What Does an Electrical Lineman Apprentice Do?


Quick Answer

Some duties of an electrical lineman apprentice include assisting in the placement of footings, assembling and erecting towers, framing and erecting wood poles and installing hardware, insulators and conductors. Most apprenticeships, which are paid positions, take three to four years to complete.

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Full Answer

A new apprentice lineman should expect to perform a great deal of physical labor at the beginning of his training. Although demanding, it is safer duty than climbing power poles to work on high-voltage lines. As apprentices learn more about working with electrical lines, as well as additional safety protocols, they are trained and vetted on more technical tasks. For instance, apprentices also have to work near live wires and conductors as they install transformers, capacitors and switches. Further, they train working on live primary circuits that carry 2,400 to 34,500 volts. They may also assist in installing street lighting and traffic control systems.

Two important aspects of working as an apprentice are supervision and evaluation. Because of the nature of the work, apprentices must be closely supervised to ensure that safety standards are maintained. Because they must be bonded and licensed to work unsupervised, they also need consistently good evaluations of their skills and work practices. Apprentices practice their technical skills until their supervisors – usually journeyman linemen – and evaluators vet them.

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