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Old 01-28-2015, 05:27 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by btharmy View Post
Not around here. We are pretty much equal as far as our pay scale. Maybe you are comparing non union wages (even residential) to lineman scale. In that case, you are probably correct.


Yeah, I compare nonunion wages (I'm nonunion). Around here (MD), lineman are typically paid 10-20k more on average.
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Old 01-31-2015, 07:22 AM   #22
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99% of linemen around the country are union. You can end up traveling all over the country if you like and when you're out on storm you're making double time of the rate of the jurisdiction you happen to be in but you are also guaranteed 16 hrs pay every day for those days on storm and you will be given a per diem for a hotel and food (usually booze and wings) so with that said you can make some good coin going that way but you also have to think about the conditions you're in outside, wet, freezing, up in a bucket truck sometimes ****ing with voltages up to 345Kv or in the heat with FR gear protecting every inch of skin with rubber gauntlets and leather ones over them up to your armpits. It's fun, cool and dangerous and if you can put up with the conditions I mentioned you can work probably everyday until you retire. There's really no technical skill involved, you'll have to get a commercial driver's license and a **** ton of other safety classes too. Inside wireman work is marginally safer but there's ways to safeguard yourself easier like lock out tag out so you're not working on live voltages, you can be doing all different types of work from bending pipe to pulling wire to bx to cat 6 telephone work or fiber optic work what I'm saying is you won't be dealing with monotony being an inside wireman. Depending on where you're from you may not work a full year I had 10 weeks of last year and still pulled down 130k. I'm in NYC so we're pretty high up on the scale. If you join the IBEW you can travel where there's work if your home local is slow and will be treated very well by the brothers and sisters you meet. Both sides are a good choice and I think I've described both fairly well now it's up to what sounds more intriguing and suited to you. Good luck in your decision and remember go union either way.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:50 PM   #23
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sparky,

thanks for your post, very helpful. its still a hard choice to choose a path.
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:06 PM   #24
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I get the creeps being inside a substation, espescially ones with oil lilled xfrms.
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:08 PM   #25
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Default inside or outside wireman

I am an inside wireman and if I knew then what I know now- outside/lineman would be the route I would take.
They make more money than inside wiremen and their work is less abusive on the body- they use their trucks and specialty equipment for the majority of the heavy back breaking work.
Yes- it is dangerous, but so is inside work with the possibility of being energized and most line work is done on circuits that are intentionally grounded after being de-energized to prevent accidental energizing.
I have done both and am still an inside guy.
I have met linemen who have made 200k in a year chasing storm work and ot jobs and in less than 12 months- if you don't mind traveling it's a good gig. Your travel for storm work is paid for by the contractor who hires you along with hotel and meals- good luck
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Old 02-01-2015, 06:48 PM   #26
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go for inside linesman - the best of both worlds.
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Old 02-01-2015, 09:26 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by ParForTheCourse View Post
Never thought of it that way, lol. Lineman get paid a LOT compared to electricians, even though it seems like you need to know a bit more as an electrician.

Not trying to dunce over anyone's occupation here, just an observation.
They do get paid well and I think they should considered the extreme risk involved. But a lineman is still just a laborer, perfect for those with a "strong back and a weak mind" as the saying goes. You will never get the exposure to all the technical aspects of electrical work as a lineman. Setting poles, hanging lines, hooking up transformers and service drops, and repairing all that stuff when it's on the ground after a storm is about all you will ever do.
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Old 02-02-2015, 08:21 AM   #28
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I have this dilemma myself. My plan is to get my Journeymans in Electrical then decide if I want to become a lineman. If you were worried about not having steady work then you would have your Journeymans so you could go back into the Electrical field instead. Plus having your Journeymans would only help because you would be used to circuitry etc.

As for the shortage of linemen vs electricians, in my area at least there is a much larger shortage of linemen. In the local municipals they send linemen up to Canada and further north or wherever they're needed when a big storm is coming through. My local union (Local 104) has a couple guys stationed in the municipals doing the work in the towns can't tackle because of the constant maintenance. Plus some towns don't mess with the sub-stations so if they have the union guys they do it or they call in a contractor to do the task.

There's a saying i've heard, "Linemen trucks have original wiper blades", which basically means they don't go out in unfavorable weather unless theres a power outtage.
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Old 02-02-2015, 12:08 PM   #29
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Good luck in your decision and remember go union either way.
A union lineman will always be employed but a union "inside" electrician may be unemployed for long periods depending on area.
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Old 02-03-2015, 09:48 AM   #30
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A union lineman will always be employed but a union "inside" electrician may be unemployed for long periods depending on area.
Also depending on what special skills or certifications you have. I was employed 10 years got laid off and did 10 months out but during those ten months I took every class and got every certification I could that's 5 years ago and since then I've done maybe 15 weeks out over 5 years
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Old 02-03-2015, 10:39 AM   #31
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As a lineman or outside wireman you will have no trouble finding a job in any state and will always make good money. A good man will move up the ladder and make even better money.

Inside wireman is definitely a less hazardous job and will pay good money in WA or OR. But go to CO and you will make far less money. In CO and other anti union states the wages will always be lower and you will have to compete with paper journeymen wanna be electricians who work cheap.
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