Linemen, or electrical power-line installers and repairers, work in dangerous conditions, often perched high above the ground and interacting with electrically charged equipment. While most linemen are employed by industries related to electricity, linemen who seek employment outside these employers will see the biggest increases to their take-home salaries.
Walking the Line
Linemen formed a contingent of approximately 105,540 workers as of May 2010, as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the bureau’s work and salary report, the pay scale for linemen was $33,680 at the 10th percentile and $82,450 at the 90th percentile. The midrange wage for the profession was $58,030.
California was at the top of the bureau’s list of states with the highest salaries for linemen, with annual wages of $78,390, but Oregon was very close behind, with second-highest wages of $78,190. Linemen in Alaska earned the third-highest salaries, at $73,070. Employers in Connecticut paid their linemen annual salaries of $71,690, and those in Washington state closed out the top five with wages for the profession at $71,500.
States with the highest employment levels in the linemen field paid, overall, lower than average salaries. Texas, home to the highest linemen employment level in the country, paid a below-average $46,720. California, with the highest salary for the profession, had the second-highest employment level. In third-place highest employment level Florida, linemen earned below-average wages of $52,520. Pennsylvania, in fourth place for employment level, just topped the national wage with linemen rates of $58,220. For its fifth place employment level, Georgia had lower than average linemen wages of $47,730.
Lining Up Industries
The majority of linemen in the country were employed by the electric power generation, transmission and distribution industry. This industry paid a slightly higher than average wage of $60,520. The second-largest employer for the profession, the utility system construction category, paid a below-average $51,920. The highest-paid linemen worked for the natural gas distribution industry, taking in wages of $79,250. The federal executive branch of the government also paid a premium for linemen, with wages of $69,000.
2016 Salary Information for Line Installers and Repairers
Line installers and repairers earned a median annual salary of $60,800 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, line installers and repairers earned a 25th percentile salary of $44,070, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $78,070, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 227,000 people were employed in the U.S. as line installers and repairers.