Updated: May 26
Ask any recruiter at a utility company or line apprenticeship program and they will tell you the top trait they are looking for is hard work and humility. For our nations veterans, there might not be a better fit for a job when returning home from active duty than working on our nations power lines.
The Department of Energy, IBEW, Helmets to Hard Hats, and many public and private energy providers are committed to supporting and empowering American workers, especially servicemembers separating from active duty.
However, today there continues to be difficulties in the preparation and training as well as the transition back home for aspiring lineman in their job search. While getting a job in the line industry may seem straight forward it requires some planning.
There are few things more honorable than delivering power across America but one of theme is defending our freedom, so if you are reading this a sincere thank you from the entire Lineman Central team.
What is the first step for a veteran looking to become a lineman?
The first recommended step to become a lineman as a veteran for to get your CDL.
Fortunately for many of the veterans that drove commercial vehicles during their service there is a very strong chance you may be able to skip driving school all together and receive you commercial drivers license.
What is Military Skills Test Waiver Program
The Military Skills Test Waiver Program allows drivers with two years' experience safely operating heavy military vehicles to obtain a CDL without taking the driving test (skills test). The program is available in every state in the country.
This can be a huge advantage for lineman looking for jobs.
To date, more than 40,000 service members and veterans have taken advantage of this waiver program.
If you qualify, all you need to do is pass the written exam in order to get your CDL.
What sort of lineman apprenticeships are available for veterans?
You can find local apprenticeship opportunities for lineman by searching on Lineman Central.
Some of the most popular lineman apprenticeships for veterans in 2020 included several of the Joint Apprenticeship programs including the California-Nevada Electrical Apprenticeship and Missouri Valley Line Constructors Apprenticeship Program.
Attending a technical college or climbing school can also be another route to get a line apprenticeship. To explore trade school in your area browse the Lineman Central Locations page.
For example, veterans in California may be interested to see they have more than 10 options when it comes to choosing a starting point for a lineman job.
Can my GI Bill help pay for my training?
Yes, the post 9/11 GI Bill, Montgomery Bill, Select Reserve GI Bill, and Veteran Readiness and Employment program all can defray some of the costs of becoming a lineman.
While there is plenty of room for improve from the Department of Veterans Affairs this tool is very helpful in determining a good training path for aspiring lineman and their search for jobs.
When using the Veterans Affairs calculator the first step is to enter in your military status, which GI Bill you are using as well as the number of months post 9/11 service.
Next you should search the various schools in your region you might be interested in. For a starting point in exploring lineman trade school and apprenticeships visits the locations page on Lineman Central.
If you were interested in attending the Lineman program at North Georgia Technical College you could potentially paid $1,110/month in a housing allowance, a $900 book stipend as well as significant tuition discounts. Tuition discounts from the GI Bill are paid to the school and not to the veteran.
What are the best lineman jobs for lineman?
Each year more utility providers and distribution contractors are recognizing the incredible value that veterans bring to a crew. In addition to some employment tax incentives, foremen and distributions executives understand the true value of the hard work and determination that veterans bring to a team.
In 2008, Pacific Gas & Electric launched its PowerPathway program. PowerPathway is a nationally-recognized workforce development model to enlarge the talent pool of local, qualified, diverse candidates for skilled craft and utility industry jobs through training program partnerships with educational, community-based and government organizations.
PowerPathway helps military veterans throughout the PG&E service territory prepare and compete for high demand jobs in the utility and energy industry.
Helmets to Hard Hats is another very powerful search tool for veterans looking for lineman jobs. Helmets to Hardhats is a national, nonprofit program that connects transitioning active-duty military service members, veterans, National Guard and Reservists with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry.
The portal allows for career seeking veterans to provide there location, interest areas, and contact information.
All participating trade organizations conduct three to five year earn-while-you-learn apprenticeship training programs that teach service members everything they need to know to become a construction industry professional with a specialization in a particular craft like the line industry.