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Line Mechanic

Kaimahi Waea Kawe Kōrero

Alternative titles for this job

Line mechanics install, repair and maintain overhead and underground power lines.

Pay

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, 2020.

Job opportunities

Chances of getting a job as a line mechanic are good due to a shortage of workers.

Pay

Pay for line mechanics varies depending on skills and experience.

  • Line mechanics with up to five years' experience usually earn between minimum wage and $60,000 a year.
  • Senior line mechanics with five or more years' experience usually earn $60,000 to $80,000.
  • Line mechanics in team leader roles can earn up to $100,000.

Sources: Connexis and Hard Hat Recruits, 2020.

(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
  • test lines and circuits
  • locate and repair faults
  • repair and replace cables
  • install electricity transformers
  • connect equipment to an electric network
  • maintain street lights.

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
  • the ability to read plans and maps
  • first aid skills, including how to perform cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

Working conditions

Line mechanics:

  • usually work regular business hours, but may be required to work longer hours, including early mornings and evenings, and be on call or do shift work
  • work indoors or outdoors
  • work in most weather conditions, including rain and snow, and may work at heights
  • may travel locally for work.

Entry requirements

To become a line mechanic you need to complete a New Zealand Certificate in Electricity Supply – Introductory (Level 2), 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 done through on-the-job training and course work. 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 or a heavy vehicle licence if you need to drive a truck.

Secondary education

There are no specific secondary education requirements to become a line worker. However, maths and construction and mechanical technologies to at least NCEA Level 2 are useful.

Additional requirements for specialist roles:

Cable Jointer

Most people train first as a line mechanic and then gain additional qualifications in cable jointing. However, you can also train to become a cable jointer first.

Cable jointers need 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.

Personal requirements

Line mechanics need to be:

  • reliable
  • able to work well in a team and on their own
  • safety-conscious
  • able to work well under pressure
  • able to follow instructions.

Useful experience

Useful experience for line mechanics includes:

  • electrical industries work
  • work involving physical labour
  • work using hand tools.

Physical requirements

Line mechanics need to:

  • have normal colour vision to distinguish between different circuits and cables
  • have steady hands
  • be comfortable working in confined spaces or at heights.

Registration

Line mechanics and cable jointers must be registered with the Electrical Workers Registration Board.

Find out more about training

Connexis
0800 486 626 - askus@connexis.co.nz - connexis.org.nz
Check out related courses

What are the chances of getting a job?

Shortage of line mechanics in New Zealand

Demand for line mechanics is strong due to a shortage of:

  • workers to help with ongoing growth and maintenance of the national power grid
  • people training as cable jointers.

As a result, electric line mechanic, electrical linesworker, cabler, and telecommunications cable jointer all appear on Immigration New Zealand's construction and infrastructure skill shortage list. Electric line mechanic and electrical linesworker also appear on Immigration New Zealand's long-term skill shortage list. 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.

Sources

  • Fournier, C, recruitment manager, Hard Hat Recruits, careers.govt.nz interview, June 2020.
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Construction and Infrastructure 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).
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Regional Skill Shortage List', 27 May 2019, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
  • Scott, T, marketing manager, Connexis, careers.govt.nz interview, June 2020.
  • 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 may specialise in the role of:

Cable Jointer
Cable jointers install and join high-voltage power lines.
A line mechanic on a hydraulic crane disconnects power lines for repairs

Line mechanics repair and replace power cables

Last updated 16 July 2020