Entry Senior

Electrical Powerline and Cable Worker

About This Career

Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers work with crew members from other professions, such as electricians, to construct, maintain and repair the overhead and underground electrical power transmission and distribution systems that make up the electrical power grid. During the construction of oil and gas facilities and pipelines, these workers ensure the significant power requirements of these projects are met.

Whether scaling power line poles or crouching in confined spaces, Electrical Power Line and Cable Workers place a high value on personal safety and the safety of those around them. They spend a great deal of time outdoors and travel to remote parts of the country, sometimes by helicopter, where power generation plants and new facilities are located.

Education: A high school diploma (or equivalent) is typically required.

Employment: This occupation is found in onshore environments and is typically employed in the exploration and production (E&P) and oil sands sectors of the oil and gas industry.

Example titles: Apprentice Lineman/woman, Cable Installer - Electrical Power, Cable Splicer - Electrical Power, Power Line Technician, Lead Line Worker

Work Activities
Applying Health and Safety Principles 
Adhering to safety practices and procedures, such as checking equipment regularly and erecting barriers around work areas.
Applying Information 
Travelling in trucks, helicopters and airplanes to inspect lines for freedom from obstruction and adequacy of insulation.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers or Subordinates
Communicating with other workers to coordinate the preparation and completion of work assignments.
Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others
Coordinating work assignment preparation and completion with other workers.
Evaluating Information 
Reading and interpreting blueprints.
Getting Information
Testing conductors according to electrical diagrams and specifications to identify corresponding conductors and to prevent incorrect connections.
Handling and Moving Objects 
Attaching cross-arms, insulators and auxiliary equipment to poles prior to installing them.
Cleaning, tinning and splicing corresponding conductors by twisting ends together or by joining ends with metal clamps and soldering connections.
Erecting and maintaining steel, wood or concrete poles, towers and guy wires.
Installing watt-hour meters and connecting service drops between power lines and consumers' facilities.
Laying underground cable directly in trenches, or stringing it through conduit running through the trenches.
Opening switches or attaching grounding devices to remove electrical hazards from disturbed or fallen lines and to facilitate repairs.
Replacing or straightening damaged poles.
Stringing wire conductors and cables between poles, towers, trenches, pylons and buildings, setting lines in place, and using winches to adjust tension.
Trimming trees that could be hazardous to the functioning of cables and wires.
Undertaking the framing, erecting, stringing and terminating of all wire buses and overhead lines supported by strain type insulators in outdoor substations as required.
Identifying Objects, Actions or Events
Identifying defective sectionalizing devices, circuit breakers, fuses, voltage regulators, transformers, switches, relays and wiring using wiring diagrams and electrical-testing instruments.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures or Material
Inspecting and testing overhead and underground power lines and cables and auxiliary equipment using electrical test equipment.
Inspecting and testing power lines and auxiliary equipment to locate and identify problems using reading and testing instruments.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices or Equipment 
Driving vehicles equipped with tools and materials to job sites.
Operating hole digging attachments, pole setting and related equipment on line trucks.
Performing General Physical Activities 
Climbing ladders and operating hydraulic buckets when working aloft on poles and towers, or working in confined spaces such as trenches and tunnels to install power lines, cables and associated equipment.
Digging holes using augers and set poles using cranes and power equipment.
Pulling up cable by hand from large reels mounted on trucks.
Repairing and Maintaining Electrical Equipment
Installing and maintaining street lighting systems.
Installing, maintaining and repairing electrical distribution and transmission systems, including conduits, cables, wires and related equipment, such as transformers, circuit breakers and switches.
Attention to Detail
Public Safety and Security
Equipment Selection
Career Path
  • Supervisory positions
  • Power System Electrician
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How Can I Work in LNG?

As Canada prepares for the launch of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector, this occupation will play a key role in:

  • LNG export facility construction
  • Natural gas pipeline construction

When the LNG industry takes off, you can be a part of the action!

Working Conditions
  • Road
    Remote Locations
  • Industrial excavator
    Active Machinery
  • Load
    Heavy Lifting
  • Physical
    Physically Demanding
  • Heights
    Working from Heights
  • Overtime
    Some Overtime Required
Similar Jobs In Other Industries
Careers also exist in the following industries:
  • Construction of buildings (primarily non-residential)
  • Heavy and civil engineering construction
  • Utilities
Job Details

Job Category




Oil sands



Qualifications + Experience


  • High School Diploma (or equivalent)


  • Completion of a provincial three- or four-year lineman/women apprenticeship program is required to become a certified tradesperson. Another route into apprenticeship training is a pre-apprenticeship foundation program.
  • The Red Seal endorsement is the interprovincial standard of excellence, and is available to tradespersons upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.
  • Standard and emergency first aid
  • Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS)
  • Construction Safety Training System (CSTS)
  • Confined space entry
  • Fall protection


  • N/A