• Aaron Mahrood

Best lineman apprenticeship jobs in 2021

Updated: May 9

Short answer: the one you can get into and finish. Lineman apprenticeships are hard to come by and demanding programs. For example in 2021, the Missouri Valley JATC opened up apprenticeship application for a short 10 hour window and had a jam packed day of applications. While beggars can't be choosers we are going to analyze several of the factors that make for a great apprenticeship creating a strong pathway to lineman jobs.


What to consider when applying for a lineman apprenticeship job?

Union vs nonunion lineman apprenticeship jobs

How does a lineman apprenticeship work?

How much does a lineman apprenticeship get paid?

What are the best lineman apprenticeship jobs in 2021?

What are some lineman apprenticeships near me?


What to consider when applying for a lineman apprenticeship job?


Lineman apprenticeships are an opportunity for inexperienced individuals to learn a career skill though actual “hands on” training, not just reading about it in a book. While there is classroom time, this is a very hands on experience. Electrical Power Line Apprentices are full time employees of electrical contractors. They earn excellent pay and benefits while they are being taught theses skills on the job environment.


After general orientation, you'll be assigned to a crew so that you can gain valuable hands-on training in the field. At the same time you begin work in the field, you'll also begin regular classroom instruction in safety, circuitry, transformer connections, and electrical theory and more.


Some apprenticeships have more rigorous travel schedules then others. Electric co-ops are often highly sought after apprenticeships as they can give some certainty to the general geographic locations of the jobs and crew. It is also worth asking around about rough ballpark of the number of 'hot hours' that apprentices get. While ultimately the foreman of each crew will decide responsibilities, some apprenticeship programs have better reputations than others.


Union vs nonunion lineman apprenticeship jobs


Lineman Central does not take a union vs nonunion position however the data states union takes a little longer to get started as well as there are times of low amount of work. However there more consistent benefits and pay (emphasis on consistent, not necessarily higher in all geographies).


The Electrical Training Alliance between IBEW and NECA has established joint apprenticeship and training programs across the country. While direct training occurs through local training programs, the electrical training ALLIANCE develops enhanced education standards to meet the competitive challenges of today's global market economy.


Map of Joint Training and Apprenticeship Programs
Map of Joint Training and Apprenticeship Programs

Each joint apprenticeship program has a specific geographic region. For example, NEAT provides training to apprentice lineman in states including: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Vermont and Maryland.


How does a lineman apprenticeship work?


The outside and overhead distribution apprenticeships are typically set up as a 3 ½ to 4 year apprenticeships. However, each individual completes at a different time. There is a minimum of 7,000 total hours of required on-the-job training. Of these 7,000 hours, there are specific amounts of required types of training. An apprentice may be in the program beyond the required 7,000 hours while working on the specific type of training. It is not uncommon for some apprenticeship periods last longer than 3 ½ years due to layoff periods. Apprenticeship programs help employers recruit, build, and retain a highly-skilled workforce.


Lineman apprenticeship process
Lineman apprenticeship process

The requirements for an official apprenticeship is set by the National Guideline Apprenticeships and Training Standards. The U.S. Department of Labor’s goal is to safeguard the welfare of apprentices, ensure equality of access to apprenticeship programs, and maintaining a high bar of quality as well as safety protocol in blue-collar trades.


How much does a lineman apprenticeship get paid?


There are a total of 7 steps in the apprenticeship program. Approximately every 1,000 hours of OJT worked an apprentice advances to the next step. An example schedule is shown below of the pay scale. The apprentice gets a pay raise with each step increase, which is based on the Journeyman Lineman’s pay rate until they reach the top step. For union apprenticeships this pay scale is standardized based on the local chapter. Once an apprentice completes the program, he/she then earns 100% of the Journeyman’s rate.


The above is just an example from one local union. These wages will differ for geographic region as well as union vs non-union. Broadly speaking, the average annual salary for an apprentice in the United States is in the range of $48,000 to $67,000.


What are the best lineman apprenticeship jobs in 2021?


We want to stress that each aspiring apprentice should take their geographic and personal interests into account when applying. However, in 2021 there are three apprenticeship programs that have consistently been receiving high reviews both from employers as well as as apprentices themselves making them top tier programs:


American Line Builders Joint Apprenticeship & Training: ALBAT's training facility provides state-of-the-art training year round on 17-acres: classrooms, laboratories, lodging/dining, indoor/outdoor climbing arenas, underground facilities, substation and many more simulated power system facilities. The program has have trained over 5,500 members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) who are working for National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) contractors.


The American Line Builders Apprenticeship Training (ALBAT) program is a cooperative labor-management training program funded and administered by American Line Builders Chapter, National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).


All applicants must provide the following in order to meet minimum qualifications for apprenticeship: minimum of 18 years of age, proof of one full credit of high school algebra with a passing grade, or one post high school algebra course, or provide evidence of having successfully completed the NJATC Online Tech Math Course, and proof of valid Class A Commercial Driver’s License.


Touchstone Energy Co-op Lineman Apprenticeships: Recognized as a leader in the field of innovation and customer satisfaction, the Touchstone Energy Cooperatives are dedicated to helping further their employees’ careers, offering a full range of opportunities for distance learning, accreditation and professional development programs.


Many of the Touchstone Energy Co-ops partner with local climbing and training schools. South Plains Electric Co-op’s coordination with Northwest Lineman College in Denton and rotations through the different educational departments give apprentice linemen the training needed. Apprentices spend 12 plus weeks learning the basics at NLC, then work with experienced linemen in each department. During their apprenticeship, South Plains linemen return to NLC for two weeks each year for additional classroom and focused hands on training.


Mountain States Line Constructors Apprenticeship: Those interested in MSLCAT can apply and attend an interview that are held regularly at their three training centers located in Utah, Colorado and Montana. Apprentices must purchase their own tools and have access to a computer to complete course work (preferably a laptop with wireless capability). All travel, living and moving expenses are paid by the apprentice (as is the case with most lineman apprenticeships).


Classes are held once a month on Saturday and Sunday. Each lineman apprentice is assigned to a specific course that he/she attends on the scheduled date and can choose which location to attend. Each apprentice is required to complete three years of related instruction and class room work for a minimum of 144 hours per year. The time spent in related instruction is in addition to the required on-the-job training hours and shall not be considered work on the clock.


What are some lineman apprenticeships near me?


Lineman Central hosts the information for all the lineman apprenticeships in North America. In order to browse lineman apprenticeships near you navigate to the locations page and select the correct state you are interested in.

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