Electric Power Distribution

Vast networks of wires and cables transmit the electric power produced in generating plants to individual customers, connect telephone central offices to customer’s telephones and switchboards, and extend cable TV to residential and commercial customers. These networks are constructed and maintained by line installers and cable splicers. To install new electric power or telephone lines, line installers or line erectors install poles and terminals, erect towers, and place wires and cables. Power equipment is typically used to dig holes and set poles. Line installers climb the poles or use truck-mounted buckets (aerial work platforms) and use hand tools to attach the cables. When working with electric power lines, installers bolt or clamp insulators onto the pole before attaching the cable. They may also install transformers, circuit breakers, switches, or other equipment. To bury underground cable, they use trenchers, plows, and other power equipment.

The Electric Power Distribution program prepares a student to advance to an electric line technician apprenticeship and related occupations. Students learn how to properly climb poles and install line hardware and equipment. Safety policies and procedures will be taught and strictly adhered to. Students will learn motor vehicle operation and maintenance, attain a working knowledge of ropes and rigging, proper application of rubber protective equipment and use of hot sticks. Students will also study and apply mapping and laying out lines for construction. Students will set poles at proper depth, install guys and anchors of the required strength to hold various lines.

AC and DC current will be taught along with Introduction to Fundamentals of Electricity.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, you will be able to:

  • Perform installation, maintenance and repair operations in compliance with published safety standards
  • Acquire appropriate resources to perform necessary procedures and/or troubleshoot sequence
  • Operate tools and test equipment according to the process published in equipment manuals and/or demonstrated in class
  • Install poles and related equipment using proper specifications and accepted procedures
  • Install underground lines and related equipment using industry accepted methods and practices.
  • Recognize faulty or damaged equipment and repair or replace
  • Document investment and retirement work orders, record equipment nameplate information and fill out daily time sheets.

Career Outlook

Technological advances will result in divergent trends within this occupation. Job prospects will be best for electrical line workers employed by electric utilities and construction firms because the impact of technology is expected to be less for telephone line workers.