Your Career as an Outside Lineman
Vital Work requires Vital Preparation!

Outside Linemen primarily do the important work of installing and maintaining the overhead distribution and transmission lines that move electrical power from power plants to local consumers such as businesses, homes and factories. They also install and maintain poles and towers, underground systems and sub-stations that are required to power communities.

Outside Linemen are often climbing poles or working in bucket trucks, installing or repairing electrical power lines out-of-doors.

Major duties of the Outside Lineman include:

  • Planning and initiating projects;
  • Establishing OSHA and customer safety requirements;
  • Setting towers and poles and constructing other devices to support transmission/distribution cables;
  • Establishing work positions for maintaining and repairing overhead distribution or transmission lines;
  • Stringing new wire or maintaining old wire;
  • Installing and maintaining insulators;
  • Installing and maintaining transformers and other equipment; and
  • In performing these duties, Linemen use climbing tools, hand tools, and heavy equipment on a daily basis.

Linemen also need to develop a great deal of technical knowledge during their apprenticeship.
A recent job analysis identified 77 knowledge areas that are important for successful performance.

A few of the more important ones are knowledge of:

  • How to work the energized circuits;
  • How to perform an emergency rescue;
  • First Aid/CPR;
  • Connections to be made for various transformers;
  • What makes a wooden pole unsafe to climb;
  • Delta and Wye transformer connections;
  • Specific job safety rules;
  • Appropriate hand signals to use with ground crew and equipment operators;
  • The proper knot to tie in different circumstances; and
  • Blueprints, including symbols used.

Some of the most important skills Outside Linemen must posses include:

  • Working on high voltage lines while wearing protective equipment such as rubber gloves;
  • Performing CPR;
  • Rigging equipment;
  • Tying knots;
  • Operating a bucket truck;
  • Splicing high voltage cable;
  • Splicing aluminum or copper cable; and
  • Driving heavy equipment, vehicles, and trucks.

Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Washington, DC., and Maryland