Career Profile: Powerline Technician

Career Profile: Powerline Technician

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Turning on a light, using the oven, or recharging a phone seem like simple actions, but they require power, often from electricity. That power uses overhead and underground lines that technicians put in place and maintain. Working as a powerline technician can be a good choice for people who enjoy precise technical work, repairs, and maintenance. If this describes you, why not consider working as a powerline technician?

Powerlines can be overhead, such as the lines that you see along most streets and highways. Others are underground, where no one can see them. Installing or repairing overhead lines can involve climbing ladders or utility poles to reach spots high above the ground. Sometimes powerline technicians place poles in the right places for attaching wires to them. They splice cables together or cut them into the right length for what they need.

Work as a powerline technician involves the ability to continue even in difficult conditions. High winds or other bad weather can make the work unpleasant or even dangerous. Underground powerlines can be easier to work with, but technicians still need to be careful to avoid potential problems such as hitting sewer lines and water pipes.

Working as a powerline technician often involves irregular hours, especially in emergencies. These technicians sometimes get help from other people, but they might work alone at times. Being able to work without supervision and to get jobs done on time is essential. These technicians often find jobs with power, Internet, or telephone companies. They might work as employees or establish their own businesses where they work as contractors for others.

Most people in this trade have at least a high school education, and many have a three- or four-year apprenticeship or a combination of education and work experience. Learning from other people is important since the equipment people work with can be dangerous. Even in high school, students can begin to prepare for the job. Mathematics courses can help with calculating the amounts of pipe or wire needed for each job, and English studies can help with reading complicated instructions.

After high school and an apprenticeship, powerline technicians might want to continue with their training. Trade certification and Red Seal qualifications are available but voluntary in most of Canada. However, getting these designations can help with finding work and advancing to higher levels of responsibility.  Career prospects vary, but they are reasonably good in many areas of Canada. Wages start at about $22 per hour and can rise to $52 per hour with experience.

Like in many trades, work as a powerline technician can be physically demanding. People need to be outside in all kinds of weather conditions, which can be difficult. Even when the work is indoors, it can be difficult. Steady hands and a basic level of physical strength are important. An ability to see potential problems and work out solutions is also helpful. Problem solving can be a large part of the job in many cases. For people who have their own businesses, a knowledge of accounting is useful.

Powerline technicians do important work that can help keep other people’s lights and heat on, their computers running, and much more. If you like to work with your hands and to find solutions for problems, the job of powerline technician might be right for you.



Job Bank. “Powerline Technician in Canada: Job Prospects.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/outlook-occupation/4740/ca.

Job Bank. “Powerline Technician in Canada: Employment Requirements.” https://www.jobbank.gc.ca/marketreport/requirements/4740/ca.

Payscale Canada. “Powerline Technician: Hourly Rate.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Powerline_Technician/Hourly_Rate.

Red Seal Recruiting Solutions Ltd. “Power Line Technician Salaries.” https://redsealrecruiting.com/salaries/power-technician-salary-information/.

Red Seal. Sceau Rouge. “Powerline Technician: Red Seal.” https://www.red-seal.ca/trades/p.4w.2rl.3n.2_t.2ch-eng.html.

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