Job Description of a Lineman


Line installers and repairers install and maintain networks of lines and cables that provide society with electricity. These systems can be so complex that linemen often specialize in one of two categories. According to the Occupational Information Network, linemen may also be known as electrical power-line installers and repairers or telecommunications line installers and repairers.


  • Line installers use equipment to join fiber-optic cables, according to College Board. All line workers climb utility poles and work at great heights. Telecommunications line installers and repairers string and repair television and telephone cables that transmit television programming and telephone messages, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the other hand, electrical power-line installers and repairers work with cables used for electrical power. These workers erect poles or heavy duty transmission towers.

Environment and Hours

  • Line installers work both in high heights and tight spaces, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Work requires that line installers drive utility vehicles and work outdoors, sometimes under poor weather conditions. Line installers have some of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Though fatalities today are rare, linemen have relatively high rates of nonfatal injuries. Workers are likely to have long irregular hours and frequently are on-call and work over-time. On-call work may include fixing damage of utility poles from storms.

Education & Training

  • Formal apprenticeships are common, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Apprenticeships can last up to five years which combines on-the-job training with classroom courses. Apprenticeships are jointly offered by the employer and the union that represents the workers. Courses include electronics, electricity, fiber optics and microwave transmission.


  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, electrical power-line installers and repairers earned a national average hourly rate of $26.86 and a national average yearly income of $55,860 in 2009. Telecommunications line installers and repairers earned a national average hourly rate of $23.23 and a national average yearly income of $48,310 in 2009.


  • According to the BLS National Employment Matrix, employment for all types of line installers and repairers is expected to grow at a rate of 2 percent through 2018. Job prospects will be due to job openings left by retired employees.

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  • Photo Credit Power Lines image by Towards Ithaca from
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