Updated: Jun 19
As you begin to get more familiar with the overhead power distribution line trade and explore some starting points for careers options you will likely come across recommendations for lineman schools. You might be wondering how long is lineman school? Lineman Central is the leading portal for connecting with lineman apprenticeship programs, technical schools and all things lineman career related. In this analysis we examined over 115 lineman schools and found that the median length of lineman school is 18 weeks.
This is not the same time it takes to become a lineman.
It is important to differentiate that obviously this answers how long is lineman school, not how long does it take to become a lineman. Completing lineman school, also known as a pre-apprenticeship school, is often the first step to become a lineman. As described, the next logical step is an apprenticeship. This apprenticeship consists of several thousand hours of on-the-job training and typically takes around four years to complete.
The length of apprenticeships were not included in our analysis of the average length of lineman school. We are only focusing on programs from climb schools, community colleges, and line technician programs. We will do further reporting solely on community college courses, such as The Nash Community College Lineman Program and Northampton Community College Lineworker Trainee Program, are tied to traditional semester scheduling.
Some outliers of quicker lineman school programs include the New Mexico Junior College Lineman Program (12 weeks) and the Sacramento Power Academy (12 weeks). Some of the longer lineman schools include the Lansing Community College Lineworker Program (24 weeks) and the Brandon University Power Line Technician Training Program (24 weeks). Probably the most common starting point for powerline workers is the National Public Power Pre-Apprenticeship. It is a five week fully online program.
Many community college lineman training programs are tried to the traditional semester scheduling. Some programs that can be completed in two semesters include: The Bismarck State College Lineman Program and Holmes Community College Lineman Program. Some of the more lengthier lineman schools include the Minnesota Southwestern Technical College Powerline Technician Program (four semesters) and Nebraska Metropolitan Community College Applied Technology Program (four semesters).
Does this make lineman school worth it?
Any commitment of time and money needs to consider that the lineman career path is not a one size fits all journey. Lineman that are interested in joining a local union may find that they are not currently accepting (or being ultra-selective) for their apprenticeship positions. If that is the case attending lineman school can put the applicant in a stronger position for the future. Apprentices are not climbing poles rather they are handling tools and doing manual ground work, but most importantly they place a young lineman in the position to learn. Each week in school and not earning money in an apprenticeship has a lost dollar amount. However, learning the important skills in an effective manner in lineman school will pay dividends in the long term.
Lineman school can make your application for apprenticeships more competitive. Just as important it gives you quick view into the career path to make sure it is something you are seriously interested in pursuing. Nothing beats the learning that comes from an apprenticeship (on top of the fact you are getting paid to learn) but lineman schools can play a critical role in building the basic fundamentals as well as industry network for a long and successful career.
What about lineman schools near me?
Lineman Central's locations page gives those interested in becoming a lineman a portal to explore and compare starting points across the country. The schools are divided into state pages and common schools from neighboring states are also included. For example, you will be able to find lineman schools in Florida, lineman schools in Georgia, lineman schools in Texas, etc.