Do you know how much an electrical lineman makes? It’s not a question that many people think to ask, unless they want to become one. These are the workers who keep our lights on and our appliances running. Let’s see what the average lineman salary is.
The Average and Median Lineman Salary – Recent Figures
Lineman salaries aren’t as high as some might think, but they’re higher than those of electricians. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average electrical lineman makes about $79,060 per year. The median salary is almost the same – $78,310.
Of course, there are always outliers who make more or less than these figures. The lowest-paid 10% of electrical lineworkers earned $46,200 in 2021. The top earners made more than twice as much – $107,110. Why are the salary ranges so wide?
The Factors That Influence a Lineman’s Earnings
It all has to do with the industry you work in and the type of job you have. For example, lineworkers in the natural gas distribution industry earn $112,230 on average, while those working in the utility system construction industry have a mean wage of $69,460.
The lineman salary also depends on whether they’re a journeyman lineworker or a master lineworker. A journeyman is someone who’s just starting out in their career. They usually have an apprenticeship under their belt and are licensed by the state. A master lineman, on the other hand, has years of experience and is often responsible for training apprentices.
Lineman Salaries over the Years
The average lineman salary has increased steadily over the years. In 2010, electrical lineworkers made $57,510 per year. In 2020, they earned $74,410. That’s a 29% increase in just ten years. The median salary for lineworkers also rose during that time period – from $58,030 in 2010 to $75,030 in 2020.
What’s the job outlook for electrical lineworkers? According to the BLS, the employment of line installers and repairers isn’t going to change between 2020 and 2030. Every year, about 23,000 jobs are going to open, and a similar amount of linemen is going to retire.
States with the Highest Lineman Salaries
So, where do electrical lineworkers make the most money? The top five states are:
- Hawaii ($104,480);
- California ($102,150);
- Connecticut ($99,250);
- Oregon ($98,770);
- New York ($98,710).
These states have higher-than-average lineman salaries because of the cost of living and the demand for lineworkers. Hawaii is a particularly good place to look for a job because there are only 470 employed there, compared to over a thousand in other states.
What Does an Electrical Lineman Do?
An electrical lineworker is responsible for installing, repairing and maintaining power lines. They also work on substations and other electrical equipment. Lineworkers often have to work in difficult conditions, such as inclement weather or at great heights.
Electrical Lineman vs Telecommunications Lineman
It’s important to note that there is a difference between an electrical lineman and a telecommunications lineman. The former works with high-voltage power lines, while the latter deals with low-voltage phone and cable lines. Telecommunications lineworkers also earn less – $62,250 on average.
Is a Career in Electrical Power-Line Installation Right for You?
Do you think you have what it takes to become an electric line installer and repairer? If you’re interested in a challenging and rewarding career, then this might be the right field for you. There are many lineman schools that can help you get started.
The lineman salary is just one of the things to consider when deciding whether to pursue a career in electrical power-line installation. Other factors include the working conditions, the necessary training and the job outlook.
However, if you’re up for the challenge, then a career as an electric lineworker can be very rewarding. Not only do you get to help keep the lights on for your community, but you also earn a decent salary.
How to Become an Electrical Lineman
If you’re interested in becoming an electrical lineworker, you’ll need to have a high school diploma or equivalent. You can also complete an apprenticeship program. These programs usually last four years and combine on-the-job training with classroom instruction.
You’ll also need to be licensed by the state in which you work. To get a license, you’ll need to pass an exam that covers safety and electrical theory.
The Bottom Line: Lineman Salaries Are Decent for Hard Work
Are you interested in becoming an electric line installer and repairer? It’s a challenging but rewarding career. With the right training and experience, you could be earning a six-figure lineman salary in an industry like natural gas distribution. But even if you’re employed in electric power distribution, a mean salary of $86,650 is nothing to scoff at.