Whether you live in a city or in the countryside, you may see everyday the work done by linemen. Linemen or line technicians are the people who install, maintain and repair the networks of electrical power lines which deliver electricity from generating plants to customers. Despite with electricity lines requires different and specialized knowledge of transformers, electrical power distribution systems, and substations, the procedures for installing electrical and telecommunication lines are quite complex. lineman apprenticeships
Lineman and line technician jobs often consists of installing new lines by constructing utility poles, towers, and underground trenches to carry the wires and cables. While working on poles and towers, installers first use truck-mounted buckets to reach the top of the structure or physically climb the pole or tower. That’s why Linemen’s work conditions are considered to be hazardous. Linemen also implement new service for customers and installing network equipment such as transformers, circuit breakers, switches, fuses, and other equipment to control and direct the electrical current.
How to become a lineman or line technician? If you want to embrace a career in the lineman, you will be required to have a high school diploma and to have completed an apprenticeship program in electricity, rigging, pole climbing, electrical theory, safety and first aid, or to have obtained experience through vocational/technical programs, community colleges, or the Armed Forces, than moving on to an “on the job training” apprenticeship program, usually lasting up to 4 years. Most community or technical colleges offer electronics or master electrician exam training which are sponsored by local employers and unions. Such programs last between one year and two years depending on the level of expertise acquired. This could help one land an entry level job as a “groundsman” or “cold step” apprentice, or lineman B. But whether it is a short or long program, graduates will get a preferential treatment in the hiring process. Most recruiters also expect their linemen or line technician to have basic knowledge of algebra and trigonometry, mechanical ability, to be customer service oriented and to have good interpersonal skills in order to be able to deal with customers.
In the U.S., there were about 104,000 electrical linemen or line technicians in 2004. Most of them worked for construction, or electric power generation, transmission, and distribution companies. However prospects for electrical linemen should not be quite good in the near future with the overall employment growing more slowly than the average for all occupations through 2014. But the increasing number of retirements may create new job opportunities for new workers in the linemen and line technician field.