2020 Guide: Best Lineman Schools and Training Programs
By Kevin Juhasz
For Huskie Tools
One way that future lineworkers can give their career a head start is to attend a lineworker training program, which gives a solid foundation of basics, lineman tool knowledge and skills before entering into an apprenticeship.
All of these schools have very much the same mission in mind – prepare the next generation of lineworkers as the need expands in the wake of growth and retirements, as well as more powerful storms inflicting greater damage on the nation’s infrastructure.
There are a number of lineworker training facilities across the United States, and this list is just a few of the top ones available for those interested in a career in this growing field. Many facilities offer financial aid and housing to help students in need of those services, while others may want to look at a regional school to attend. In addition to industry training centers, there are several universities, colleges, and community colleges that offer programs. A regional list of training facilities and schools can be found at Alexander Publications.
Southeast Lineman Training Center
SLTC was founded in 1999, as has risen to be one of the top lineworker training centers in the nation. The school was founded by George Nelson, who wanted to help the lineworker industry with its need for entry-level employees who were more qualified. In addition to its main campus in northwest Georgia, the school offers training for a variety of companies around the world via SLTC Global.
The school has two programs available – a 15-week electrical worker program and a 7-week communications worker program. The electrical program, which includes academic training, field training, and certification and skills, runs about $15,995 for the course. This program also includes transmission, substation, and CDL training on the school’s sprawling campus. The communications program, which began in 2016, focuses on telecom linework, including cables, hardware and rigging, and will run a student $7,995 for the course. SLTC has financial aid available for those in need but does not accept federal funding used for Title IV schools. SLTC also certifies veterans for post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits.
North American Lineman Training Center
Started in 2006 by Gary Roberts, NATLC was also formed with the goal of providing an education for workers needed in an industry facing a wave of retirements in the coming years. NALTC is a smaller school, a point that the institute is proud of as it focuses on providing a lower instructor-student ratio. Even though it is smaller, NALTC is growing its 20-acre campus in northern Tennessee, which includes an indoor training facility.
The lineworker program, which costs $11,955 with an option to add CDL training for $475, covers the full range of subjects needed for a career in linework, including transmission, distribution, conversion, transformers, underground, and more. The school also offers financial aid and certifies veterans for G.I. Bill benefits.
Northwest Lineman College
Meridian, Id.; Oroville, Calif.; Denton, Tx.; Edgewater, Fla.
One of the older and most expansive lineworker schools in the nation, Northwest Lineman College has grown to four campuses across the nation since in its founding in 1993 by Aaron Howell, Gerald McKie, and Shane Porter. In addition to its Electrical Lineworker Program, NLC also offers students training in its Telecommunications Lineworker and Gas Distribution programs.
The Electrical Lineworker program, which lasts for 15 weeks, is offered at all four campuses for $17,450, with the costs for the required CDL education varying by state. It prepares new lineworkers for work on power lines and heavy machinery. Prospective students looking at the Telecommunications Lineworker program will find that one available at the Idaho campus. Like many training centers, NLC has housing assistance for students in need of it. The TLP training course will run a student $8,900, but the $380 CDL program is optional with this program. NLC also offers financial assistance, including its $2,000 Keep America Connected Scholarship to qualified applicants and assistance for veterans.
Vocational Outside Line Training Academy
Providing lineworker education in the Pacific Northwest since 1957, VOLTA offers a 10-week lineworker program, along with a variety of other industry-related training. The program is $8,500, and VOLTA does not offer financial aid. Students can find assistance through scholarships.
Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
TEEX is part of Texas A&M Engineering and offers a wide variety of courses in infrastructure, including a program for lineworkers in both electrical and telecommunications. Tuition for the Lineman Academy is $13,500
Lineman Institute of the Northeast
A small school in the Northeast that focuses on smaller student-instructor ratios and offers lineworker training and CDL for about $17,000 for a 15-week course.
*Edit: $17,000 is not just tuition but includes the cost of housing, tools, CDL training and more.
Southside Virginia Community College
This 11-week program is located is one of the preferred schools for the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Electric cooperative territory, which offers scholarships to students accepted into SVCC’s 11-week program.
Check out a full list of Lineman Training Schools and Programs here.