The graying of the work force and the greening of the industry are opening up new opportunities.
"You can't have a smart grid without a smart line worker," said Ray Cook, an Austin Energy trainer and an ACC climbing instructor.
Few people with the aptitude to work with electricity can also climb a utility pole with 40 or 50 pounds of equipment. Even fewer want to do it in extreme weather.
"It's a very select club," Cook said.
He said there are only about 110,000 line workers nation-wide, and shortages in the industry are prompting signing bonuses as utilities compete for workers.
[David] Weaver, 28 of Austin jumped at the chance to join the field. He was studying renewable energy at ACC when the college started its line worker program.
He thought it had everything he wanted in a job: Making good money while working outdoors with his hands.
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
The few, the proud, the power line electricians
Nice article in today's Austin American-Statesman about the kinds of jobs that are in demand in the Austin area, and there are many. Featured is the profession of working on electrical power lines, which pays well, and there is a training program at ACC for this work. As the article notes: