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How Do I Get a Lineman Apprenticeship?

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  • Written By: Erin J. Hill
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 04 July 2014
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There are a variety of ways you can get a lineman apprenticeship, although it will depend widely on the companies with which you intend to apply. Some companies may allow you to join an apprenticeship program without much prior knowledge or experience, and others will want you to attend some kind of training center or school prior to signing up. Whether or not you get the lineman apprenticeship will also depend on the availability of the programs in your area, since spaces are often limited.

The average lineman apprenticeship is between three and five years long, with four years being most typical. While working as an apprentice, you will probably be paid a full-time wage and you may even receive employee benefits such as health care. You will also typically attend classes when you aren't working. These may be online or in a classroom. Once the apprenticeship is complete, you will take an exam to become a licensed journeyman lineman.

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One way you may be able to get a lineman apprenticeship is by attending a training course to learn the basic elements of industrial electricity and pole climbing. These may be offered at your local technical college, or some areas have schools dedicated to lineman training. The number of educational institutions offering such courses if often limited in some states, so you may have to travel in order to attend in person classes. Most times, online options are not available because you may need to physically work at bending wires and other hands on tasks. This may vary depending on the school or location.

At other times an electrical company will offer training to new recruits prior to their apprenticeship programs. You may have to have some basic knowledge of electrical wiring and similar concepts, but you won't need any formal training. Most times, you will work in the field doing simple tasks with other workers and professional linemen, as well as classroom instruction sponsored or provided by the company. Once you finish their specified training program, you will begin your apprenticeship.

Occasionally, you may not need any training at all before becoming an apprentice. Some companies may allow you to start off with the most basic of tasks and begin your lineman apprenticeship training right away. There are additional studies or certifications you can obtain which will help your chances of getting a spot. Those who have a commercial driver's license are more likely to be hired or offered apprenticeship positions, as well as those who have any experience in electrical wiring, pole climbing, or installation of industrial wires, such as the installation of cable or phone wires.

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