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Electrical linesworker (Aus)

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Summary of occupation

Electrical linesworkers install, repair and maintain the network of overhead powerlines and cables that carry electricity from generators to end users. In the south west corner of WA alone, stretching north from Albany to Kalbarri and east to Kalgoorlie, there is over 88,000 km of powerlines to maintain. In addition to working on the lines themselves, electrical linesworkers also install power poles and associated equipment including supports, cross arms, street lights and electrical equipment such as transformers and circuit breakers. During emergency situations, such as when live wires have been knocked down by severe weather, electrical linesworkers are called out to safely repair the damage and remove hazards.

ANZSCO description: Installs, maintains, repairs and patrols electrical sub-transmission and distribution systems. Registration or licensing may be required.
Alternative names: Electrical Line Mechanic (NZ), Electrical Line Worker, Line Mechanic, Lines Worker, Linesworker, Overhead Lineworker
Specialisations: Electrical Line Mechanic (Distribution) (NZ), Electrical Line Mechanic (Transmission) (NZ), Electrical Linesworker (Distribution) (Aus), Electrical Linesworker (Transmission) (Aus), Railway Traction Line Worker
Job prospects: Average
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

An electrical linesworker needs:

  • to endorseto safe work practices
  • to be able to work at heights
  • normal colour vision
  • to enjoy practical work
  • to enjoy working outside
  • to be able to work as part of a team.
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Working conditions

There are two main employers of electrical linesworkers in Western Australia. Western Power is responsible for the transmission and distribution of electricity in the State’s South West. Horizon Energy looks after electricity supply and generation throughout the rest of the State. Some large companies with high energy usage, such as mine sites in remote locations, may operate their own private network. Electrical linesworkers work outdoors in most weather conditions, at heights and with extremely high voltage electricity. In order to minimise the danger, they must follow strict safety requirements. They may be required to work shifts, which can include nights and weekends. These workers may also be expected to be on call to respond to emergencies that occur outside of regular hours.

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Salary details

On average, electrical linesworkers can expect to earn between $1 635 and $2 212 per week, ($85 000 and $115 000 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience.

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Tools and technologies

Electrical linesworkers use special line-testing equipment to measure the strength of the electrical current and help identify where faults are occurring. Ladders and elevated work platforms can be used to reach the tops of poles, where they use tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, drills and wire strippers to carry out maintenance and repair work. Safety equipment is very important to these workers, and they are usually required to wear gloves, boots, overalls, safety glasses, hard hats and reflective vests.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become an electrical linesworker you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. An electrical powerline worker – distribution apprenticeship usually takes 48 months to complete.

To work as an electrical linesworker in Western Australia you will also need to hold an electrical work licence issued by EnergySafety.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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