Telecommunications Line and Cable Workers

Occupation:Telecommunications Line and Cable Workers
Category:Trades and Transportation

About the job

Nature of work:

Telecommunications line and cable workers install, repair, and maintain telecommunication lines and cables. They are employed by cable television companies and by telephone and other telecommunications services.

Job duties:
Telecommunications line and cable workers perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Install, remove, maintain and repair aerial and underground telephone and other telecommunication transmission and distribution lines, cables and associated hardware.
  • Install (but do not repair or maintain) cable television lines and cables.
  • Splice and repair various types and sizes of telephone and other telecommunication cables including single line, coaxial and fibre optic.
  • Inspect and test telecommunication transmission lines and cables for transmission characteristics and to locate faults.
  • Analyze and record test results.
  • Climb and work aloft on poles, ladders or other support structures or work in confined spaces such as trenches, tunnels and crawl spaces.
  • Communicate with other workers to coordinate the preparation and completion of work assignments.
  • Assist in the erection and removal of telecommunication poles, towers and associated support structures.
  • May operate excavation machinery and other heavy equipment.
Sample job titles:
  • cable installer - telecommunications
  • cable repair technician - telecommunications
  • communications technician
  • lineworker-technician - telecommunications
  • repair lineman/woman - telecommunications
  • telecommunication cable installer
  • telecommunication cable repairer
  • telecommunication line technician

This work requires accuracy, caution, and attention to detail. You must be able to work to precise specifications and levels of safety when installing and repairing cables. Physical stamina, good hand-eye coordination, and an electrical aptitude are needed. You should also have a strong background in mathematics and the sciences.

Job requirements:
  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • Completion of a four-year telecommunications line and cable apprenticeship program or a combination of over three years work experience in the trade and some industry-related or other specialized courses or completion of a two-year college program in electronics is usually required.
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 grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. 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. Telecommunications Line and Cable Workers most commonly work full-time hours. Furthermore, the jobs are typically permanent positions.

The median employment income for 64% of Telecommunications Line and Cable Workers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $49,041. 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
Telecommunications Line and Cable Workers315Moderate growth35High
Minimum: $15.75
Median: $27.00
Maximum: $33.65
Minimum: $14,294
Median: $43,118
Maximum: $70,513
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
Telecommunications Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time92%89%
Percent self-employed14%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentTelecommunications Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Cape Breton18%x13%$32,974
Annapolis Valley8%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeTelecommunications Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Median Age4247
GenderTelecommunications Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
EducationTelecommunications Line and Cable WorkersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school7.9%x18.2%$25,753
High school32.9%x25.5%$28,089
Trades certificate19.7%$106,85329.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma31.6%$93,65922.6%$39,023
University certificate or diploma2.6%x1.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degree3.9%x2.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diploma2.6%x0.2%$41,705
Master's degreeN/Ax0.3%x
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.0%$3,714
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.


Employment Requirements & Contacts

No regulating bodies were found under this occupation profile
No contacts were found under this occupation profile

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
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
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
Apprenticeship Training
Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Additional resources: