Red Seal Trades

Powerline Technician

NOC: 7244
Designation Year: 1976

The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program
 
The Interprovincial Standards Red Seal Program


Powerline technicians construct, operate, maintain and repair overhead and underground electrical transmission and distribution systems. They erect and maintain steel, wood, fibreglass, laminate and concrete poles, structures and other related hardware. They install, maintain and repair overhead and underground powerlines and cables, and other associated equipment such as insulators, conductors, lightning arrestors, switches, metering systems, transformers and lighting systems. They splice and terminate conductors and related wiring to connect power distribution and transmission networks. In some jurisdictions, powerline technicians may also install underwater cables and install/transfer communication cables.

Powerline technicians are employed by electric power generation, transmission or distribution companies, electrical contractors and public utility commissions. In larger utilities, powerline technicians may also specialize in one of the following areas: transmission lines, overhead or underground distribution systems, communication networks and electrical power stations.

Powerline technicians require good communication skills to coordinate and facilitate work with customers, co-workers and other trades. They also require strong analytical skills in order to read and interpret diagrams, drawings and specifications. They must have good mechanical aptitude to install, troubleshoot and repair equipment. They must also have good vision and the ability to distinguish colours. The ability to adapt to change and a willingness to keep up with new developments is important to this trade.

Powerline technicians work outdoors at various worksites, at any hour and in any weather. The work always involves travel to and from the worksite, which is often in remote areas, necessitating the use of a variety of access equipment such as all-terrain vehicles, snowmobiles, aircrafts and watercrafts. Occupational hazards in this trade are working with high voltage equipment, working in confined spaces and working at heights. The work may be strenuous and requires frequent heavy lifting, working in awkward positions, carrying and reaching. Getting to powerlines requires climbing poles and structures, working from a bucket attached to an aerial lift boom and entering maintenance holes and underground vaults. Other inherent occupational hazards in this trade are electrical shocks, working in confined spaces and falling.

This analysis recognizes similarities or overlaps with the work of construction electricians and industrial electricians. Powerline technicians work with a wide variety of tradespersons, engineers and inspectors.

With experience, powerline technicians may act as mentors and trainers to apprentices in the trade. They may advance to senior journeyperson, foreperson, supervisory or managerial positions. They can also transfer their skills to related occupations in areas such as design, planning, safety, technical support services and system control.

Provincial Certification

Please note that the abbreviations for the provinces use the Canada Post standard.

 NL   NS   PE   NB   QC   ON   MB   SK   AB   BC   NT   YT   NU 
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Trade Information

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