Overhead Lines Operative Traineeship

The Overhead Lines Operative Traineeship is designed to provide the electrical transmission and distribution sector with personnel who have the knowledge, skills and competencies to undertake a range of tasks associated with the erection and maintenance of overhead power lines. Participants will get the opportunity to develop the practical and technical skills needed to construct and maintain overhead power lines. The course is the ideal starting point for anyone who is interested in developing a career in this type of work.

Kerry ETB Training Centre is co-funded by the Irish Government and the European Social Fund as part of the ESF Programme for Employability Inclusion and Learning 2014-2020.

  • Overhead Lines Induction
    Understand the planned outcomes and conditions attached to attendance on the course; Adhere to the training centre and workplace rules and regulations; interpret the relevant sections of the 2007 Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Regulations and the 2005 Health and Safety at Work Act; work safely and competently according to the procedures laid out in ESB Networks’ Contractor Safety Guidelines; carry out occupational first aid in a safe and competent manner; select and use appropriate PPE to climb and rescue co-workers from power towers; manually lift and move objects safely; and work safely on construction sites.
  • Equipment, Plant and Transport – Operate all machinery, apparatus and road transport vehicles required for moving and installing overhead power lines plant and equipment in a safe and effective manner.
  • Electricity Basics – Electrical Power Engineering List the various sources of electricity; understand how power stations and other form of electrical generation work; understand the function and operation of electrical substations and transformers; use Ohm’s Law to calculate values of current, voltage and resistance; and carry out calculations for values of electrical power and energy.


  • Communication within the Power Sector – Identify and interpret information contained in written, diagrammatic and pictorial formats; communicate this information to other people; deal effectively with customer queries and concerns; and   provide accurate answers and information when requested.
  • Wood Pole Structures – Configure, assemble, install and maintain all aspects of wood poles, steelwork, fittings and conductors in low and medium voltage overhead power lines.
  • Steel Tower Structures –Configure, assemble, install and maintain all aspects of steel tower structures, steelwork, fittings and conductors in low, medium and high voltage overhead power lines.
    • Work Based Training and Assessment – Work on site or in a specific vocational setting to gain competence in: moving overhead power lines plant and equipment; entering and exiting sites in rural and remote locations; working on wood pole and steel tower structures; installing, replacing and maintaining steelwork, fittings and conductors on wood pole and steel tower structure; and earthing of overhead line conductors.
    • Career planning and job seeking skills – plan and achieve realistic employment and career goals.



A combination of training methods is used to deliver this course. These include instructions, presentations, demonstrations, supervised practice, simulated work environment, practical work training, and giving and receiving feedback. Participants are required to actively participate in the learning process and to engage in course work outside of normal course hours. They must complete a number of written exercises and assignments throughout the course and keep up-to-date records of their progress. A number of methods are used to assess the participants’ progress and for certification purposes. These include assignments, practical exams, learner portfolios, and skills demonstrations.


  • Reached the statutory school leaving age.
  • Minimum of Junior Cert or equivalent.
  • Good literacy, verbal and numeracy skills.
  • Good hand/eye co-ordination, manual dexterity and spatial aptitude.
  • Ability to work at heights is absolutely essential.
  • Must have an appropriate level of fitness and physical ability to carry out duties as described.
  • Must pass a colour vision test.
  • Must be willing to travel throughout Ireland.
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work in a team.
  • Willing and able to perform duties in all weather conditions in rural and remote locations.
  • Previous experience working in construction, agriculture or general operative sectors.
  • Full Category B Driving licence.

Overhead power line operatives build, repair, refurbish and maintain the transmission and distribution lines that supply electricity from power stations and wind farms to our homes and businesses. Ireland has in excess of 6,900 km of transmission lines and 88,000 km of distribution lines. Much of the work involved in renewing and upgrading these lines and building new ones is carried out by private sector companies on behalf of Eirgrid and ESB Networks. Course graduates gain employment with these companies to build on their experience and further their careers. Past graduates of the course have worked on major projects in Ireland and the UK.