Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers

(NOC 7244)

in All Trades and Transportation

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

Job Outlook

average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 25 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate Moderate rate of unemployment in 2022

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 4040 employment change, 2021-2023
  • Estimate 8425 openings due to growth and retirements, 2021-2023
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

Outlook: average, mostly balanced conditions in the labour market.
Size of the occupation in Nova Scotia: medium, with some opportunities.
Demand: Employment growth will lead to a moderate number of new positions. There is a low level of employee turnover in this occupation. A moderate number of positions will become available due to retirements. There are a moderate number of unemployed workers with recent experience in this occupation.
Workhours: full-time, usually. Both permanent and temporary positions are common.

Hourly Pay

$19.71

Minimum

$38.46

Median

$40.98

Maximum

Annual Pay

$16,856

Minimum

$97,728

Median

$140,167

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$15.00

Minimum

$24.00

Median

$37.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

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 work for electric power generation, transmission and distribution companies, electrical contractors, and public utility commissions.

Job duties

Electrical power line and cable workers:

  • 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.
  • Build 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 like 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

  • Communication skills
  • Ability to plan their work
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Good hearing, vision, and the ability to distinguish colours
  • Strength and stamina
  • Coordination and manual dexterity
  • Comfort with heights
  • Analytical skills to read and interpret diagrams, drawings, and specifications
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Adaptability to changing tasks and locations
  • Safety awareness

Job requirements

  • High school or equivalent (usually).
  • Training through a 7,200-hour apprenticeship program with four apprenticeship levels: to become an apprentice you first need to have a job - enter an apprenticeship agreement either directly through an employer or after graduating from a college-level pre-apprenticeship program; learn on the job, mentored by a certified journeyperson who signs off on skills in a logbook.
  • Trade Qualifier option, 10,800 hours, and other criteria.
  • Certification for powerline technicians is voluntary in Nova Scotia.
  • Write and score a minimum of 70% on the Red Seal exam for powerline technicians.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) allows for interprovincial mobility.

Other considerations

  • Setting is outdoors at various worksites, at any hour, and in any weather.
  • The work always involves travel to and from the worksite, which is often in remote areas.
  • Hazards include working with high voltage equipment, working in confined spaces, working at heights, and in extreme weather conditions. There is possible exposure to asbestos, silica dust, mercury, lead, and PCBs.
  • The work may be strenuous and requires frequent heavy lifting, working in awkward positions, carrying, and reaching.
  • Getting to powerlines requires climbing poles and structures, working from aerial work platforms, and entering maintenance holes and underground vaults.
  • Power lines may be de-energized and grounded, or they may remain energized while technicians are working. Powerline technicians use special equipment and safe work practices and procedures when working with energized power lines.
  • Powerline technicians may also specialize in one of the following areas: transmission lines, overhead or underground distribution systems, communication networks, and electrical power stations.
  • With experience, powerline technicians may act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may advance to senior journeyperson, foreperson, supervisory or managerial positions. They can also transfer their skills to related occupations in areas like design, planning, safety, technical support services, and system control.
  • While a 40-hour workweek is normal, it may be shift work. In emergencies, technicians may be called upon at any hour and in any weather.
  • Apprentices usually earn a percentage of the journeyperson (fully qualified) rate. This percentage increases as each level of the apprenticeship program is completed.
  • Everyone has fair access to participate and succeed in the apprenticeship system. Everyone who develops the necessary skills and abilities should be able to succeed in the trades and trade qualification system. Work environments in the province support women and equity-seeking communities.

By the numbers

Quick look

290

employed in 2016

94.7%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

3.5%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
96.5%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
39.9

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

29.3%

Halifax

$106,462 median annual income
25.9%

North Shore

$61,387 median annual income
15.5%

Annapolis Valley

$85,436 median annual income
15.5%

Southern

$113,431 median annual income
13.8%

Cape Breton

$109,321 median annual income

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

60.0%

Utilities

30.0%

Construction

6.0%

Other services (except public administration)

4.0%

Public administration

What is the age of Employment?

28.0%

25-34

26.0%

45-54

18.0%

35-44

12.0%

55-64

11.0%

15-24

5.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

55.2%

Trade Certification

$106,853 median annual income
27.6%

College Diploma

$93,659 median annual income
5.2%

Bachelor

N/A
5.2%

Less than high school

N/A
3.4%

High school

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Trade Certification

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

High School Diploma or Equivalent

High School Program

Adults without a high school diploma can contact the Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) for tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL oversees adult education programs in Nova Scotia. NSSAL partners with the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations to deliver programs. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Lineworker

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students 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. They 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.

Institutions providing this program

Nova Scotia Community College

Various, NS

Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency

Halifax, NS

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Powerline Technician

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, but a certificate is not needed to legally work in this trade.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
Halifax, NS

Contacts

Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Power
Halifax, NS