Lineworker Apprecation Day is April 18

You’ve likely noticed Thumb Electric’s crews out and about, working on power lines and other electrical equipment in our community. It’s no secret that a lineworker’s job is tough—but it’s a job that’s essential and must be done, often in challenging conditions. As we celebrate Lineworker Appreciation Day on April 18, we thought we’d share some interesting facts about electric lineworkers.

The work can be heavy, in more ways than one. Did you know the equipment and tools a lineworker carries while climbing a utility pole can weigh up to 50 pounds? That’s the same as carrying six gallons of water. Regarding utility poles, lineworkers must climb poles—some over 80 feet tall. Needless to say, if you have a fear of heights, this likely isn’t the career path for you. 

Lineworkers must be committed to their career—because it’s not just a job, it’s a lifestyle. The long hours and ever-present danger can truly take a toll. Being a lineworker is listed in the top 10 most dangerous jobs in the U.S.

Lineworkers often work nontraditional hours, outdoors under challenging conditions. While the job does not require a college degree, it does require technical skills, years of training, and hands-on learning.

Did you know that becoming a journeyman lineworker can take more than 7,000 hours of training (or about four years)? That’s because working with high-voltage equipment requires specialized skills, experience, and ongoing mental toughness. Shortcuts are not an option; there is no room for error in this line of work.

Despite the many challenges, TEC’s lineworkers are committed to powering our local community. During severe weather events that bring major power outages, lineworkers are among the first ones called. They must be ready to leave the comfort of their home and families unexpectedly, and they don’t return until the job is done, sometimes not until days later. That’s why the lineworker’s family is also dedicated to service. They understand the importance of the job to the community.

Nationwide, there are approximately 120,000 electric lineworkers. Here in the Thumb, TEC has 12 lineworkers and two apprentice lineworkers responsible for keeping power flowing 24/7, 365 days a year. To do this, they maintain 16 substations interconnected by 140 miles of transmission lines, 2,150 miles of distribution lines, and over 12,300 meters providing service to the three-county area of the Thumb. 

TEC line crews also work safely. We proudly announce that Oct. 30, 2022, marked four years without a lost-time incident. TEC would like to recognize the extra measures our lineworkers have taken to remain safe. 

Being a lineworker may not seem like a glamorous job, but it is essential to our community’s life. Without the exceptional dedication and commitment of our hardworking crews, we would not have the reliable electricity that we need for everyday life.

So, the next time you see a TEC lineworker (pictured on the back cover), please thank them for their work to keep power flowing, regardless of the time of day or weather conditions. After all, lineworkers are the power behind your power. Please join us as we recognize them on April 18 for Lineworker Appreciation Day.