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Apprentice Training  |  Outside Lineman  |  Inside Wireman  |  Installer Technician  |  Residential Wireman
Outside Lineman
IBEW members jointly trained by the IBEW and NECA can be seen constructing transmission lines which bring power from far away generating plants to local service areas.

Apprentices learn to employ safe work practices while working under the supervision of a Journeyman Lineman.

Outside Linemen do not always have the comfort of performing their work from a bucket truck. Linemen must develop climbing skills, as much of their work is atop wooden poles. Linemen often find themselves working in bad weather and storms in order to maintain electrical power for homes, hospital, factories and schools.

Job Description

The duties of an outside lineman are described below. The number next to each duty is the average of the percentage of journeymen reporting that they perform that task.

96% Installing and Maintaining Transformers and Other Equipment
93% Stringing New Wire or Maintaining Old Wire
92% Supervising Journeymen and Apprentices
91% Installing and Maintaining Insulators
91% Establishing Work Position for Maintaining and Repairing Overhead Distribution or Transmission Lines
87% Planning and Initiating Project
81% Establishing OSHA and Customer Safety Requirements
81% Setting of Towers, Poles and Construction of Other Devices to Hold Electrical Wiring
69% Installing, Repairing and Maintaining an Underground Electrical Distribution System
65% Assembly and Erection of Substations
56% Installing, Maintaining and Repairing Traffic or Train Signals and Outdoor Lighting
50% Tree Trimming
 
Tools of the Trade

Outside linemen use a broad array of tools. We have classified the tools by how frequently you will likely need to use them.

Daily
Hand tools: plumb bob, pliers, needle nose pliers, slip joint pliers, hammer, wire cutters, screw driver, measuring tape, ruler, socket set, wrench, crimping tools, hand drill, shovel, ladder, knife, tamp tool, hoist come a long.
Power-assisted tools: hand drill.
Meters: voltmeter.
Heavy equipment: bucket truck, auger.
Climbing tools: gaffs, safety belt, body belt.
Hot sticks: switch stick, universal "gripall" stick (shot gun).
 
Weekly
Hand tools: file, allen wrench, hacksaw, handsaw, block and tackle, ladder.
Power-assisted tools: electric saber saw, electric roto hammer drill.
Meters: ammeter.
 
Monthly
Hand tools: level, fish tape, pipe wrench, wire stripper.
Power-assisted tools: roto stripper, wire tugger.
Heavy equipment: crane.
Hot sticks: auxiliary arm, insulated tension link, tie stick, link stick.
 
Occasionally
Hand tools: punch, fuse pullers, clamps, torque wrench, architect scale, keyhole saw, wood chisel, hand bender, transit, adapter cables, hand reamer, knock out sets, awl vise, caliper.
Power-assisted tools: soldering iron, drill press, gas-operated auger, air hammer, coring machine to drill through concrete, hydraulic bender, power cutting and threading machine, roto stripper, water pump, electric screw gun, electric saber saw, fiber optic fusion splicer, electric roto hammer drill.
Meters: oscilloscope, wattmeter, optical power meter, MEGGER, dielectric test set to hipot cable, dynamometer, optical time-domain reflectometers.
Heavy equipment: trencher, electric lift, power borer, derrick, dozer, backhoe, caterpillar.
Climbing tools: skates.
Hot sticks: wire tongs, wire tong supports, strain carrier, platform, saddle, lever lift, gin pole.
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