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Electric Power Service Worker Job Description, Career as an Electric Power Service Worker, Salary, Employment

Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

Education and Training None

Salary Median—$16.60 to $25.27 per hour

Employment Outlook Poor

Definition and Nature of the Work

Electric companies employ many people to help their customers. Service representatives, who work in offices, deal directly with the public by telephone or in person. They take orders for service, explain rates and billing procedures, and handle complaints. Meter installers and repairers work in customers' homes and businesses, installing, testing, and repairing equipment.

In regions that are not heavily populated, a power company may have one person, a district representative, perform all service jobs. If major repairs are necessary, the district representative may contact the central office to have a skilled meter repairer sent to the customer's home or business.

Education and Training Requirements

Employers generally prefer to hire high school graduates. Service representatives often have some college education, but it is not required. Meter installers and repairers need a basic knowledge of electricity. Vocational school courses and high school classes, such as shop, are useful.

Beginning workers are trained on the job by experienced workers. Training periods vary with the size and location of the company, but can last up to four years for meter installers and repairers. Some power companies are owned by municipalities, so workers may be required to pass civil service exams.

Getting the Job

Job seekers can apply directly to local power companies. School placement offices, civil service commissions, newspaper classified ads, and job banks on the Internet are other sources of job information.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

Experienced, diligent service workers have many opportunities for advancement. Service representatives may be promoted to supervisory positions, while meter installers and repairers can move on to larger companies and work with more complicated equipment. Workers who have civil service jobs may need to take additional exams to advance.

The number of jobs for service workers is expected to decline through 2014. Although electrical power is essential, opportunities for employment may be limited by improved technology, energy-conserving appliances and policies, and a more competitive regulatory environment.

Working Conditions

Although conditions vary by location, most service workers are on the job forty hours a week. Service representatives work in offices, usually with other representatives. Meter installers and repairers do most of their work at the homes and businesses of customers. District representatives usually drive great distances to serve a large area by themselves.

Where to Go for More Information

International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
900 Seventh St. NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 833-7000

Utility Workers Union of America
815 Sixteenth St. NW
Washington, DC 20006
(202) 974-8200

Earnings and Benefits

Earnings vary according to employees' experience and the company's location. In 2004 the median salary for service representatives was $16.60 per hour. The median wage of meter installers and repairers was $25.17 per hour. District representatives, who drive great distances to cover larger areas, may make more. Benefits generally included paid holidays and vacations and health insurance.

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesConstruction & Skilled Trades