Kaimahi Waea Kawe Kōrero
Line mechanics install, repair and maintain overhead and underground power lines.
Line mechanics with up to five years’ experience usually earn
$39K-$60K per year
Line mechanics with five or more years' experience usually earn
$60K-$100K per year
Source: Connexis and Hard Hat Recruits, 2018.
Pay for line mechanics varies depending on skills and experience.
- Entry-level line mechanics usually earn minimum wage.
- Line mechanics with up to five years' experience usually earn between $40,000 and $60,000 a year.
- Senior line mechanics with five or more years' experience usually earn between $60,000 and $80,000.
- Line mechanics in team leader roles can earn up to $100,000.
Sources: Connexis, 2018; and Hard Hat Recruits, 2018.
- PAYE.net.nz website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Line mechanics may do some or all of the following:
- erect or replace power poles
- string cables between poles, pylons and buildings
- install underground cabling
- work on wind turbines
- test lines and circuits
- locate and repair faults
- repair and replace cables
- install electricity transformers
- connect equipment to an electric network
- carry out street light maintenance.
Skills and knowledge
Line mechanics need to have:
- knowledge of how electricity works, and the systems used in electrical networks
- technical and practical skills, including the ability to use and care for their equipment
- understanding of industry safety regulations
- knowledge of tree compliance regulations
- the ability to read plans and maps
- first aid skills, including how to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
- usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work early mornings, evenings or do shift work and be on call
- work indoors or outdoors in a variety of locations
- work in most weather conditions including rain and snow, and may work at heights
- may have to travel locally for work.
To become a line mechanic you need to complete an apprenticeship and one of the following qualifications:
- New Zealand Certificate in Electricity Supply (Line Mechanic Distribution) (Level 4)
- New Zealand Certificate in Electricity Supply (Transmission Line Maintenance) (Level 4).
These qualifications usually take two years to complete and are undertaken on the job. Once completed, line mechanics need to apply for registration with the Electrical Workers Registration Board.
Most employers require you to have a driver's licence and, when truck driving is required, a heavy vehicle licence.
- Connexis website - information on line mechanic qualifications
- New Zealand Transport Agency website - information on truck and other heavy vehicle licences
There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a line worker. However, maths, construction and mechanical technologies, and English to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.
Additional requirements for specialist roles:
Most people train first as a line mechanic and then gain additional qualifications in cable jointing.
Cable jointers are required to have a New Zealand Certificate in Electricity Supply – Cable Jointer High Voltage, with an optional strand of up to 33KV (Level 4).
Cable jointers also need to register with the Electrical Workers Registration Board.
Line mechanics need to be:
- able to work well independently and as part of a team
- able to work well under pressure
- able to follow instructions.
Useful experience for line mechanics includes:
- work in the electrical industries
- work involving physical labour
- work using hand tools.
Line mechanics need to be fit and healthy, with good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses) and normal colour vision. They also need to be comfortable working at heights.
Line mechanics and cable jointers must be registered with the Electrical Workers Registration Board.
Find out more about training
- 0800 486 626 - email@example.com - connexis.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Shortage of line mechanics
Chances of getting a job as a line mechanic are good due to a shortage of workers to help with the ongoing growth and maintenance of the national power grid.
Shortage of people training as cable jointers
Many line mechanics are training in electric cable jointing to ensure they have relevant skills when overhead power lines are replaced by underground power cables. However, there is still a shortage of people training as cable jointers in New Zealand.
Line mechanic and cable jointer jobs in skill shortage
Electric line mechanic, electrical linesworker, cabler, and telecommunications cable jointer all appear on at least one of Immigration New Zealand's long-term, regional, or construction and infrastructure skill shortage lists. This means the Government is actively encouraging skilled line mechanics from overseas to work in New Zealand.
According to the Census,2,778 line mechanics and cable jointers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Most line mechanics work for electricity supply companies
Most line mechanics work for New Zealand's 18 electricity line supply companies.
- Borland, M, electrical supply industry manager, Connexis, careers.govt.nz interview, August 2018.
- Fournier, C, recruitment manager, Hard Hat Recruits, careers.govt.nz interview, August 2018.
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Construction and Infrastructure Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Regional Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Immigration New Zealand, 'Long Term Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Line mechanics may move into team leader or managerial roles.
Line mechanics can specialise as a:
- Cable Jointer
- Cable jointers install and join high voltage power lines.
Last updated 23 June 2020