Updated: Dec 26, 2021
No you will not be able to become a lineman without any experience. Becoming a lineman requires years of training and formal apprenticeships. However, with zero experience today there are things that you can be doing to put yourself in the best position to begin an apprenticeship and ultimately become a lineman.
Ways to become a lineman with no experience?
Start as an hourly ground hand
A common starting point for those interested in the line trade is beginning as a ground hand. Ground hands assist and lineman in their aerial work. Some common tasks for groundman in the power industry include clean and prepare construction sites to eliminate possible hazards and control traffic passing near, in, and around work zones.
While these are often low paying and entry level positions they can be critical in making for a strong apprenticeship application as well as a strong line experience resume in general. Ground hands will also assist crews in lubricating, cleaning, and repairing machinery, equipment, and tools. Groundman also often help pull in conduit Fiber optic cable and copper cable
In order to to become a ground man on a crew you must must be able to pass a pre-employment drug screen and background check, have basic knowledge of and ability to operate various types of utility trucks and equipment in a safe manner, and have the general ability to hand tools and equipment in a safe manner.
Get some experience in the telecommunications industry
As the telecommunications industry is less dangerous and has a greater number of entry level positions many lineman of today are getting their start in the telecom industry. Large companies such as AT&T and TDS have many entry level position that can provide as a paid starting point prior to applying for a line apprenticeship. Telecom technicians inspect and service equipment and wiring that carry communication signals. Often they are working on telephone lines and internet routers. As the technology in this industry is rapidly changing there is an increasing demand for entry level labor.
Prove yourself in other entry level blue collar trades
At the end of the day, the best way to prove yourself for a lineman apprenticeship and apprenticeship interview is showing that you can professional perform well in difficult and hands on environments. This prove can come in the form of construction, roofing, and many other trade paths. What is critical is your professional ability to work well in a team and provide value to a crew.
How to get a lineman job with no experience?
Start by getting a CDL
The most common first step for those interested in becoming a lineman is getting your CDL or Commercial Drivers License. Having a CDL will greatly increase your chances of getting accepted into a pre-apprenticeship program as well as apprenticeships across the country.
Prepare for lineman apprenticeship applications
Keep an eye out on the Lineman Central website as well as the Facebook pages of various apprenticeship programs across the country. Apprenticeship openings are often announced several weeks and advanced and are competitive. The application windows can often be as short as 48 hours. For example, to explore opportunities in Georgia, check out the Georgia page on the Lineman Central portal.
Have a clean record
Having no prior criminal offenses as well as strong references that are willing to vouch for your work performance and history will help you in your preparation for a line apprenticeship.