A utility locator determines where underground utilities (such as telephone, gas and power lines) should be placed and where existing utilities are located. They often work for utility, consulting and construction companies. Tasks performed by utility locators include reading maps and blueprints to determine where utilities are located, marking the location of existing utilities for future reference, and helping professionals such as utility workers, construction workers and electricians assess utilities' location in case they need to be repaired, modified, expanded or worked around.
Utility locators may use electronic detection equipment in their work, and they may regularly be exposed to heat, cold, rain and other elements of outdoor weather. The utility locator may also have to perform physical activities such as using a shovel to unearth utilities as well. At all times, these professionals must follow safety procedures and laws.
Usually, a high school diploma or equivalent is needed for this position. Experience in a similar position is often required or preferred, though some companies offer on-the-job training. The ability to stand and walk for long periods of time, to bend and stoop, and to lift heavy items is essential; it is also sometimes necessary to enter manholes. Since this job requires traveling to service locations, it is important to have a clean driving record and a valid driver’s license as well.
Utility Locator Tasks
Communicate with clients, engineers and management.
Use a variety of techniques (electrical, magnetic, blueprint analysis, and/or radar) to measure utilities.
Identify and map location and depth of utilities such as water, sewer, gas, cable, oil, and electric lines.
Document interactions, site information and utilities in organizational software.