Electrical Lineman  VS.  Offensive Lineman 



lahyn-muhn ]

noun, plural line·men.

  • a person who installs and repairs overhead cables (either power or telephone); a linesman
  • (American football) a player who specializes in play at the line of scrimmage


With the College National Championship and the Super Bowl Approaching soon, we thought it would be a good idea to see who the real MVP is.

Electrical lineman and offensive lineman have more similarities than you would think. We will breakdown the characteristics you need to be an electrical lineman and an offensive lineman. Electrical linemen install and repair overhead cables while an offensive lineman is an American football player specializing in play at the line of scrimmage. the offensive lineman serves as one of five players blocking the defense from tackling the receivers and quarterback.




1. Mentally and Physically Tough. Although these jobs differ greatly, they do have many similarities. Both occupations require linemen to be mentally and physically strong. An Offensive lineman must be extremely dedicated to learning, practicing, and remembering many different plays. They also need to be able to work on the fly envisioning what the opposing team may do next. To be the best they must be disciplined to work out and train in season and in the off-season. Physical toughness follows after they’ve concurred mental strength. offensive linemen need to be physically fit to be able to perform their job. They must have Great footwork and agility. 

Electrical work is an extremely dangerous job, and one mistake can be life-threatening. Electrical linemen must be diligent and mentally disciplined, so they do not hurt themselves or their crew. Linework requires work to be done no matter the weather conditions or the time day or night. Maintaining a strong mental state keeps utility linemen safe and successful at work. Electrical work can be very demanding and taxing on your body, working on the line includes climbing poles, hauling gear, pulling thick cable and wire, and more. Every day on the job is different and brings new challenges and high-voltage work leaves no room for error.


2. Hands-on learner. Both electrical lineman and offensive lineman need to be hands-on learners. An offensive lineman needs to have great hand-eye coordination and be able to catch, maneuver, tackle, and more. Like all sports, practice makes perfect so running drills over and over is the best way for them to learn. The best way for an Electrical lineman to learn is in the field. An Electrical Lineman learns to climb poles, install, repair, and maintain overhead and underground powerlines. The first step in linework is getting hired as a lineman apprentice. A lineman apprentice is at least 4 years of education and training before becoming a journeyman lineman. As a lineman apprentice, you will be in the field working with different crews learning essential skills firsthand. Both jobs are best learned by time and repetition that only hands-on learning can provide.


3. Brothers Keeper. A term used often in the electrical industry. Being your brother’s keeper means looking out for your crew and making sure everyone on the job is working safely. It means holding linemen accountable for wearing lineman PPE and safety gear and looking out for everyone on the job. Offensive linemen have a strong sense of team the same way electrical linemen have crews working similarly together. Offensive linemen have high standards for their team and all members hold each other responsible for the team’s success. They call each other out when they are not performing to their potential and must be willing to accept the same criticism when they are struggling as well. Electrical workers coined the term brother’s keeper since high-voltage work is extremely dangerous. Crews must work together with each other and always look out for everyone on the job making sure everyone is using the correct tools, taking their time, and ensuring safety measures are being followed. 


4. Career-focused. For both careers, it’s more than just a job it’s a lifestyle. Both jobs are not 9 to 5 Monday through Friday jobs. They both require a lot of dedication but also both careers offer a great amount of pride. Electrical linemen must be devoted to the job emotionally, physically, and mentally because the job is very demanding. A career-focused mindset in the utility industry prevents injuries and fatalities. As stated, the electrical industry has a high degree of risk involved so electrical linemen have to have a passion for linework. Offensive Lineman also have a lot at stake and must be dedicated to the dangerous and demanding job that it is. Offensive lineman risk injury and must be willing to even play through the pain. Great work ethic and career-driven is a characteristic necessary for electrical lineman and offensive lineman.




1. Body Size. Offensive Lineman are enormous compared to an Electric Lineman. Actually, they are enormous compared to anyone. This is a clear benefit to the offensive lineman because they need to be as big, strong, and as quick as possible to protect their quarterback. It most likely wouldn’t be easy for an electric lineman to climb poles with an average size of 6-foot-5, 300+ pounds.


2. Heights. There are a few differences that set the two careers apart. An electrical lineman doesn’t fear heights. Most electrical powerlines are 10 feet in the air and transmission towers range from 50 feet to 180 feet. As an electrical lineman, you need to comfortable with working high up for hours at a time. If you love roller coasters and a scenic view this job might be a perfect fit for you.


3. Slow. An electrical lineman must work slow to remain safe working in the field. For many jobs this is the opposite, most jobs praise their workers for fast work. Electrical lineman safety depends on conscientiousness, slow, and steady work. Rushing through a job leads to mistakes and for an electrical lineman, 1 mistake can be fatal.


4. On-field aggression: The nature of the game requires that offensive linemen are aggressive to protect themselves and their teammates. The Linemen’s teammates are depending on them to fight for every yard gained this should include being aggressive from the snap till past the whistle.


5. Fast. An offensive lineman different from an electrical lineman needs to be as fast as possible to move the ball and be able to score. For offensive linemen, their safety depends on moving as fast as possible. The game moves at such an incredible pace that if you are a split second late off the snap, you may already be beat.




1. Better Movies. Football movies have been dating all the way back to the early 1920s when silent films were popular. There really has not been any movie highlighting the skills of an offensive lineman until “The Blind Side,” which was made in 2009. If you’ve seen the movie, there is no doubt that the story of Michael Oher brought you to tears of happiness once he reached the NFL. As far as any feature film about electric lineman, only one comes to mind. Life on the Line, starring John Travolta was made back in 2015 and if you made it through the entire movie you undoubtedly were brought to tears because you were so mad you wasted 90 minutes of your life watching it. “Life on the Line” would have been much better if John Travolta danced or sang like the movies “Saturday Night Fever” and “Grease.” We hope there isn’t a sequel.



2. Best Beards. Most offensive linemen do not have beards due to the fact they need to wear chin straps or risk having it pulled by an opposing player. Some beards that do exist in the NFL are known to have their own Twitter accounts with thousands of followers. Even though the beards are few in the NFL, the influence of these beards is plenty. For an electric lineman, most people don’t know this, but having a beard is actually required to becoming a successful lineman. We just made that up, but if you look across the population of electric lineman, there are much more with a beard than without.



3. Spikes. Both professions require specialized footwear in order to perform the job successfully. The spikes worn by offensive linemen are designed around agility so they can move side to side, forward, backward, and even run at full speed. The spikes worn by an electric lineman allow an electric lineman to scale a 90-foot pole with ease and even hang out at the top. A common way that electric linemen are trained to be comfortable with heights Is to scale to the top of poles and play catch with a football while at the top. Spikes for both professions allow the lineman to work in any weather condition.


4. Uniform. One profession’s uniform leaves all the nooks and crannies visible to the human eye. This round goes to Electric Lineman.

Offensive Lineman
Electrical Lineman


5. Hard Hat. The hard hat of an offensive lineman is designed to take repeated blows and still can prevent concussions or head injury. The hard hat for an electric lineman is also designed to prevent injury, but far more science and money has gone into the hardhat of an offensive lineman making it much more breathable, comfortable, and has superior performance.

Offensive Lineman - Hard Hat
Electrical Lineman - Hard Hat

About Divergent Alliance

Divergent Alliance is a Veteran-owned electrical equipment supplier that provides a wide range of lineman tools and equipment for utility workers in the Chicagoland area and beyond. To learn more about our offerings, download our catalog or call us at (847)531-0559.