Updated: Nov 6
Some of the best money for lineman can be made chasing storms and traveling across the country as part of an overhead distribution team. However, being a constantly traveling lineman on the road isn't for everyone.
Do all lineman have to travel?
With a couple exceptions in rural areas, there is a direct relationship between travel requirements and pay. Investor-owned-utilities and local cooperatives know that stationary jobs are sought after. If you do not want to travel you will not make as much money.
Experienced lineman are willing to sacrifice some financial upside in order to sleep in their own bed every night and be around their families consistently. Not every lineman has to travel but it is very common for apprentices to get on a moving crew that can cover multiple states, depending on the employer. Late nights for line workers can mean cranking up the headlamp and burning the midnight oil.
Some lineman jobs are all about travel as there are crews that are spun up for storm season. Many contractors along the southeast and northeast are in high demand during storm seasons. These contractors require quality labor and are willing to pay top dollar for the long hours both on the road as well as restoring power lines after major storms.
RV vs Hotel for Lineman?
Traveling lineman receive per diem to pay for their on the road expenses. Some journeyman prefer to invest in a RV or truck camper for their road lodging rather than spending that money on a hotel.
The decision to purchase a camper or stay in a hotel really depends on your life and living condition preferences. Some lineman with small or young families that are used to living on the road enjoy the experience of finding camp grounds across the country as they are making good money.
Some of the most memorable experience of my career have been traveling across the country in a truck camper, finding random camping spots close to our crews work.
If you are interested in checking out a good truck camper we encourage you to read through the truck campers buyers guide.
What is a traveling lineman salary?
On average, a traveling lineman on the road at least 5 months of the year makes $20k-$25k more than a stationary or low travel lineman in the same state.
Respondents to a Lineman Central survey in 2021 tracked that traveling journeyman lineman in following states are making between pretty impressive ranges:
Alabama: $83k - $104K
Texas: $81k - $101k
Virginia: $86k - $107k
Where do I find traveling lineman jobs?
Lineman Central is your home for finding the best line work opportunities. If are you interested in getting up to date opportunities with your specific criteria in mind, we encourage you to visit our top journeyman jobs page and sign up for job updates.
Storm chasing work is usually coordinated by crew and so it is important to try and get on these lists early. Good contractors understand the demand during storm season and will be willing to pay high hourly dollar amounts.
2023 Availability Travel Lineman Jobs
What is per diem for traveling lineman?
Per diem for traveling lineman can range upwards to $200 and sometimes over in various part of the country. In the southeast, per diem has been slightly increasing over the past storm season as hotel availability continues to compete with oil workers.
A normal travel schedule for a lineman working a job on the road is 5 days a week and 10 hour days. This five days on, two days off pattern can fluctuate a bit based on the employer but is generally pretty standard.
Finally, if you are reading this about a line worker in your life and want to get them a gift to show how much you are, check out our lineman gift guide here.