Are lineman in demand?
Yes, the demand for lineman is expected to climb by 8.5% by the year 2026 according to labor statistics.
It is estimated there will be 21,500 lineman job openings in 2023 alone. Each year over the past five years has seen gradual increases in lineman job openings.
Some of the companies hiring the most lineman in 2023 include Pacificorp, Henkels & McCoy, Ameren and Xcel Energy. The lineman jobs in highest demand are currently experienced journeyman. From 2012-2017, there was a significant drop in lineman enrolling in apprenticeships which is decreasing the number of current journeyman lineman working in the field.
Why is it hard to hire good linemen?
There are three key factors to a spiking demand in qualified linemen for both apprenticeship and journeyman roles:
Baby Boomers and Generation X Lineman beginning to exit the utility workforce
Decreasing enrollment in technical and vocational trade schools across North America
Rapidly increasing number of transmission and distribution projects as the government and utilities try to strengthen the grid
Generation X Linemen are leaving the workforce
Lineman who were born from 1965 to 1980 are considered to be in Generation X. As this section of the workforce continues to age out of the workforce it will continue to create high demand lineman jobs.
Each year thousands of lineman retire. There are frankly more lineman retiring than there are new lineman entering the trade. Simple math, this is a problem for the line industry. However it is an opportunity for current line workers; pay is expected to continue to increase.
One reason for earlier retirement than past decades is lineman are doing a better job of saving for retirement.
Each year there are fewer linemen enrolling in technical training
Each year Lineman Central connects thousands of aspiring high school students, community college students and the general population across North America with lineman training opportunities. This is done in partnership with 150+ lineman training programs across North America.
While Lineman Central continues to expand our support programs, it is unfortunate to see the gradual decline in interest in the line trade. Enrollment in community and technical colleges overall continues to drop year over year across North America. This trend is consistent across lineman training programs. There are however some bright spots.
Focus on Modernizing Infrastructure Increases Lineman Job Demand
The final reason that lineman jobs are in high demand across the country is the increased demand by the US goverment and local governments to further modernize the electric grid.
There were several notable items in the recent US infrastructure bill that is good for lineman jobs:
✔️Impact grants for disruptive events and power outages
✔️Amend the Federal Power Act to streamline construction permits
✔️Strong set aside impacts for smaller utilities
Recent examples of new Power Pathway (eastern Colorado), Maine Power Link (Maine to New England), and Champlain Hudson Power Express (New York and Canada).