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Career and Education Opportunities for Electrical Line Workers in Columbia, Maryland

Electrical line workers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 1,230 working electrical line workers in Maryland; this should grow by 10% to 1,340 working electrical line workers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for electrical line workers are expected to grow by about 4.5%. Electrical line workers generally install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems.

The income of an electrical line worker is about $27 per hour or $57,760 yearly on average in Maryland. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $26 per hour or $55,100 yearly on average. Compared with people working in the overall category of Electrical, people working as electrical line workers in Maryland earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Electrical nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be an electrical line worker, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Given that the most common education level for electrical line workers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be an electrical line worker if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Electrical Line Worker

Electrical Line Worker video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, electrical line workers install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems. They also may erect poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers.

Electrical line workers climb poles or use truck-mounted buckets to access equipment. They also dig holes, using augers, and set poles, using cranes and power equipment. Equally important, electrical line workers have to drive vehicles equipped with tools and materials to job sites. They are often called upon to remove or straighten damaged poles. They are expected to attach cross-arms and auxiliary apparatus to poles before installing them. Finally, electrical line workers test conductors, in line with electrical diagrams and specifications, to identify corresponding conductors and to inhibit incorrect connections.

Every day, electrical line workers are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they control objects and devices with precise control.

It is important for electrical line workers to lay underground cable directly in trenches, or string it through conduit running through the trenches. They are often called upon to clean and splice corresponding conductors by twisting ends together or by joining ends with metal clamps and soldering connections. They also cut trenches for laying underground cables, using trenchers and cable plows. They are sometimes expected to cut and peel lead sheathing and insulation from faulty or newly installed cables and conduits before splicing. Somewhat less frequently, electrical line workers are also expected to set up watt-hour meters and connect service drops between power lines and consumers' facilities.

They also have to be able to identify faulty sectionalizing devices or wiring, using wiring diagrams and electrical-testing instruments and open switches or attach grounding devices to remove electrical hazards from disturbed or fallen lines or to enable fixes. And finally, they sometimes have to travel in trucks and airplanes to inspect lines for freedom from obstruction and adequacy of insulation.

Like many other jobs, electrical line workers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electrical Line Worker Training

North American Trade Schools - Baltimore, MD

North American Trade Schools, 6901 Security Blvd, Suite 16, Baltimore, MD 21244. North American Trade Schools is a small school located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs. It has 550 students and an admission rate of 40%. North American Trade Schools has a less than one year program in Electrical & Power Transmission Installation/Installer which graduated thirty-one students in 2008.


Certified Customer Service Specialist: An individual who successfully passes ETA's World Class CSS Certification exam is professionally recognized as having the ability to uphold the interpersonal and business standards necessary in today's workplace.

For more information, see the ETA International website.


Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.