The “Florida Man…” memes often make headlines across the country, but in this deep dive we are focusing on Florida lineman. Florida is a state preliminary powered by coal and natural gas with assorted nuclear electric power. Florida is the second-largest producer of electricity after Texas, and natural gas fueled about 74% of Florida's electricity net generation. The state is often hit hard with tropical storms causing a high need for utility and electrical repairs across the state each year. Additionally, in recent years Florida has been awarded several federal grants from the US Department of Energy to modernize its electric grid.
Florida lineman school
Some of the most popular in-state choices for lineman school in Florida includes the Florida Campus of Northwest Lineman College, CDA Technical Institute Voltage Lineworker Program, and Valencia College Lineman Program.
In order to become a lineman in Florida 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. 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 Florida. Some of the lineman schools are also known as pre-apprenticeship programs. In an interview, either union halls or contractors in Florida, 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.
Florida lineman apprenticeships
Some of the most popular choices for Florida lineman apprenticeship include SELCAT (Southeast Line Constructors Apprenticeship & Training), Associated Builders & Contractors Institute Lineman Apprentice Program, and Florida Municipal Power Lineman Training Program.
Apprentices in Florida 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 Florida will perform rubber-glove work on energized primary circuits and hot stick work on distribution and sub-transmission voltages, generally in the 2,400- to 34,500-volt range.
Lineman apprentices in Florida can typically make between $35,000 and $61,000 per year.
Florida lineman jobs
How much does a lineman make in Florida?
We estimate there are currently 5,620 lineman in the state of Florida. The median journeyman salary for lineman in Florida is $77,210. The 90th percentile salary for journeyman lineman in Florida is $102,520.
IBEW has a moderately strong presence across the state of Florida. Some of the local unions for lineman in Florida include Local 108 (Tampa), Local 177 (Jacksonville) and Local 606 (Orlando). Many of the lineman jobs that we have been tracking in Florida are non-union. Per diem for union journeymen lineman in Florida often ranges from $100 to $150.
The largest of employer of lineman in the state of Florida is Florida Power & Light. Other major employers of lineman within the state include Duke Energy, Tampa Electric, and Gulf Power. Within Florida there are also several large non-investor owned utilities that employ lineman. Some other employers of lineman include Lakeland Electric, The Orlando Utilities Commission, The City of Tallahassee Electric Utility and the Jacksonville Electric Authority.
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 NextEra Energy, MasTec, and Team Fishel.
Many of the utilities are focusing on smart grid technologies to prevent some potential power outages before they occur. Performance and diagnostic centers are like “nerve centers” that gather and analyze data, enabling utilities to perform predictive maintenance before brewing issues become disruptive problems.
This is a major importance for a state often hit by hurricanes. Intelligent devices throughout the power grid – from power generation to the meter – will help reduce the impact of outages and “momentaries,” or shorter outages. Advanced monitoring equipment across power lines will help communicate the location of outages for faster repair and restoration. Smart meters, an essential component of the smart grid, will work with other components on the grid to help utility companies see outages in the system so we can begin restoration faster.
Florida lineman have many options to build a strong career path within the sunshine state from top-tier schools, good apprenticeships and strong job offerings.