Power lineman install high-voltage power lines and connect them to the electrical grid and to homes and businesses. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that most power lineman learn their trade through an apprenticeship or on-the-job training. However, completing a certificate, diploma or degree program may increase job opportunites. These programs also prepare students to take certifying exams. Community colleges don't offer the certification itself, but provide the training needed to prepare for the certifying exam. The National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, the National Association of Journeymen Linemen and the Fiber Optic Association all offer certification.
At the Community College of Rhode Island, students earn an Energy Utility Technology Certificate in about 12 months or two semesters. The 27-credit program includes coursework in energy industry safety, electrical systems, renewable energy and technical mathematics. A capstone and practicum course gives students hands-on experience. Students at Middlesex Community College in Lowell, Massachusetts can earn a certificate or associate degree in energy utilities technology. The certificate includes 28 credits and is completed in about one year, while the associate degree includes 61 to 62 credits and is completed in two years.
At Los Angeles Trade-Tech, students can complete a 16-week powerline mechanic training program and learn power pole climbing skills, construction standards, rigging principles, electrical theory and safety practices. The certificate program prepares students for the certifying exam and Civil Service exams required by local municipalities. At Santiago Canyon College in Riverside, California, the power lineman apprenticeship prepares students to start working and take the certifying exam. The program includes coursework and 7,000 hours of work experience, and it takes 3 1/2 years to complete. Course work includes training in electrical principles, transformers, circuitry, equipment operation and more.
At Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Missouri, students can complete an Associate of Applied Science degree or a certificate in electric utility line technician. The associate degree takes a little over two years to complete and the certificate program takes about 18 months. Both provide basic training needed to certify as a power lineman, but the associate program includes advanced coursework in energy and the environment and additional classes in technical mathematics. At Lincoln Land Community College in Springfield, Illinois, students can earn a certificate of achievement in electrical distribution lineman maintenance in about one year. The program trains students to install, maintain and troubleshoot power lines.
Wallace Community College in Dothan, Alabama, offers students a pre-apprentice electrical lineworker program that takes seven weeks to complete. Students can also take non-credit courses for help preparing for the certifying exam. At Somerset Community College in Somerset, Kentucky, students take eight-week courses for each phase of training they want to complete, rather than completing a curriculum for a certificate or degree. The school offers a training course specifically to prepare students for the certifying exam.
- Los Angeles Trade-Tech: Powerline Mechanic Training Program
- Santiago Canyon College: Apprenticeship Power Linemen
- Metropolitan Community College: Electrial Utility Line Technician
- Lincoln Land Community College: Electrical Distribution Lineman Maintenance
- Community College Of Rhode Island: Energy Utility Technology Certificate
- Middlesex Community College: Energy Utilities Technology Program
- Wallace Community College: Pre-Apprentice Electrical Lineworker
- Somerset Community College: Lineman Training Center
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook: Line Installers And Repairers
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