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Career and Education Opportunities for Electrical Line Workers in Vancouver, Washington

Electrical line workers can find many career and educational opportunities in the Vancouver, Washington area. About 2,510 people are currently employed as electrical line workers in Washington. By 2016, this is expected to grow by 6% to about 2,650 people employed. 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.

Electrical line workers earn approximately $34 hourly or $71,530 yearly on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $26 per hour or $55,100 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Electrical, people working as electrical line workers in Washington earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Electrical nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Vancouver where you can study to be an electrical line worker, among forty-eight schools of higher education total in the Vancouver area. The most common level of education for electrical line workers is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn 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 Vancouver include:

  • Car Electronics Installer. Install, diagnose, or repair communications, sound, or navigation equipment in motor vehicles.
  • Electronic Home Entertainment Equipment Repairer. Repair, adjust, or install audio or television receivers, stereo systems, or other electronic home entertainment equipment.
  • Electronics Mechanic. Install, adjust, or maintain mobile electronics communication equipment, including sound, and surveillance systems on trains, watercraft, or other mobile equipment.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electrical Line Worker Training

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a one to two year program in Electrical & Power Transmission Installation/Installer which graduated five 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver, Washington
Vancouver, Washington photo by Matthiasb

Vancouver is located in Clark County, Washington. It has a population of over 163,186, which has grown by 13.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Vancouver, 98, is near the national average. New single-family homes in Vancouver are priced at $95,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, two hundred eighty new homes were built in Vancouver, down from four hundred twenty the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Vancouver are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, computer and electronic products, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 21.7% of Vancouver residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 7.4%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Vancouver is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Vancouver residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 27.9%, is less than both the national and state average. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Vancouver is home to the Vancouver Square and the Vancouver Plaza as well as Leverich Park and Wintler Park. Shopping malls in the area include Arbours Shopping Center, Millport Shopping Center and Vancouver Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Vancouver can choose from Comfort Suites Vancouver, Homewood Suites Portland-Vancouver and Best Western Hotel and Suites Vacouver Mall Dr for temporary stays in the area.