Electrical linemen work installing, repairing and maintaining electrical and communication lines. While the field experiences slow growth, job opportunities are expected to be good due to the high number of linemen up for retirement, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The same government agency estimates average salary at $55,100 as of May 2008. To get into the field you'll need training. California provides multiple opportunities for electrical lineman training.
Northwest Lineman College
Northwest Lineman College includes a campus in Butte County, California. Since 1993 the college has trained more than 2,000 students. The college trains students for long-term careers in the field through textbook knowledge and practical skills. Northwest Lineman College seeks to raise safety and productivity standards in the industry. Before enrolling in the program, students must have a high school diploma or equivalency, be at least 18 years of age, take an entrance exam, get a medical release, be covered by health insurance and be able to pass the written part of a commercial driver's license test.
Completion of the program requires grades of 70 percent or better on all classes. Further, a student must pass all field competency exams and obtain all certifications before the last week of classes. Students may not be absent more than five times throughout the course of the program. The program takes only four months to complete. Upon completion, students sign the college's Oath of Excellence.
Northwest Lineman College 2009 Challenger Ave. Oroville, CA 95965 530-534-7260 lineman.edu
California/Nevada Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee
The California/Nevada Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee provides training for electrical linemen at two locations in Sacramento and a third in Riverside. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers locals 47, 396 and 1245 provide the training. In addition to getting daily experience as apprentice electrical lineworkers, students are also required to take classes on Saturdays once a month. Classes take about eight hours, and students are required to attend 10 of them each year.
All tuition and fees are waived for student apprentices who complete the five-year, 8,000-hour program. However, students must pay certain out-of-pocket costs such as lodging, hand tools and climbing tools.
California/Nevada Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee 9846 Limonite Ave. Riverside, CA 92509 951-685-8658 calnevjatc.org
Los Angeles Trade Technical College
Los Angeles Trade Technical College offers a certificate program for electrical lineman apprentices. Students complete the program in three years. Most classes in the program require several hours of both lab time and lecture time. Instruction covers topics from basic construction rigging to complex electrical engineering topics. Coursework also covers pole climbing and safety procedures.
Los Angeles Trade Technical College 400 West Washington Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90015-4108 213-763-7000 laccd.edu
2016 Salary Information for Line Installers and Repairers
Line installers and repairers earned a median annual salary of $60,800 in 2016, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, line installers and repairers earned a 25th percentile salary of $44,070, meaning 75 percent earned more than this amount. The 75th percentile salary is $78,070, meaning 25 percent earn more. In 2016, 227,000 people were employed in the U.S. as line installers and repairers.
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Line Installers and Repairers
- Northeast Lineman College: About NLC
- California/Nevada Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee: Lineman Program Description
- California/Nevada Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee: Classes and Tuition
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Outlook Handbook: Line Installers and Repairers
- Career Trend: Line Installers and Repairers
- power lines image by Edsweb from Fotolia.com