Line Work Careers

You might enjoy a career in line work if you:

  • Enjoy working outdoors and like physical work.
  • Have superior mechanical skills.
  • Have stamina, coordination, and are unafraid of heights.
  • Have good interpersonal skills for working with customers.
  • Like to travel and work in different locations.
  • Are willing to work extra hours in emergency situations.
  • Have a good driving record.

Main responsibilities

At many large electrical utilities lineworkers must specialize in one of these areas:

  • Constructing transmission and distribution structures and lines.
  • Maintaining overhead and underground electrical lines.
  • Repairing storm-damaged lines and restoring service.

At Otter Tail Power Company, however, lineworkers have the opportunity to perform all of these key skills. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Installing and framing poles.
  • Stringing cable.
  • Operating heavy equipment.
  • Managing vegetation.
  • Replacing fixtures and repairing equipment.

Educational requirements

  • A diploma or certificate from an accredited lineworker program
  • Working knowledge of electricity
  • Must obtain a commercial driver’s license
  • Once hired must complete an apprenticeship program to become a journeyman lineman

Here are some of the schools in this area that offer lineworker programs:

Bismarck State College
Bismarck, ND
(electric power technology - line construction)

Dakota County Technical College
Rosemount, MN

Minnesota State Community and Technical College
Wadena, MN

Minnesota West Community and Technical College
Jackson, MN

Mitchell Technical Institute
Mitchell, SD
(power line construction and maintenance)

To prepare for a career as an electrical lineman, consider taking the following high school classes:

  • Auto mechanics
  • Electronics
  • Algebra and geometry
  • General business operations
  • Interpersonal communications

Benefits

  • Paid vacation
  • Health insurance
  • Life insurance
  • Annual clothing allowance
  • Educational reimbursement
  • Retirement benefits
  • Opportunities to earn overtime pay

Salary

According to national labor statistics, annual salaries for lineworkers are above average compared with jobs requiring similar education and skills.

Job level Experience Annual salary*
Entry-level Apprentice lineworker 0 - 4 years $63,000 - $81,000
Journeyman lineworker 4+ years $90,000 - $91,500
Lead lineworker 4+ years Approximately $97,000

*Does not include overtime pay earned.