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Electricity distribution worker Transmission worker

Electricity distribution workers maintain and repair the power lines that connect homes and businesses to the national grid.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 per week

1. Entry requirements

You could get into this career through an engineering apprenticeship which lasts between 3 and 4 years. 

Some companies run their own training programmes in power engineering. You could apply to them directly.

You could take a college course in engineering technology, which will teach you some of the skills you need to apply for a trainee job. 

You’ll also need colour-normal vision and the ability to work at height. 
 
You may be able to get into this role if you've experience of electrical engineering maintenance in another industry, or the armed forces. 

Think Power has more information about training and working in the power industry.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent practical skills
  • physics and maths skills, to understand the principles of electricity
  • the ability to make decisions 
  • problem-solving ability

3. What you'll do

You could work in one area of electricity transmission, like:

  • overhead transmission or lines work – maintaining and repairing overhead power lines
  • work as a cable jointer – joining and repairing underground cables, and connecting
  • customers to the electricity supply network
  • electrical fitting – installing, repairing and maintaining high voltage equipment like
  • circuit breakers and transformers in substations

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • keeping equipment in good working order
  • switching operations
  • installing and dismantling equipment like transmission cables
  • assembling or removing components
  • adjusting and configuring electrical systems
  • finding and diagnosing faults
  • inspecting and testing cables and other equipment

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £30,000

Highly Experienced: £35,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work a 37 hour week which may include shifts. You’ll usually be part of a standby rota for emergencies outside normal working hours. You may need to work overtime.

This job can be physically demanding. Conditions can vary and much of the work takes place outside, in all weather conditions. You'll be working at height to repair overhead power lines, using safety access equipment.

You're usually need a driving licence to travel from site to site.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to team leader.

With further study you could become an electrical engineering technician or network control engineer.

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Last updated: 07 December 2016