Updated: Jan 27
Glen Sutherland is a Guest Writer for Lineman Central from IBEW Local 379
If you just graduated line school or looking to get into the trade here is the steps to take.
1. Get your class A CDL, with no auto restriction.
2. Contact your local IBEW union hall and ask about getting your groundman ticket.
3. Sign your home local books and every union hall that you can across the country, be willing to travel and go get experience wherever you can.
4. Apply for the IBEW union apprenticeship in the jurisdiction that you live, and every other jurisdiction that does not have a residency clause.
5. Start your apprenticeship 3.5- 4yrs, learn as much as you can, and become a bad MF Journeyman Lineman.
Below is a map of the IBEW apprenticeships, apply for all of them that you are eligible for. Why go through an IBEW apprenticeship? In 3.5 to 4yrs you will have your Journeyman Lineman ticket. You will be trained in all aspects of linework, Distribution, Transmission, Underground, and Substation.
Learn all you can and don’t limit yourself to one aspect of the trade. Also, while in the apprenticeship you will receive Medical, Dental, and Vision health insurance 100% paid for by the contractor for you and your family. You will also be stacking G’s in that retirement account, 100% paid by the contractor ( usually 10-25% of gross wages). You will be accruing time for the 2 pensions that you get through the IBEW. You receive 2 death benefits, 20K through LINECO and 12,500K through the local. As you progress through the apprenticeship you will get your yearly raise through the local unions contract, plus a 5% raise every step that you increase through the apprenticeship, no more going 2+ yrs with no raise or waiting on a spot to come open on the bucket truck so that you can get a classification bump and raise.