Updated: Dec 26, 2021
California is actually the second highest energy consumption in the United States, but per capita is relatively lower on the list due to the strong climate and energy efficiency programs. With this crazy demand for electricity, California is the largest importer for electricity as well as maintenance lines, meaning lots of work for linemen to do.
Interestingly enough, California was actually the nation’s top producer of solar, geothermal and biomass energy! Yes, the top in all three of these categories! In this report we are focusing on California linemen.
California lineman schools
Some of the most popular in-state choices for lineman school in California are Yavapai College Lineman Program, Sacramento Power Academy, Chandler-Gilbert Community College Lineman Program, and East Los Angeles Skills Center Lineman School. These are a good variety of choices you have to begin your lineman career. Starting as little as $500 up to a few thousand dollars, these programs are not too expensive, and all have an impressive completion rate.
In order to become a lineman in California the first step is an apprenticeship. A lineman apprenticeship is an “earn while you learn” program in the sense that it is an entry level role that is focused on education and training. California apprenticeships in the line industry can be difficult to enter and having a CDL as well as going to line school can improve your chances in the region. Some of the lineman schools are also known as pre-apprenticeship programs. In an interview, either union halls or contractors in California, an aspiring lineman will be expected to articulate why he is interested in the field as well as what sort of relevant experience would translate well. There is a large demand for linemen in California due to the large energy consumption and the large land area of the state. You could work in the bustling cities or out in the country, everyone needs power!
California lineman apprenticeships
Apprentices in California work alongside veteran journeyman and learn from the best instructors in the industry. Apprentices are members of high-energy teams that work in the field to maintain substation, power lines, and other electrical projects.
Lineman apprentices in California will be responsible for performing diversified work related to the construction and maintenance of poles, power lines, auxiliary facilities, and equipment for the distribution of electricity. Lineman can help construct, maintain and inspect transmission and distribution of electrical lines.
Lineman apprentices in California can typically make between $48,000 and $58,000 per year.
California lineman jobs
How much does a lineman make in California?
We estimate there are currently 6,730 linemen in the state of California. The median journeyman salary for lineman in California is $97,400. The 90th percentile salary for journeyman lineman in California is $130,920.
Some local unions for lineman in California include Local 11 and 18 (Los Angeles), Local 47 (Diamond Bar), Local 100 (Fresno), and Local 340 (Sacramento). There is a fair balance for lineman jobs in California between union and non-union. After you complete your lineman apprenticeship, you are given the option to join a union, which often people do.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company is a major employer of lineman through its strong apprenticeship program. Other major employers of lineman in California include Los Angeles Department of Water & Power, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas & Electric.
Some of the other utilities we have been tracking over the past year that have been getting more aggressive with their posting of hiring opportunities for lineman include Pacific Gas and Electric Company and San Diego Gas & Electric Company.
Journeyman lineman in California will be able to need to perform various types of distribution service calls. A typical day’s work would include performing all energized & de-energized work assigned to the crew, supervise the work of any apprentice lineman training with the crew, assume the responsibility for the crew when the foreman is not present.
California has been the leading edge in sustainable energy, which leads to some interesting problems that linemen in California must solve, creating lots of work and job opportunities for all of us.
As in many states, the power grid isn’t always the most consistent things. For example, in August 2020, there was a heatwave that affect the state, so the grid had no option besides to issue rolling blackouts to protect the larger system. Being a lineman in the state will help prevent future occurrences of events like these.
With over seven thousand positions being filled by linemen currently, new linemen entering the business can for sure find a job, as California has many different opportunities in the rural and urban areas.