A lineman is best described as an outdoor electrician. Line workers construct and maintain electric power transmission, distribution lines, and telecommunication lines between towers, poles, and buildings.
So, the job of a lineman involves working on both energized and de-energized power lines making it a job with safety risks involved. With this considered, how much money does a lineman make in Texas? Or what can be expected for the average electrical technician salary?
What Does a Lineman Do?
Linemen are responsible for installing and maintaining the physical power lines and cables that provide homes and businesses with electricity, landline telephone communication, cable television, and internet access. They can specialize in various areas depending upon their interests and the industry they work in.
Job Duties of Electrical Power-line Installers
- Installing, maintaining, and repairing power lines that transmit electricity.
- Stringing power lines between poles, buildings, and towers.
- Identifying defective devices, transformers, voltage regulators, and switches.
- Inspecting and testing power lines and auxiliary equipment.
- Operating power equipment.
- Climbing poles and transmission towers and using truck-mounted buckets to reach equipment.
- Driving work vehicles to job sites.
- Following safety standards and guidelines.
Job Duties of Telecommunications Line Installers
- Install, repair, and maintain telecommunications lines and equipment.
- Inspect and test lines and cables.
- Install aerial cables, including over lakes and across rivers.
- Lay cable in trenches underground, including fiber-optic lines.
- Operate power equipment to install and repair lines, poles, and towers.
- Drive work vehicles to job sites.
- Adhere to safety guidelines.
- Set up service for customers.
When a problem is reported, a lineman must be able to identify the cause and repair it. This usually requires diagnostic testing using specialized equipment.
A commercial driver’s license is required for those who drive heavy company vehicles and line workers are sometimes required to travel long distances to jobs.
How Do You Become a Lineman?
Linemen need technical instruction and long-term on-the-job training. Basic knowledge of advanced mathematical concepts plus technical knowledge of electricity and electronics is required.
Classroom study will include courses in electricity, electronics, microwave transmission, and fiber optics.
Entry-level lineman jobs begin with an apprenticeship. As additional skills are learned from more experienced linemen, workers advance to more sophisticated maintenance and repair positions.
After three to four years of supervised work, linemen advance to the journey level. Journeyman line workers may qualify for higher positions and can supervise and train others after many years of experience.
Although it is not mandatory, certification opportunities do exist for linemen. Organizations offering certification include the Building Industry Consulting Service International (BICSI), the Electrical Training Alliance, and The Fiber Optic Association.
Linemen should possess good color vision, physical stamina, physical strength, mechanical skills, technical skills, and troubleshooting skills. Teamwork is critical as linemen must depend upon each other for safety.
Work Environment of a Lineman
A lineman’s work is physically demanding. Those involved in the field must often work at great heights and in confined spaces. They need to be able to climb utility poles and keep their balance while working on them.
Line workers are regularly required to work in challenging weather conditions like rain, snow, wind, and extreme hot and cold in order to keep electricity and telecommunications flowing.
Because the job of a lineman presents serious hazards, strict safety procedures must be followed to minimize danger. The potential for electrocution and falls account for one of the highest rates of injuries for all occupations.
National Salary Requirements for Linemen
According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook put out by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average pay for a lineman is $70,900 nationally. Entry-level installers and repairers can expect to make about $38,000 per year. The highest-paid line workers in the country earn approximately $101,500.
Most linemen work full time, and nights and weekends are often required. Emergencies after storms and other natural disasters often call for long work hours for several days in a row. The resulting overtime hours can increase a lineman’s yearly pay by about $13,000.
In comparison to related occupations, when it comes to what potential lineman make in Texas, this is similar to the salary of an electrician. The difference comes when electricians achieve advanced certifications. With certification comes higher pay. The median salary for a lineman is higher than that of an HVAC technician who will earn an average wage of about $47,600 nationally.
Job Outlook for Line Workers
According to Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average salary for a Lineman in the state is Texas is $58,320. The employment outlook for linemen is expected to rise by 8% over the next ten years. As the population continues to grow, and with it consumers’ demand for faster, more enhanced connectivity, that number is expected to at the least, remain stable.
The expansion of cities will require new power lines that must be maintained. Also, the interstate power grid will become more complex to help ensure reliability.
The best job opportunities in the field will go to highly skilled workers with apprenticeship training or a technical degree in electricity, electronics, or telecommunications
Are you interested in making what other lineman make in Texas? You can start working toward your future and get electrician training in Texas.
Be In Control and Be An Electrician
If you’re thinking about a career change, it’s time to take the next step so that you can be in control of your life. Southern Careers Institute offers an Electrical Technician program that prepares students for residential and commercial electrical jobs.
A few things you will learn about in the program include installation, operation, and maintenance of electrical wiring; the handling of electrical distribution panels, wiring, and power transmission; and all about regulations, applicable codes, and safety procedures.
With campuses in Austin, San Antonio North, San Antonio South, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Pharr, and Waco, Texas, SCI offers financial aid options for those who qualify.
With programs in business, trades, technology, cosmetology, and the medical field, we make it easy for students to make a difference in their lives.
For your convenience, we also offer online classes in business administration, computer support, medical billing and coding, and an associate degree in management.
Classes are filling up, so visit our website or give us a call at 1.888.SCITEXAS to let our friendly and professional admissions staff walk you through the process of enrollment.
Blog Disclaimer: Information stated in this blog is for general information purposes only. SCITexas.edu does not assume or guarantee income earning potential or salary expectations based on the programs offered at Southern Careers Institute. Career and program information stated in this blog does not guarantee that programs and specifics are offered at Southern Careers Institute.
This article was published on: 03/3/20 3:00 PM
* SCI does not guarantee employment or a starting salary upon graduation, completion, or withdrawal from SCI. As an accredited post-secondary institution, SCI has various federal financial assistance programs available for students who qualify and are enrolled in SCI programs. This does not apply to seminar students.