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Tennessee Lineman Schools and Jobs

Updated: Dec 26, 2021

With the country reeling from the Great Depression, Roosevelt created the famous “New Deal” to help America recover. The Tennessee Valley Authority was created to help the hard-hit Tennessee Valley, where it was tasked with improving the quality of life in the region.

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is the nation's largest public power corporation. It owns greater than 90% of Tennessee's electric generating capacity and three-fifths of the power plants.

Historic roots does not mean the Tennessee power grid is not constantly evolving. In recent years natural gas use by Tennessee's electric power sector was 32 times greater than a decade earlier as the state's natural gas-fired generation reached a record high and coal-fired generation declined. In this report we are focusing on Tennessee linemen.


Tennessee lineman jobs

Tennessee lineman school

Some of the most popular in-state choices for lineman school in Tennessee are The North American Lineman Training Center and Tennessee College of Applied Technology Powerline Program. Popular lineman schools in neighboring states include Nash Community College Lineman Program (North Carolina) and North Georgia Technical College Lineman Program.

In order to become a lineman in Tennessee 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. Tennessee 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 Tennessee, 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.

Tennessee lineman apprenticeships

Some of the most popular choices for Tennessee lineman apprenticeship include Tennessee Valley Authority Lineman Apprentice Program and Southeast Line Constructors.

Apprentices in Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 apprentices in Tennessee can typically make between $36,000 and $60,000 per year.

 lineman jobs in Tennessee
Some lineman jobs in Tennessee

Tennessee lineman jobs

How much does a lineman make in Tennessee?

We estimate there are currently 2,060 lineman in the state of Tennessee. The median journeyman salary for lineman in Tennessee is $70,540. The 90th percentile salary for journeyman lineman in Tennessee is $94,340.

Some local unions for lineman in Tennessee include Local 429 (Nashville), Local 270 (Oak Ridge) and Local 311 (Chattanooga). There is a fair balance for lineman jobs in Tennessee between union and non-union. Per diem for union journeymen lineman in Tennessee often ranges from $100 to $150.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a major employer of lineman through its strong apprenticeship program. Other major employers of lineman in Tennessee include Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Corp, Memphis Light Gas and Water Division, and Nashville Electric Service.

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 Davis H. Elliot Company and Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation.

Journeyman lineman in Tennessee will be able to need to perform various types of distribution service calls. A typical days 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.

Many of the utilities are focusing on smart grid technologies to prevent some potential power outages before they occur. Performance and diagnostic centers are like “nerve centers” that gather and analyze data, enabling utilities to perform predictive maintenance before brewing issues become disruptive problems.

New grid modernization efforts will keep utility companies and their lineman busy over the coming decade. As part of the new Smart Grid Demonstration Project, the state is hosting a demonstration of Smart Wire Inc. technology in Knoxville, Tenn. The technology aims to shift energy away from overloads and away from shortages to balance the power load and save consumers money.

Tennessee lineman have many options to build a strong career path within the volunteer state from strong government programs and a wide variety of urban and rural electric cooperatives.


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