Electric Utility Lineworker
How to Become an

Electric Utility Lineworker

The complete career guide to be an Electric Utility Lineworker: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $65,650
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 11%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

Electric utility lineworkers are essentially energy specialists who execute highly skilled, journey-level transmission, distribution, and electrical work atop utility poles and underground, to make sure that electricity is constantly delivered and available, and power is restored in emergency situations. Utility lineworkers are also responsible for adjusting, repairing and installing overhead and underground power lines, transformers, and streetlights.

Recommended Schools

What is an Electric Utility Lineworker?


Electric uility lineworkers typically carry out tasks under the supervision of a Line Foreman, who reviews work through on-site inspection and the evaluation of completed work projects. If you work as an electric utility lineworker, you are responsible for a range of duties, including the following:

  • Maintain the utilities electric system, which includes distribution and service lines, transformers, meters, metering equipment, electrical substations, and related equipment
  • Climb 45-60 feet utility poles and/or use aerial lift truck to place cables on poles per system design
  • Install overhead and underground power lines and other electric equipment, such as transformers and street lights with all applicable codes, regulations, and customer specifications (NEC Electrical Code, System and/or City Specifications).
  •  Assist with restoration of power outages and installation of electrical service to customers

Day in the life

An electric utility lineworker’s day can start early in the morning. The work often involves long hours, extreme weather conditions, training requirements, safety requirements, etc. There are a wide range of settings in which the lineworker has to remain calm and complete his or her work. For instance, your task could be setting up new power service at a residence one day and then re-establishing power in the middle of the night for an area recovering from a thunderstorm.

On a daily basis, each lineworker is assigned a set of work orders to complete. There can be a crew briefing with the entire team, before everyone sets out to finish the tasks in their queue. Electric utility lineworkers typically take the line truck to the job site, so checking that all tools are in place is paramount.

Strict safety standards are enforced, which include monthly safety meetings, regular inspections of safety equipment, rubber gloves and sleeves, hard hats, face shields, safety glasses, safety boots and additional safety devices are mandatory.

Work schedule and typical hours

Electric utility linemen are responsible for repairing downed power lines, and can be called to drive long distances to work in inclement weather conditions for long periods. Since power access is required at all times, even after working 8 hours on the line, electric utility linemen have to be constantly prepared 24/7 for restoring power when unexpected outages take place. Work hours can be long, as much as 32 hours at one time.

Growth of the job

Growing energy alternatives, rising demand for power supply, and the challenging nature of the work are reasons why electric utility lineworkers will find a great number of job opportunities. A lineman’s annual salary can be influenced by his geographic location, strength of union bodies and level of training.

The US Bureau of Labour Statistics projects 23 percent growth in jobs for electricians between 2010 and 2020. National projections also show approximately 20,000 New Positions openings before 2022, in the field of linework.

Typical employers

Electric utility lineworkers are hired by electric utilities nationwide and can also find a variety of jobs in the electric utility industry. Some examples of such employers are Austin Energy, Southern California Edison, Pedernales Electric Cooperative, Mastec Utility Services Group, the Lower Colorado River Authority and Georgetown Utility Systems.

Great compensation packages however, make up for the effort. Most established organizations provide benefits such as a choice of Medical Plans, Dental Plan, Voluntary Vision Program, Employee Assistance Program, Financial & Legal Assistance, Education Reimbursements and 401k Savings Plan with a company match.

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How To Become an Electric Utility Lineworker

Employers of electric utility lineworkers typically require a high school diploma or its equivalent for most job opportunities, and a community college degree gives you an advantage. There are also other employers that require job candidates to participate in an industry-specific pre-employment test, such as those offered by the Edison Electric Institute.

In recent times, many educational institutions offer rigorous on-the-job lineman training such as Lansing Community College’s Electrical Utility Lineworker Program, or Austin Community College’s Associate of Applied Science degree and certificate in Utility Lineworker Technology.

Such training programs vary from 13 months to two years, depending on the emphasis on coursework and applied training requirements such as climbing classes. Climbing classes are necessary since a lineworker might have to repair downed power lines at great heights, either in a bucket truck or by climbing poles.

Electric Utility Lineworker Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Electric Utility Lineworker salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Electric Utility Lineworker's can make an average annual salary of $65,650, or $32 per hour. On the lower end, they can make $50,160 or $24 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #225 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Average Salary Nationally

Highest Education Among Electric Utility Lineworkers

  • 0%   Doctorate
  • 0.3%   Masters
  • 4.8%   Bachelors
  • 12.5%   Associates
  • 37.3%   College
  • 40.5%   High School
  • 4.5%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Electric Utility Lineworker job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 13,000 jobs for a total of 131,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 11% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Above Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #162 Nationally for All Careers

  • Above Avg. Growth Nationally

What Companies Employ The Most Electric Utility Lineworkers

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Electric power generation, transmission and distribution 56,100 -5,800 -6%
Power and communication line and related structures construction 29,600 17,100 17%
Local government, excluding education and hospitals 14,900 800 1%

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