According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for lineman apprentices is good with consistent job growth expected over the next 10 years. This is partially because of the expansion of the communications industry. The majority of these professionals work with power companies and communication service firms. For example, a lineman may work installing telephone and cable lines. But to become an apprentice lineman, you must find a program that offers the ability to specialize in this area.
Check out the National Electrical Contractors Association. They offer a program that gives you hands-on experience installing telephone and cable lines. To request an application to their program, visit the website (see Resources) or call (301) 657-3110.
Apply to the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee program. They allow contractors to specialize in becoming either an indoor or outdoor lineman. To apply to the program visit the NJATC website (see Resources) and complete an application. This organization has training centers across the nation.
Complete the classroom work and on-the-job training. These programs require 2,000 hours of hands-on experience plus 140 or more classroom hours. This can take up to four years to complete.
Once you complete your electrician’s license work, you can apply for licensure with your state. Contact your city’s business department for requirements. In most cases, you will need to pass an exam and show proof of completing your lineman apprenticeship.
Find a permanent lineman position. You can find job postings at the National Electrical Contractors Association (see Resources) or through job boards like Juju (see Resources). Also, check with local power, cable and telephone companies for job postings.
Once completing your apprenticeship you can expect to make between $13.22 to $32.08 an hour. Make sure to negotiate your salary to ensure the best compensation package.
Be prepared for safety hazards. Electric power line workers have one of the most hazardous jobs. Follow safety procedures and wear the proper equipment while working.