The technical and safety aspects of being an electric lineman mean proper training is extremely important. Linemen generally work outdoors installing and maintaining power, telephone, cable and Internet lines. Lineman training is offered at a variety of training centers throughout the United States (U.S.). Some companies will even pay to send apprentices to the training school of their choice.
There are several things to be aware of before applying for lineman training. This training is not free. Some people may qualify for financial aid through the school or through the government; they also may receive research scholarships or student loans, if money is an issue. Lineman must be in peak physical condition. Many training schools will not accept students who cannot pass a physical test.
A high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) degree is usually required to enter lineman training. Math skills are also mandatory to train as a lineman. Although training will teach and refresh certain basics, some mathematical thinking will be necessary.
Lineman training is provided by multiple centers across the U.S., so finding a training center will depend on the area in which you're hoping to train. Research the local training centers and make a decision depending on location, price and programs available. Many training schools offer courses that last approximately four months with classes offered during the day, Monday through Friday. This can be an issue for those who already have a day job. Part-time programs are difficult to find.
When researching training centers, make sure they provide all safety certifications and training required by law. There is a required certification from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Additional OSHA certifications will be required throughout a lineman's professional career. Some first aid and flagger courses also are mandatory.
Another aspect in which many lineman training centers will assist is obtaining a commercial driver's license (CDL). As an electrical lineman, a power truck is often driven to and from sites, so having a CDL prior to applying for a job will show employers the applicant is serious about the position. It can also increase the pay scale for some lineman.
Electrical linemen deal with dangerous situations on a daily basis. The elements can be difficult and competent performance is necessary at all times. The right lineman training will not only help prepare a person both mentally and physically for the career, but also prepare him for the job search.