How Do I Become a Lineman?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 17 March 2020
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In preparation to become a lineman, you should at least have a high school diploma or documentation of an equivalent education. In addition, you should be physically fit and willing to work on power lines in varying weather conditions. While a college degree is not necessary, courses instructing you on how to do this job are helpful. You will benefit the most from actual on-the-job training, however, so applying for jobs in your area, even for apprentice positions, is the most direct route.

Completing high school or its equivalent is the first step in becoming a lineman. Doing so provides you with the basic skills needed to work as a cable, telephone, or electrical lineman. While most of the work performed is physical, basic literacy and competency in algebra is important, as you will need to know how to read and follow detailed instructions, as well as understand complex wiring procedures.

As a lineman, you will be required to lift moderately heavy equipment, such as electrical lines and telephone cables; climb structures; and stand for long periods of time without rest. It is therefore important that you possess strength, agility, and stamina if you intend to work in this industry.


There will be times when a lineman will have to work in cold, windy, hot, and rainy weather conditions. You should be able to do so without sacrificing the degree of service you are required to provide. There is also a chance that such conditions may cause a greater need for the power line repair services that linemen provide, so it is important that you are able to work long hours under emergency circumstances, as required.

A college degree is not necessary to become a lineman, but some people find that electrician training helps them in this line of work. This is true for electrical linemen, as well as those who service and repair cable and telephone lines. Many community and trade colleges offer electrician training.

One of the best ways to become a lineman is by working as an apprentice to someone who is already employed in this job or as an electrician. Acquiring training while on the job will afford you the opportunity to learn from an experienced lineman in a hands-on effort. It also often provides valuable mentorship, which will help you advance your career.


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