Nicole encourages other young women to enter this field if they like team work, manual labor, and working in different climates.
The average salary for outside utility workers is in excess of $50,000 per year.
Nicole is a linesperson for Hydro Quebec. She started working for Hydro as a temp, designing plans for lines people. When Hydro decided to integrate 12 women in a non-traditional area Nicole did a nine month training program in electricity and other skills.
Her work involves construction, maintenance, client requests, and dealing with emergencies. She rotates climbing with her partner - one climbs while the other helps on the bottom. Many times they use a lift truck. Heights don't bother Nicole and she likes working outdoors.
Nicole admits that the work is physically demanding, although they have tools and machinery to help. Danger is always present due to the heights at which they work and the presence of high voltage electricity.
Did you know? Women make up about 1% of the workforce of outside technicians.
Despite the numerous difficulties associated with her job, Nicole finds much reward in her work. She advises that this would be a great career for those who enjoy teamwork, manual labour, and working in all types of climates.
The starting salary is $16-17/hour, increasing each year to a maximum of $20/hour.
Nicole Brochu came from a large farm family, where she often helped out alongside her eight other siblings. Her love of the outdoors and preference for manual work made Nicole a perfect candidate for training as a hydro lineswoman.
Nicole's position offers a good salary and pride in a job well done - pride that was evident as she worked through Quebec's horrific ice storms to turn the power back on for millions of customers.
Education: DEC in architecture and Hydro training
Hobbies: Gardening, reading, home renovation, furniture sanding, nature/bird watching