5 Schools to start a lineman career in Texas
Updated: May 9
There are over an estimated 10,000 lineman in the state of Texas. With the state vast geographic reach there are lots of job opportunities across the Texas plains. Some of the common employers of lineman that have bolstering up their teams recently include Xcel Energy, Longhorn Electric, BHI Energy and Mastec Utilities. There are many options to join a local union such as Local 66 (Houston), Local 72 (Waco), Local 20 (Dallas), and Local 500 (San Antonio).
The state of Texas has a unique electrical grid run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The separation of the Texas grid from the rest of the United States country has its origins in changing times of electric utilities last century. For that reason, many of the smaller employers in Texas do not have much interstate travel. Here are five of the most popular starting points for aspiring lineman beginning their careers in the Lone Star State:
SPC is thought to be by many as one of the most elegant and complete community colleges in Texas. The Levelland Campus encompasses over 40 buildings on a 177-acre campus. SPC is located in Levelland, which is about a forty minute drive outside of Lubbock.
The age of SPC students is quite diverse. Over 75%of the SPC student body are traditional college-age. The average age of the student body on the Levelland Campus is 21 years. One of the programs offered at the college is a two-year Electrical and Power Transmission Technology program. The goal of the program is prepare qualified graduates to work in the electrical industry. Over 90% of the students that begin the program complete it.
The curriculum provides a selection of electrical courses that meet the needs of the electrical industry, as well as the goals and desires of the student. Our surveys estimate that the average 2020 graduate starting wage was around $46,000.
This program gives broad electrical knowledge and does not feed directly into an lineman apprenticeship but it does give a solid foundation to understand the basic fundamentals of electricity.
The Texas State Technical College system as a wide reach across the Lonestar State. There are many locations across the state and the programs that they offer continue to expand. The Technical college prides itself on flexibility and a strong student life.
The program of note for aspiring lineman is the Electrical Linework Technology Program offered by the Texas State Technical College. In this program you will learn the basics of the lineman profession with a focus on safety.
Texas State has a money-back guarantee program. If you complete an associate degree in Electrical Lineworker don't have a job within six months of graduating, TSTC will refund your tuition.
This program is available at the Fort Bend County, Marshall and Waco campuses as well as the Harlingen campus as of last year.
Northwest Lineman College plays a major role in preparing the next generation of lineman, not only in Texas but across the country. Across the country each year the college trains over 8,000 aspiring lineman.
The Texas Campus is located in Denton, about a 40 minute drive outside of Dallas. Students of this program will appreciate the nice amenities. the facility has been outfitted with 10,000 sqft. indoor smart grid and transformer lab, 7,000 sq ft. gas fusion and plumbing lab, a 14-acre field-training area, and 7,000 sqft. of classroom space.
The curriculum is based on a three-phase education model: knowledge, skills, and behavior. Professionals that complete this program will be competitive for many apprenticeships.
While other programs in the state have education and career path preparation of electrical lineworkers Northwest Lineman College also has a path for natural gas technicians.
Western Texas College is located in Snyder, approx. an hours drive west of Abilene.
Western Texas College offers programs of study that qualify students for the Associate of Arts or Associate of Science Degree and junior standing in a senior college or university, and programs that qualify students for the Associate of Applied Science Degree. In addition to its more than 10 different academic departments the college offers offers nine technical program areas that prepare you for careers in business and computer-based technology, the industrial sector, and the professional services industry.
The curriculum for this program is provided by the Institute for Safety in Powerline Construction. The courses include the basics of climbing, distribution line construction, electric power distribution, and receiving a CDL. Important to note that this program partners with Big Country Electric Cooperative and gives students a strong exposure to realistic work.
Kilgore is located on the eastern side of the state and the college is approx. a thirty minute drive from Tyler. The annual enrollment of the community college is consistently over 5,000 students.
The lineman training program at Kilgore College is a 10-week course of study will award those who graduate with an electrical power certificate which will allow them to go right to work for an electric power company or contractor.
In-the-field courses will be taught at the Kilgore College Training Field in Overton. Classroom instruction will be held on the Kilgore campus. Students must pass a TX DOT physical and drug test as a prerequisite for the Electric Power Technology Certificate.
It is important to note that the programs sponsors include many local electrical cooperatives such as American Electric Power, Bowie-Cass Cooperative, ETI Equipment Technology Inc. and the Houston County Electric Cooperative.