An Employer's Perspective

Mike Murray has certainly climbed high. Beginning his career as a lineman, Mike is currently vice president of PAR Electric, one of the largest and most respected outside plant electrical contracting companies in North America. His background as a lineman and his current responsibilities give him a unique perspective on the profession.

What do you look for when hiring a lineman?

We prefer to have someone that we know and have worked with before. We also like for that person to be knowledgeable in all aspects of the work — distribution, transmission and substation.

What type of advancement is available to linemen in an organization like yours?

There is always the possibility of becoming a foreman, general foreman or landing in a management position.

How important is the apprenticeship program for preparing lineman for the job?

Although we might still have the on-the-job training, it would not be nearly as efficient as it is without the classroom and specialized training provided in the apprenticeship program.

How important are linemen to your organization?

Linemen are our organization!

Do you feel linemen are fairly compensated for their work and skill?

Compensation for lineman is equal to or above any in the skilled labor market. With the benefit package linemen receive, it is as good as any skilled labor job of which I am aware.

How did that experience as a lineman prepare you for your current job?

Being a lineman taught me what was involved in the construction of a project and the usage of most of the equipment that I manage today.