An electrical lineman also known as a utility lineman installs, repairs and maintains distribution and transmission of electric power grids. A lineman usually works on high voltage wires and for that reason requires an understanding of the most strict electricity safety precautions.
It is something prestigious to be a member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEA). Many people desire to work as electrical linemen but do not understand the procedure on how to go about it. One can only join the Union after undergoing all the processes of becoming a lineman.
How does one become a lineman?
The basic procedure is for you to go to a lineman school or training institution and later work for a utility company. After that, you will be given on-job-training as an apprentice lineman. Under normal circumstances, a typical apprentice should not exceed four years nor be less than three years. The entire learning process contains about 6 or 7 steps. Some companies require that you first work as a groundsman before proceeding to other steps. As a groundsman your work will be to assist linemen in their duties sorting and organizing line tools, driving heavy trucks and sending lineman tools up to power poles.
While serving as a lineman apprentice, you will learn pole climbing although in some instances you will be asked to ride in a bucket truck. Some trainers do not permit apprentice to use bucket trucks until they qualify for a journeyman lineman. At this point, you will learn things such as safety and first aid, rigging techniques, transformer hook-up and theory, electrical theory, covering techniques, pole setting, use of rubber gloves and many more.
After completing the apprentice training, a person advances to the next stage which is a journeyman lineman. A journeyman lineman can get work anywhere in the world. That is why it takes a long process before attaining that particular level. A journeyman lineman receives top pay compared to all other levels.
In general, becoming a lineman is not a difficult thing as some people tend to think. As long as you have the passion of becoming an electrician you will achieve your dream. All you need to do is to identify a lineman training center and register for classes. It is also important to note that most of the lessons in lineman training are hands-on rather than theory.