The next time you see a power line, know that a power lineman installs, repairs or maintains those wires. Power linemen climb to great heights with the purpose of erecting poles or transmission towers. Though the job can be dangerous, power linemen require years of training and some classroom study to become qualified, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to O*Net, a website sponsored by the Department of Labor, power linemen are also known as power-line installers and repairers.
As of May 2009, the mean hourly wage for electrical power-line installers and repairers was $26.86 and the mean annual wage, or average salary, was $55,860, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The PayScale website lists the starting salary of journeymen linemen, another name for electrical power-line installers and repairers, according to O*Net Online. In October 2010, the starting salary for journeymen linemen was between $39,000 and $67,500.
As of May 2009, the electric power generation, transmission and distribution industry employed the largest number of electrical power-line installers and repairers with an average salary of $59,100, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other industries that employed large numbers and their average salaries were: utility system construction, $50,080; the local government, $54,700; building equipment contractors, $54,340; and natural gas distribution, $78,770.
The natural gas distribution industry paid the highest average salary above all other employers to electrical power-line installers and repairers with $78,770, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other employers that offered high pay and their average annual salaries were: the Federal executive branch, $67,250; facilities support services, $60,310; pipeline transportation of natural gas, $59,840; and electric power generation, transmission and distribution, $59,100.
California had the highest average salary above all other states for electrical power-line installers and repairers with $76,800, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other states that had high average salaries were: Oregon, with $74,440; Alaska, with $71,000; New York, with $70,780; and Hawaii, with $70,480.
2016 Salary Information for Line Installers and Repairers
Line installers and repairers earned a median annual salary of $60,800 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, line installers and repairers earned a 25th percentile salary of $44,070, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $78,070, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 227,000 people were employed in the U.S. as line installers and repairers.