A job of a Journeyman Lineman falls under the broader career category of electricians. A Journeyman Lineman's main duty is to build and maintain electrical power systems. People in this field work anywhere from underground vaults or trenches to 300-foot. structures. Regular tasks often include setting towers/poles, maintaining and repairing overhead distribution or transmission lines, stringing new wire or maintaining old wire, installing and maintaining insulators, installing and maintaining transformers, installing and maintaining underground distribution systems, trimming trees, and supervising groundsmen and apprentices.
Useful qualities for this line of work would be toughness and grit. It is common for journeyman linemen to work in strenuous conditions. This is normally due to the power being out during storms or bad weather, and it is critical for electrical power to be operable. Journeyman linemen will be be required to safely operate heavy equipment like backhoes, dump trucks, tensioners, pullers, and cranes. Training and certification for some of the heavy equipment may be required and can be obtained usually from an apprenticeship program or course.
Knowledge in electrical systems and power tools is very useful. The job may require the use of devices such as ohmmeters, voltmeters, and oscilloscopes to ensure the compatibility or safety of a system.
Requirements for this position can vary with electrical companies, but it is recommended to have some type of electrician degree and/or experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 23% growth in job opportunities in this field between 2010 and 2020, which is much greater than the expected growth rate for all occupations. As technology evolves, the energy industry will have additional demand for journeymen linemen who are trained to connect the new technology power sources for use.
Journeyman Lineman Tasks
- Create infrastructure for electrical systems, such as towers, poles, underground tunnels, and substations.
- Supervise and inspect work done by others for safety and quality.
- Install and maintain wires, insulation, transformers, and other equipment.
- Operate, maintain, and build electrical systems.
- Trim trees and remove obstacles.