Sydney Schultz recently finished her training as a redseal powerline technician for SaskPower in Canada.

Spotlight on the Line Trade: Sydney Schultz

Sept. 7, 2022
Sydney Schultz recently finished her training as a redseal powerline technician for SaskPower in Canada.


  • Born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada, and grew up on a farm with two younger brothers
  • She and her fiancé, Travis, have a 19-month-old son named Arthur
  • Enjoys spending time with her family, sewing clothes for her son, gardening, playing piano and singing
  • Two of her uncles were linemen, and her aunt worked in dispatch
  • Can’t live without her cell phone and being able to group text with the line crews. They consistently communicate about abnormal conditions, outages, safety concerns and tasks.

Early Years

There will always be a need for power in my lifetime, so I figured it was a good trade to get into. I worked in the oilfield for five years. The constant ups and downs of work made it hard to plan anything. I wanted a stable job, paid salary and have the chance for an education. My local utility was putting on a bootcamp, so I decided to apply. I figured if I could roughneck on a drilling rig, I’d be able to climb poles, but I was very wrong. I didn’t quite make it through, but I was given a job opportunity as a laborer to experience the trade. I could see a lot of different work and learned to drive and operate the equipment. I attended another bootcamp, made it through and was indentured shortly after.

Day in the Life

I’m currently in a district operating position for SaskPower just outside of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. We focus on new connects, disconnects, no-power calls, troubleshooting and building moves. I just became a red seal power line technician journeyman, so my career will be changing very soon once again. There is a mountain of information to learn going into a troubleshooting or district role. It’s basically another apprenticeship. I'm not sure where I will end up bidding, but the future could bring a lot of changes for me.

Challenges and Rewards

A major challenge is my gender and working with individuals who want nothing to do with you. As the first female at SaskPower to have gone through their apprenticeship program. I never really realized how important that was. It’s still sometimes intimidating walking into a room full of guys, being the only female—all eyes on you. I know there are still individuals out there who believe women have no place in the trades, especially this trade. The only thing I can do to change that is just work hard and walk out of my training with my ticket. I enjoy a challenge, and I had some individuals I just had to prove wrong. The biggest reward, which is probably the same for a lot of linemen, is getting the power back on.

Safety Lesson

I remember a couple years back I received a text message from my mom. It was a photo of a bucket truck, and the truck was all set up, boom in the air and the bucket was tipped facing the ground. My heart sank at that moment. At that time, I was eight months pregnant and still working on the crew. We lost two great linemen that day. Two guys that taught me a lot in the first few months of working as a laborer. Saskatchewan is a large province, but our biggest city has just under 300,000 people. We all know each other at work, and when something like this happens, it affects all of us. After that day I went on lighter duty until I was off on maternity leave.

Memorable Storm Moment

We don’t have the same hurricane and tornado damage as folks south of the border. Storm work isn’t as intense, so when you get the opportunity to work on something, you take it. This past April, a snow and ice storm hit southern Saskatchewan. Miles and miles of line had been snapped in half on top of 3 ft to 4 ft of snow. We had to tractor pull every single piece of equipment in the field. It was a muddy, messy and windy disaster. I got some nasty wind/sun/snow burn, and my entire face and neck was peeling. It was a busy six days, but multiple crews with hundreds of individuals were able to get all the power restored.

Future Plans

My goal is to reach high school students and show them what this trade can entail. I didn’t think trades were an option right out of high school for a female. I was pushed to university and ended up hating it. If I had to do it over again, I would 100 percent go for a utility. I can’t say for sure where I’ll be in 10 years, but I want to serve as a mentor, participate in events showcasing what we do and further my education. I’d love to be able to teach and will hopefully end up in a school one day. I’ll never stop learning.

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