $22.00
Median: $38.00
Maximum: $41.35
Minimum: $16,856
Median: $97,728
Maximum: $140,167
Occupations in Trades and Transportation57,925Decline slightly3,400High
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $20.35
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,580
Median: $37,269
Maximum: $79,787
Electrical Power Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time93%89%
Percent self-employed26%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentElectrical Power Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern16%x12%$30,581
Northern26%$81,71616%$33,660
Cape Breton14%x13%$32,974
Halifax29%$78,78647%$41,209
Annapolis Valley16%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeElectrical Power Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
15-2414%x
25-3430%13%
35-4421%33%
45-5416%34%
55-6418%19%
65+4%x
Median Age4047
GenderElectrical Power Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Female0%5%
Male100%95%
EducationElectrical Power Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school3.5%x18.2%$25,753
High school3.5%x25.5%$28,089
Trades certificate56.1%x29.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma29.8%$91,75122.6%$39,023
University certificate or diploma3.5%x1.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degree5.3%x2.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax0.2%$41,705
Master's degreeN/Ax0.3%x
DoctorateN/Ax0.0%$36,029
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.0%$3,714
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

Employment Requirements & Contacts

Regulations:
Powerline Technician
Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary):This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.
Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
apprenticeship@novascotia.ca
Useful contacts:
Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
info@nscsc.ca
Nova Scotia Power
PO Box 910
Halifax, NS B3J 2W5
Tel: (800) 428-6230
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Lineworker
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to install, operate, maintain and repair local, long-distance, and rural electric power cables and communication lines; erect and construct pole and tower lines; and install underground lines and cables. These programs include courses in cable installation and repair, fibre-optic technology, trenching, mobile equipment and crane operation, high-voltage installations, maintenance and inspection, safety, remote communications, and applicable codes and standards.
See all institutions providing this program+
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Additional resources:

Work Occupation Video(s)

Powerline Technician

Technical Manager