Are you in good physical condition? Do you enjoy working outdoors? Are you good with math? Continue reading to learn if a career in electronics line working is for you.
Electronics or electrical line workers deal with the huge networks of cables and wires and distribution systems that provide electrical services to customers. You may be responsible for troubleshooting the cause of failures in equipment, such as switches and transformers. You could install, repair, inspect, maintain and test power lines that go from electric generating plants to customer sites. You may erect utility poles and towers or dig trenches to route the cables and wires. Other job titles are lineman, power lineman and line worker.
Electrical line workers typically begin as entry-level technicians, progressing to journeyman positions in 3-5 years. Payscale.com reported in January of 2012 that most journeyman line workers earned between $12.08-$37.61 per hour with 1-4 years of experience. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment opportunities for this physically demanding and occasionally hazardous job were expected to increase by four percent between 2008-2018 (www.bls.gov).
Employers typically seek people with a basic knowledge of trigonometry and algebra, as well as excellent reading and writing skills. Electrical line workers are usually required to have a high school diploma. Some firms like to hire people with technical knowledge of electronics obtained through vocational programs, the armed forces or community colleges.
If you'd like to have some formal training before entering the field, you may apply for electronics apprenticeship programs that combine coursework with hands-on work. These types of programs may only be available to those already working for a participating employer. You could choose to attend a continuing education program designed to prepare students for employment as an entry-level line worker. Expect to take courses in electrical power systems, line construction and electrical computation.
Other 2-year courses of study offer associate's degrees after successful completion of coursework, while some also require an apprenticeship. Look for power systems engineering technology, electricity or electrical technology majors. Courses offered in an Associate of Science in Electricity include blueprint reading, commercial wiring and electrical theory. You may take DC circuits, computer aided design and AC circuit courses in a power systems engineering technology program.