Skilled Trades Careers

How to Become a Lineworker in America in 2023

DateSeptember 14, 2023
how to become a lineworker lineman in america

If you're interested in a career as a lineworker, you may have a bright future in this skilled trade. With the demand for lineworkers expected to increase in the near future, it's an excellent career to invest your time in this year.

This article outlines the steps you need to take to become a lineworker. From the education and training requirements to the job outlook and daily tasks, we'll cover all the information you need to pursue a successful career as a lineworker.

This career path is a solid option for anyone who thrives in a hands-on environment. From working on power lines to ensuring public safety, linemen play a crucial role in maintaining electrical power systems and keeping communities connected.

If you want to join a team that handles heavy equipment, fiber optic cables, and electrical power lines, keep reading to follow our step-by-step recommendations.

What is a lineworker?

Also known as a lineman or an electrical lineworker, this is a skilled tradesperson who specializes in the installation, maintenance, and repair of electrical power systems. They work on power lines and utility poles, ensuring the safe and efficient delivery of electricity to homes, businesses, and communities.

Lineworkers are responsible for tasks such as setting poles, climbing towers, operating heavy machinery, and troubleshooting electrical issues. Their work requires physical strength, technical skills, and a deep understanding of electrical power systems. They're trained in safety protocols, as they often work at great heights and in extreme weather conditions.

With the demand for electricity continuously growing, lineworkers play a vital role in ensuring the reliability and stability of power distribution. If you're looking for an electrifying career that combines hands-on work with a high level of responsibility, this may be the skilled trade for you.

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Is a lineworker the same as a lineman?

A lineworker and a lineman are terms that are used interchangeably to refer to technicians who work with electrical power systems and power lines. They ensure the safe and reliable delivery of electricity to homes, businesses, and communities.

What do lineworkers do?

These skilled professionals are responsible for installing and maintaining electrical cables and power systems. Their primary role involves working with high-voltage systems to ensure a continuous supply of electricity.

Lineworkers perform a variety of tasks, including the installation and repair of power lines, transformers, and other electrical equipment. They are trained to work with heavy machinery and utilize specialized tools such as bucket trucks and hot sticks to safely access power lines at various heights.

They also work with fiber optic lines for telecommunications systems, ensuring seamless communication networks. They possess technical knowledge of electricity and are trained in troubleshooting and resolving power outages.

This is a high-responsibility job that includes performing regular maintenance, conducting inspections, and responding to emergency situations caused by storms or other adverse weather conditions. Having a high level of expertise is necessary for ensuring the integrity of public safety and vital services.

If you're interested in this skilled trade, consider exploring apprenticeships and training programs to develop the necessary technical and manual skills. Sign up for a free SkillHero account today to discover educational opportunities and resources available in your area.

lineman with ladder on powerlines

How to become a lineman

Becoming a lineman is a rewarding career choice for those who enjoy working with electricity and being part of critical infrastructure projects. To become a lineman, there are a few steps you can take to kickstart your journey.

First, acquire a high school diploma or GED to ensure a strong educational foundation. Next, explore lineman schools or community colleges that offer programs specifically designed for electrical trades.

Also, start looking for an apprenticeship program that will allow you to gain practical experience under the guidance of experienced professionals.

Keep obtaining new and up-to-date certifications to enhance your career prospects and demonstrate your expertise in the field. You can use SkillHero to find training opportunities, apprenticeships, and job openings in the industry.

Get your high school diploma or equivalent

To pursue any skilled trade it's important to get your high school diploma or an equivalent credential such as a GED certificate. This demonstrates to potential employers that you have the foundational knowledge and skills necessary for the job.

By completing your high school education and meeting any additional requirements, you're showing employers that you have a strong foundation that will help you succeed in future training.

Find a lineworker apprenticeship

Most companies require apprenticeships or employee training programs to become an electrical power line technician. These apprenticeships provide a combination of on-the-job training and classroom instruction to develop the skills and knowledge needed for the job.

One organization that offers comprehensive apprenticeship training for lineworkers is the Electrical Training ALLIANCE. Endorsed by both the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) and the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA), the Electrical Training ALLIANCE prepares aspiring workers through a structured curriculum.

To find an apprenticeship, check out the ApprenticeConnect feature on SkillHero. It’s a vast database of apprenticeship opportunities from across the United States of America. You can also use the career explorer to better understand the trade path and find opportunities that are right for you.

Sign up for a free SkillHero account to access additional resources and opportunities to support your journey toward becoming a skilled trade worker.

lineworkers working on powerlines

Keep learning and adding skills

It's crucial to continuously learn and add new skills to stay relevant in this ever-evolving field. The electrical power industry constantly introduces new technologies, equipment, and regulations. To keep up, it's essential to stay updated on the latest developments.

One way to enhance your skills is by acquiring additional certifications. These credentials not only validate your expertise but also open up new opportunities for career growth. Consider exploring certifications in areas such as electrical power systems and fiber optic cables to expand your knowledge and increase your value in the industry.

In addition to technical skills, lineworkers also need to excel in soft skills. The job often entails working in challenging conditions and communicating effectively with team members and customers. Developing skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and communication can greatly contribute to your success.

How long does it take to become a lineworker?

Getting started as a lineman apprentice requires a combination of education and hands-on training. The duration can vary depending on the educational pathway you choose and the requirements of your local utility or telecommunications company.

One option is to pursue an associate degree in electrical lineworker program, which typically takes around two years to complete. These programs provide a comprehensive understanding of electrical power systems and hands-on training with heavy equipment like bucket trucks.

Another pathway is through certificate programs offered by lineman schools or community colleges. These programs focus specifically on education for linemen to get new workers started within months rather than years.

Apprenticeships are important for adding on-the-job training and mentorship to enhance classroom instruction. Apprentices learn from experienced lineworkers and gradually gain the necessary skills and knowledge to become a journeyman lineman.

By pursuing the necessary education and training, you can acquire the skills needed for this rewarding career. Sign up for a free SkillHero account today to explore educational opportunities and start your journey as a lineworker.

Is being a lineworker hard?

Becoming or working as a lineworker is no easy feat. This challenging career requires dedication, physical fitness, and a strong commitment to safety. Lineworkers work with electrical power lines, often at great heights, and in extreme weather conditions.

The nature of the work poses inherent dangers, with the risk of injury always present. Lineworkers must undergo extensive training, including learning technical skills and mechanical abilities, as well as developing soft skills such as problem-solving and teamwork.

Despite the demanding nature of the job, being a lineworker can be highly rewarding. The sense of accomplishment that comes from maintaining public safety, ensuring reliable power supply, and working in a close-knit community is unparalleled.

Sign up for a free SkillHero account to discover opportunities, resources, and training options specifically tailored to the linework industry.

Who is a lineworker career for?

A lineworker career is for individuals who are skilled, dedicated, and thrive in a challenging and high-risk environment. With a growing demand for linemen in the utility and telecommunications industries, this career path offers abundant opportunities for those looking for a hands-on and rewarding trade.

Electrical careers offer a promising future with competitive salary, career advancement opportunities, and the chance to work in a critical industry that keeps communities powered and connected.

By harnessing their qualifications and skills, lineworkers play a vital role in maintaining essential infrastructure and ensuring public safety.

Start your journey as a lineworker today by signing up for a free SkillHero account to discover local training programs, job opportunities, and resources tailored for you.