An electrical lineman is on the front lines of keeping the network of cables and electrical lines that snake above and below ground in good working order. Installing new and updated lines and otherwise keeping our devices from losing the signal that keeps us connected is a physically demanding and lucrative job.

Utilities and technology companies hire electrical linemen to install and maintain the lines on which our technologically dependent society relies. It is a $1.4 trillion industry that needs qualified linemen to keep it running in continuously good working order.

Electrical Lineman Training and Salary

It can take a year or two at one of the many utility lineman schools in Pennsylvania followed by a demanding apprenticeship in order to become an electrical lineman.

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All of that lineman training eventually provides a lucrative salary once a student graduates. Electrical linemen can expect to make a minimum of around $40,000 and up to $100,000 with advanced training.

It pays well because it is a challenging and physically demanding position. An electrical line worker is expected to work outdoors, climb up poles, climb into deep ditches and work long hours.

Getting Into a Lineman Academy

To qualify for a lineman academy, you typically must be physically fit, be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license at the bare minimum. Be prepared to pay for and take a drug test when you apply to a school. If you have had to take a drug test through your employer or for another situation, you may need to supply those results as well.

During your training, you will need to qualify for a commercial driver’s license. Once you have a CDL, you will have to maintain a good driving record and insurance.

Global Power Line Academy

This esteemed lineman academy is a 10-week preapprenticeship lineman training school in Claysburg, Pennsylvania. More than 90 percent of its graduates find work within the technology industry upon graduation. Most of the training, 75 percent, takes place on the 15-acre grounds outside of the classroom. Students benefit from the small class size of 12 trainees.

Tuition costs around $8,500. Students are also responsible for the personal tools and protective equipment they need to use in the lineman training program, which runs about $2,000. An enrollment fee of $100 and possible drug testing fees can be included in the cost of attending Global Power Line Academy.

The academy offers housing at the Blue Know Ski Resort condos at steeply discounted rates. The condos have kitchenettes and are within walking distance of the school grounds where the students will be spending a majority of their time.

Penn Foster Workforce Development

This is an extensive and thorough training program for electrical linemen who hope to secure a position immediately upon graduation or further their education once they have completed the program.

Located in Scranton, Pennsylvania, the Penn Foster Workforce Development training program includes a roster of coursework that can aid an electrical lineman, including classes such as electrical safety, alternating and direct current circuit principles, installation and maintenance of overhead and underground power lines and mathematics for electrical calculations.

The program is 812 hours and has a wide variety of areas of focus, including:

  • Construction specialist
  • Power line design
  • Electrical lineman/cableman

Northeastern Apprenticeship and Training Program

The Northeastern Apprenticeship and Training Program includes on-the-job training, classroom instruction and at-home study in a 15-week program. The Area Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee program is based on the National Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee curriculum. This includes 7,000 hours of training and study with three and a half years of instruction that includes an apprenticeship.

Graduates of the apprenticeship program can receive 27 semester hours of college credit through the American Council on Education to take advanced electrical courses at a junior or four-year university.

About the Author

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business trends and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at www.vegaswriter.com.