Imagine arranging wires pulsing with lethal voltages of electrical current. Now imagine doing that at the top of a utility pole, in gusting winds, or during a snowstorm. This is all in a day's work for electrical power line installers and repairers.
On solid ground, these outdoor workers use ...
muscle and power tools to put up towers and other equipment, or dig holes and set up poles for power lines. In urban areas, installers have to crawl down through manholes to position or repair power lines underground. Elsewhere, line installers have to be comfortable stringing and splicing cables 20-40 feet overhead, working from a truck-mounted bucket or climbing poles themselves.
Apprenticeships and training programs sponsored by unions are the best ways to learn the required skills and critical safety procedures for this job. But along with technical knowledge, it requires strength, agility, and, during severe weather, lots of stamina.
Installers and repairers are called out on short notice during or after storms and work long shifts, often traveling far from home for days until power is restored. Experienced installers and repairers achieve relatively high salaries, enhanced by regular overtime pay and the knowledge that a community's energy needs depend on your agility and ability.
Install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. May erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Lay underground cable directly in trenches, or string it through conduit running through the trenches.
Travel in trucks, helicopters, and airplanes to inspect lines for freedom from obstruction and adequacy of insulation.
Pull up cable by hand from large reels mounted on trucks.
Test conductors, according to electrical diagrams and specifications, to identify corresponding conductors and to prevent incorrect connections.
Clean, tin, and splice corresponding conductors by twisting ends together or by joining ends with metal clamps and soldering connections.
Trim trees that could be hazardous to the functioning of cables or wires.
Inspect and test power lines and auxiliary equipment to locate and identify problems, using reading and testing instruments.
Identify defective sectionalizing devices, circuit breakers, fuses, voltage regulators, transformers, switches, relays, or wiring, using wiring diagrams and electrical-testing instruments.
Splice or solder cables together or to overhead transmission lines, customer service lines, or street light lines, using hand tools, epoxies, or specialized equipment.
Dig holes, using augers, and set poles, using cranes and power equipment.
Place insulating or fireproofing materials over conductors and joints.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Knowledge of principles and methods for moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road, including the relative costs and benefits.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Determining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Repairing machines or systems using the needed tools.
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