Is Lineman Training Hard?

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Are you interested in becoming a lineman but not sure if the training is too hard?

The short answer is that any able-bodied person can become a lineman. If you can climb poles and want to work with electrical power lines, then becoming a lineman may be a good career path.

What Does a Lineman Do?

Linemen install and repair electrical power systems and telecommunication cables.  According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, linemen do the following:

  • Install, maintain, and fix power lines.
  • Identify and replace defective devices, voltage components, transformers, and electrical switches.
  • Test power lines and other auxiliary equipment.
  • Install power lines between residences, commercial buildings, and street poles.
  • Climb poles or use truck-mounted buckets to repair power lines.
  • Drive work vehicles to job sites and remote transformer stations.
  • Follow safety standards and protocols set by federal, state, and local governments.

Electrician vs Lineman

There are some similarities and differences between the training for electricians and linemen.

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Both work with electricity and must understand the fundamentals of electricity as well as proper safety precautions to stay safe while on the job.

However, where electricians work on low voltage lines at residences and buildings, the lineman will work with high voltage electricity that can cause increased shocks. The lineman will also work at increased heights to reach power lines and electrical towers.

Is Lineman Training Hard?

Some consider the training challenging. It takes a certain type of person to become a lineman. It is not the right career for everyone. Working as a lineman does take some strength, stamina, and agility.

Strength – you may be tasked with setting up street poles, hauling gear, and pulling thick cables that will take some strength to complete. Strength includes mental as well as physical strength. After a long days’ work both your body and mind will need a rest.

Stamina – working as a lineman takes stamina to climb power lines and transformer towers. They will also pull heavy cable and lift materials to perform their duties. It is a long but satisfying day of work.

Agility – as a lineman, you will need to move quickly and efficiently to keep up with other line workers. This includes your ability to climb because a normal street pole is over 30 to 100 feet tall. You will both physically and mentally be agile so you can react to what ever situation you find yourself in.

You must also be an outdoor person since lineman work outside most of the day. You will find yourself installing and maintaining power lines, often working during power outages. If you don’t want an office job, this might be the ticket.

Tools of the Trade

During your training, you will amass a few important tools that will help you do the job and keep you safe. These tools include a hard hat, climbers, voltmeter, rubber gloves, wire skinning knife, and wire cutters to name a few.

These tools will come in handy while climbing electric poles and repairing power lines. It is important to have the right tool for the job.

How Do You Become a Lineman?

A great way to become a lineman is by attending a trade school that offers a lineman training program.

Trade schools prepare you with classroom theory and hands-on training. During the training, you are tasked with real-life situations including down power lines and line maintenance.

You can put your classroom theory to the test and learn from your mistakes before an error causes a catastrophe. This will enhance your confidence that will build throughout your career.

After completing a training course, most lineman work as an apprentice until they have enough experience to become a journeyman and work solo.

As an apprentice, you will be working under the strict supervision of a licensed lineman. Once you have completed the required experience, you can complete a journeyman license exam and start working independently as a lineman.

Many employers will also require their apprentice line workers to obtain their Class A CDL license. This allows you to drive commercial vehicles, as most equipment is transported in large diesel trucks that carry pole claws and augers.

Plus, you will drive basket trucks both large and small, a backhoe, a front-end loader, crane, and all-terrain vehicles. Driving large vehicles is part of the job.

Final Thoughts

If you want a challenging and rewarding role and don’t mind heights or climbing then becoming a lineman may be the right career for you. Trade schools can prepare you for an apprenticeship, from there, the sky is really the limit.

Want to Learn More?

Because becoming a lineman is a hands-on job, technical training is typically required for anyone to enter this field. Many people decide to invest in a trade program to learn the trade skills they need to be safe and effective as a professional. To learn more about our Electrical Lineworker program offered at the Dallas Metro campus contact us at Tulsa Welding School, call (214) 227-9911.

* According to BLS data Texas employed 14,090 Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers (499051) through May 2021