Powerline Technicians

7244 Electrical power line and cable workers

What do they do?

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.

Example Titles: Apprentice lineman/woman, electric power systems cable installer, electrical power cable splicer, electrical power construction lineman/woman.

Main 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 co-ordinate the preparation and completion of work assignments.

Employment 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 Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Trade certification for powerline technicians (construction) is available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland and Labrador. Trade certification for distribution construction linemen/women is available, but voluntary, in New Brunswick.

Saskatchewan Power Corporation (SPC) – The SPC Training Centre at Weyburn delivers training to Saskatchewan’s Powerline Technician apprentices.

Red Seal endorsement is also available to qualified powerline technicians upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.