Power line technician pre-placement program for women

Hourly rate: $18.15

This 6-month Power Line Technician (PLT) pre-placement program provides women with trades-related experience. It is an opportunity to develop the skills required to successfully compete for a position in the power line technician training program. Educational upgrading will also be provided for candidates who do not meet the minimum academic requirements.

Qualifications

Potential candidates must:

  • be a high school graduate;
  • possess and maintain a valid Manitoba Class 5 driver’s licence (intermediate or full) and be eligible for upgrade;
  • be willing to work in all types of weather;
  • be willing to work at heights, in trenches, excavations, confined spaces;
  • be capable of learning proper climbing techniques;
  • have good physical coordination; manual dexterity, and be able to lift heavy objects from a variety of physical positions while working in a bucket truck or on the pole in climbing gear;
  • have a mechanical aptitude;
  • have good hearing;
  • be able to work as a member of a team and adapt to changing tasks and locations;
  • have good interpersonal and communication skills;
  • be able to work autonomously and make decisions in stressful situations;
  • have basic computer skills.

Recruitment process

We advertise in winter for a spring start date.

Applications must include the following information:

  • current resumé and cover letter;
  • high school transcript, and any post-secondary school transcripts or training certificates.

As part of the selection process, candidates will be required to write standardized aptitude tests that assess how well a candidate’s abilities match the requirements of the job. Candidates will also participate in a 1-day pre-employment skills assessment and trade orientation session, which provides candidates with the opportunity to demonstrate the ability to follow instruction, transfer knowledge, and work at heights. It also gives the evaluation group an opportunity to see you perform hands-on power line trades-related tasks. Candidates selected for this session will be required to provide a current driver’s abstract.

There is no guarantee of ongoing employment at the completion of the pre-placement program.

If you are interested in this program, set up a job alert from your profile by selecting “Trades” as your area of interest and enter a few key words describing this program.

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More information about this program

This program is designed to provide women with opportunities to work with, and receive encouragement from, other women who are also working in the trade. Our goal is to create a supportive and welcoming environment for women interested in a career as a power line technician, but who might have limited trades-related experience. Through participating in this 6-month paid program, women will be given the opportunity to develop the skills required to successfully compete for a position in the power line technician training program.

The intent of this program is to hire more women who can work and train together. Women in this program will also work and train with men throughout the completion of this program and in their career, but they will be placed with other women where possible.

Description of the work

You will be spending the majority of your time being outdoors, enjoying physical work and working with your hands. You will enjoy this career if you like being part of a team, feeling that you have a purpose and that your work is meaningful. You will enjoy this career if you like the thought of learning and experiencing something new every day!

Power line technicians build and maintain overhead power lines on wood poles and steel structures, operate switches, transformers and associated electrical equipment. They install pad-mounted equipment and underground high voltage and low voltage power cables. They splice and terminate high voltage power cables. They connect and maintain overhead and underground transformers, distribution centres and locate underground power cables.

An average day for a power line technician or trainee will depend on where you are working. If you are working in a Customer Service Centre, upon arriving in the morning, you will tidy up the trucks. Your leadhand will tell you what you will be working on for the day. You will then get the necessary material from the warehouse and load it on the truck. Staff will usually bring a lunch with them each day. Your duties will depend on your qualifications and this will change from year to year. You will be climbing poles and assisting with building new lines. You will do your work for the day, clean off the trucks, put away any salvaged equipment and be ready for tomorrow.

If you are working on a construction crew, you are typically working on bigger jobs, working on the same project for anywhere from 2-3 weeks to 2-3 months. You will know what you’ll be working on in advance.

At times, you may have to work by yourself but never as a trainee. It is possible for a journeyperson to work by themselves but not very often. The chance is more likely when you are on call. Otherwise, you are going to be working on a crew of 4 to 14 depending on the job at hand.

Physical strength

Power line technicians need to be capable of learning proper climbing techniques, have good physical coordination, manual dexterity, and be able to lift heavy objects from a variety of physical positions while working in a bucket truck or on the pole in climbing gear. You need to be fit and capable of performing physically-challenging work, but you do not need to be large in stature or a body builder to be successful. Men and women of a variety of body sizes and statures can be successful in this career.

Travel

As much as we try to keep people close to their homes, you can expect to travel throughout the province so you can receive as much exposure to different types of systems as possible. Trainee rotations are generally 4 months in length but can be extended up to 8 months. Depending on your home community, it is possible to be home for the majority of your apprenticeship. If you are scheduled to work away from your headquarter zone, you will receive paid hotel accommodations, meals, as well as mileage. All of which are in line with your collective agreement.

Benefits of an apprenticeship program

After you have successfully completed the pre-placement program and you have been selected for the power line technician program, you will participate in a 4-year paid apprenticeship program that includes competency-based trade schools, formal classes and on-the-job training.

Unlike a post-secondary education, you will not accumulate any student or trainee debt. Manitoba Hydro will pay you a bi-weekly salary that will continue at the same rate during your schooling. The only cost to you is that you will be required to purchase a set of tools. We will offer you a payroll deduction option to assist with the cost. Once you have purchased your own set of tools, should a tool break, it will be replaced at the company’s expense.

One of the benefits of completing an apprenticeship with Hydro includes the many additional career opportunities that require a 4-year journeyperson certificate.

Long-term career prospects

Some of the career opportunities that require a 4-year power line technician certificate include:

  • safety officer;
  • engineering technician;
  • live line journeyperson;
  • system operator (system control);
  • power system officer (system control);
  • training & recruitment;
  • estimator planner;
  • energy services advisor;
  • leadhand/supervisor/manager.

Permanent employment

Although there is no guarantee of ongoing employment following a pre-placement program, those selected to enter the power line technician training program can expect a permanent position within 1 to 10 years after the completion of your apprenticeship. This of course will depend on an individual’s personal interest in the location and type of journeyperson role.

Maternity leave

Manitoba Hydro has several family-friendly benefits and policies. We offer a generous maternity leave plan with top-up payments to 93% of salary for 17 weeks and a parental leave plan which enables you to be on leave for up to 18 months. If you decide to have a child, you can simply take maternity/parental leave returning to your previous level if you are in the power line technician training program or a comparable position if you have completed the power line technician training program. During pregnancy, you can be accommodated as necessary so that you are only performing tasks you and your doctor view as safe.

Safety

Each trainee will receive all the necessary personal protective equipment for their employment with Manitoba Hydro. This personal protective equipment may include protective clothing, helmets, goggles, or other garments or equipment designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury.

Manitoba Hydro is required to train each worker required to use personal protective equipment to know how to use it, when it is necessary, it’s limitations as well as proper care, maintenance, useful life and how to properly dispose of it.

Each employee will receive adequate safety training and learn safe work procedures for the work they will be doing. Working with electricity, at heights and at the side of the road, we plan all of our work to eliminate hazards or reduce them to safe levels. Before each job, everyone will participate in job planning and tailboards to identify hazards, putting barriers in place, discussing the best way to do the job, assigning specific duties to certain people, and identify expectations.

There is also legislation in place that protects an employee with the right to refuse should you deem a task to be unsafe. With support from the president and CEO along with upper management, it is our number one priority that we do everything with safety in mind.

Manitoba Hydro benefits and support

At Manitoba Hydro, we provide a work environment that allows our employees to have a balanced approach to family, work, and community. One of our most valued benefits is our 9-day work cycle which normally provides every other Monday off. Learn more about our benefits.

Both our power line technician pre-placement program for women and our power line technician training program provide trainees with formal learning and on-the-job training to prepare for a career as a power line technician. Mentoring and other resources are available to support trainees throughout their training.