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Career and Education Opportunities for Electrical Line Workers in Charleston, West Virginia

There are many career and education opportunities for electrical line workers in the Charleston, West Virginia area. Currently, 1,360 people work as electrical line workers in West Virginia. This is expected to grow 4% to about 1,410 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for electrical line workers are expected to grow by about 4.5%. In general, electrical line workers install or repair cables or wires used in electrical power or distribution systems.

Electrical line workers earn approximately $24 per hour or $51,570 yearly on average in West Virginia. Nationally they average about $26 hourly or $55,100 annually. Incomes for electrical line workers are better than in the overall category of Electrical in West Virginia, and better than the overall Electrical category nationally.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as an electrical line worker. The most common level of education 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 Charleston include:

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Electrical Line Worker Training

Carver Career Center - Charleston, WV

Carver Career Center, 4799 Midland Dr, Charleston, WV 25306-6397. Carver Career Center is a small school located in Charleston, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 391 students. Carver Career Center has a less than one year program in Electrical & Power Transmission Installation/Installer which graduated thirty-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: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.