How To Become A Lineman!

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How To Become A Lineman!

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So you want to become a linemen? In this podcast we go over how to start and some different things to look out for when getting into the trade!

How To Become a Lineman

Welcome to pre lineman school. Today we’re going to go over practical steps on how to become a lineman as well as some certifications companies and apprenticeship programs will be looking for. A lineman apprenticeship takes about 7,000 hours of hands-on work and training classes, or about four years, to complete in most states. So if this is something you’re game for, buckle up and we’re going to get started.


Qualifications..  When deciding to become a lineman, you need to decide which route you want to go. There’s Union (IBEW) and non-union. There are pros and cons to both routes. When going union the main benefit is, As an apprentice or journeyman lineman, you’ll receive health insurance benefits for yourself and your dependent family, including health, dental and vision insurance. This insurance is provided 100% by the electrical industry and is not deducted from your paycheck. They also have hefty retirement matches as well as other benefits. The cons? You must work for unionized companies and you must pay union dues. There’s also something called the IBEW code of excellence you can find here. The Code of Excellence is not only about an IBEW job built right the first time, on schedule and under budget; it is also about pride in IBEW membership and craftsmanship and leaving a lasting impression of quality workmanship with the customer. 

The IBEW Journeyman Lineman Receive

  • Higher Hourly Wages
  • Quality Family Healthcare!
  • Better Retirement Benefits and Pensions!
  • A Strong Voice in the Workplace!
  • Job Security and Satisfaction!
  • Recognition and respect you deserve as a UNION lineman!

There is a little less flexibility in going the union route, but pick your poison. Once you’ve decided on union vs non union, there are 2 routes you can go. Lineman school, or getting your certifications manually. 


School or no school.. So once you’ve decided on becoming a lineman, you have a couple of options. Option A is to go to lineman school. This route takes you to a school for about 4 months. When you’re in this schooling, they bring you through the paces and show you everything you need to know to get started. This includes

  • Pole climbing
  • Book work
  • Hands on Instruction
  • Introductory to the line life
  • Certification once completed

Once you graduate line school, they will help/show you how to get started in the apprenticeship program. 

Option B is no line school. The pros here? You don’t spend 4 months in school and you save money initially. When applying to get into the apprenticeship program they will require you to have 3 certifications.

  • Class A CDL

Just research “places to get my class A CDl near me.” There are plenty of trucking companies in the area that offer classes to help get you certified.

  • Note Class A CDL must be manually transferred state to state. Your Arizona Class A CDL will not apply to Utah.


  • Flaggers Card

To get your flaggers card you must take and pass a test. Depending on your state, you will then apply for a flaggers certification card. 

  • Note most of these cards are only good for the state you applied in, when working out of state, you must re-test and apply.


  • Cpr Certified

In order to become CPR certified, you must enroll in a class and pass a test. These classes are held in various areas including police stations and fire stations. Look up CPR Certification class near me. 


Once you have these 3 certifications, you can now apply for the apprenticeship program in your state. Just look up “Apply for lineman apprenticeship my state” ex

Once you’re here, you can fill out the information and be put on the waiting list. Once there, you will have to wait your turn until you’re called. Once you’re called you will go in for an interview and be selected or denied based on how it goes. There is no way to become a journeymen linemen without going through the apprenticeship program. Once in the apprenticeship program, you will be well on your way to becoming a journeymen linemen. 

Now you have it.. Well there you have it. Just as a side note, in line school they will go over tools and what you need. There’s a list of tools you will need to get started check that out in our blog “Lineman Tools For beginners.” If you don’t go through line school, don’t sweat it, you can buy gear and teach yourself all the valid information in order to become an apprentice. You don’t have to be an apprentice to work on a linemen jobsite or crew, but you’ll be very limited to what you can do. If you’re waiting on getting into the apprenticeship program, we highly recommend trying to get on with a line construction company. This way, you’ll know exactly what to expect once you’re in.  We hope you enjoyed this read, and until next time, Thank you.


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