How to Become a
Journeyman Lineman

Do you want more information about a career as a Journeyman Lineman? Then you’ve come to the right place! This article will explain everything you need to become a Journeyman Lineman, such as skills, both hard and soft, as well as education. Also, find out what you can earn in this profession, and the job outlook through 2024.

What Does a Journeyman Lineman Do?

A Journeyman Lineman is not an entry-level position, and one that starts from being an Apprentice Lineman, which Journeymen Linemen eventually manage. This technician is in charge of the installation, maintenance and repair work for auxiliary equipment and electrical power systems. They must verify that the systems are working properly from the power plants all the way to the customers’ locations. These professionals work in underground trenches and vaults, on overhead structures or on streetlights and traffic lights. Most Journeymen Linemen work for electrical utility companies.

Being a Journeyman Lineman requires technical knowledge to make sure that electrical power systems are functioning as they should. Typical responsibilities of this role include:

  • Technical tasks, such as installing and repairing electrical power systems

  • Project management, such as planning and supervising projects

  • Safety management, such as verifying that OSHA and Customer Safety Requirements are met

  • Management, such as supervising Apprentices and Groundsman

Journeyman Lineman Skills

Just possessing technical skills is not nearly enough to succeed as a Journeyman Lineman, which is an incredibly dangerous job. There is a higher than average chance of injury or death for this career for these individuals, who must work with electrical equipment in various weather conditions, such as rain, snow and extreme winds. There is a risk of falling off a high tower or pole or of getting electrocuted when working with high-voltage power lines. Journeymen Linemen must be comfortable with this level of danger, and be strong and healthy, as this position requires the operation of heavy equipment, such as aerial lifts, digger derricks, pullers and cranes, etc.

Other key Journeyman Lineman skills include:

  • Knowledge of building and construction

  • Knowledge of public safety and security

  • Performing equipment maintenance

  • Mathematical computation

  • Tree trimming

How Do You Become a Journeyman Lineman?

Education and Training

To get into this industry, candidates start as Apprentice Linemen, which are required to have a high-school diploma or equivalent along with a passing score in high school Algebra. Most positions offered four years of paid apprenticeship on-the-job training (7,000 hours) as well as in-classroom training before becoming a Journeyman Lineman.

To advance to becoming a Journeyman Lineman, it is helpful to have at least a two-year associate’s technical degree or certification from a trade school.

Finding a job

There is a steady need for Journeymen Linemen, with an 11 percent increase in job openings, a total of 6,030 new jobs becoming available to all Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This demand is due to a need for electricity and telecommunication services.

To apply for a position as a Journeyman Lineman, you need to highlight your educational and professional experience in a well-written resume.

In addition to searching for Journeyman Lineman job openings here, you can also apprentice with a contractor, or contact the Electrical Training Alliance to inquire about Apprenticeships.

Craft a great cover letter that expresses your interest in a position as a Journeyman Lineman and explains what soft and hard skills you have that make you the perfect candidate for this job. Check out out sample cover letters for help.

Insights from a Journey Lineman

If you're here then you might be considering becoming a Journey Lineman. Reading what experts in the field have to say about this job may help you make a desicion. Learn more about being a Journeyman Lineman.

What is the common career path for a Journeyman Lineman?

The most common career path is acquiring a certification from a valid institution in electrical systems. Another career path is to join the military and get trained in electrical systems. Some colleges offer a one-year certification program, but some programs may take up to two years but will include advanced training in specialties like microwave transmission or electrical systems.

What should someone consider before becoming a Journeyman Lineman?

Journeyman Lineman tends to be working at really high altitudes. They also work very closely with power grids and electrical systems so cautious behavior is very important when working under these conditions.

What type of person excels in this job?

People who are not afraid of heights and hands-on learners. Usually, adventurous and outgoing people are excellent candidates for working as Journeyman Linemen.

What are some of the most important skills for Journeyman Linemans to have?

"To become a lineman you should have proficient mathematical skills. Skills like basic geometry, trigonometry, industrial math, and algebra. You should have a general understanding of safety equipment and safety measures. Another skill taken into consideration if you are to become an outside lineman is your ability to climb. This is because lineman usually has to repair transmission lines which are sometimes at very high altitudes.

What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of being a Journeyman Lineman?

One of the most rewarding aspects is the uncertainty of what's to come and not knowing what you're going to be dealing with. One day you might be working on a perfect sunny day and the next you could be working at 2 in the morning in the middle of a rainy night. If you find excitement in uncertainty then this is where you need to go.

How Much Do Journeymen Linemen Get Paid?

The average yearly salary for Electrical Power-Line Installers and Repairers, such as Journeymen Linemen, is $66,500. The highest-paid make $96,000, and the lowest-paid earn $36,000.

Top 10 States for a Journeyman Lineman’s Salary

Journeymen Linemen in the following states make the highest median salary in the U.S.

    California

    $104,500

    Alaska

    $90,400

    Connecticut

    $89,000

    Oregon

    $88,600

    Washington

    $88,600

    Massachusetts

    $86,900

    Idaho

    $85,000

    New Jersey

    $83,900

    Arizona

    $81,900

    Hawaii

    $79,700

    Journeyman Lineman Resources

    For more information about becoming or working as a Journeyman Lineman, see these these additional resources.

    On the Web

    National Association of Journeymen Linemen (NAJL)
    An organization exclusively for Journeymen Linemen.

    Powerlineman.com
    Exclusively dedicated to one of the most dangerous, prestigious, rewarding, and challenging professions in the world, The Journeyman Lineman.

    On LinkedIn

    Linesman, PowerLine Technician, Journeyman Lineman, Line Mechanic Jobs
    Electricity Distribution and Transmission Jobs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Europe, New Zealand, Philippines, South America, UK and US.

    Linemen Network
    Starting the conversation for Linemen on LinkedIn.

    Books

    Journeyman Electrician Practice Test Kit
    Three full-length practice exams with answers fully explained.

    Guidebook for Lineman and Cableman
    Single-volume reference guide on the operation of electrical utility systems.