Becoming a Lineman in Montana
Updated: May 9
Although Montana has a relatively small population, the state’s temperature extremes actually make Montana the second-highest per capita energy consumption of the states. In the same fashion that seems odd, Montana has the nation’s largest coal reserve however renewable sources of energy actually cover 45% of the state’s energy demands. In this report we are focusing on Montana linemen.
Montana lineman schools
Some of the most popular in-state choices for lineman school in Montana are Montana Tech Lineman Program, and Mountain States Line Constructors Apprenticeship Montana Training Center. Although there are not many options in state, there are many school around Montana, but these two programs are great with a high employment rate on completion.
In order to become a lineman in Montana 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. Montana 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 Montana, 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. As there are not many linemen in the state compared to the size of the state, you can expect to travel a decent amount to cover a larger area.
Montana lineman apprenticeships
Some of the most popular choices for Montana lineman apprenticeship includes Wyoming Electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee, Mountain States Line Constructors Apprenticeship Montana Training Center, and Southwest Idaho Electrical Joint Apprenticeship.
Apprentices in Montana 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 Montana 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. The majority of Montana is a rural setting, however there are a number of urban cities that you may service as well.
Lineman apprentices in Montana can typically make between $48,000 and $59,000 per year.
Montana lineman jobs
How much does a lineman make in Montana?
We estimate there are currently 350 linemen in the state of Montana. The median journeyman salary for lineman in Montana is $81,430. The 90th percentile salary for journeyman lineman in Montana is $99,540.
Some local unions for lineman in Montana include Local 44 (Butte), Local 233 (Helena), Local 532 (Billings). There is a fair balance for lineman jobs in Montana between union and non-union. It seems that if you more want to work and live in a city, joining a union may be beneficial to you.
NorthWestern Energy is a major employer of lineman through its strong apprenticeship program. Other major employers of lineman in Montana include Xcel Energy, Flathead Electric Coop, Mission Valley Power, and Ravalli Electric Coop.
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 Northwestern Energy and Park Electric Co-op.
Journeyman lineman in Montana 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.
Montana is very interesting state with beautiful views, but very extreme weathers. With these extreme conditions, it is crucial that the power grid is in tip top shape, and if it is not, it could be deadly.
Montana has a relatively consistent production of power as there is little to no wind or solar energy being produced as most of it is produced by coal-fired plants and hydroelectric dams. This means the jobs you will have to do will be consistent over time. However, Montana does export a large amount of the power produced to other nearby states.
In the end, you too can join the line workers in Montana, ensure the Montana stays connected and powered on all the time, even if they live in “the middle of nowhere.”