Linemen work with the electrical grid to keep your lights on. The profession has a lot of perks that make it worth considering if you’re interested in learning a trade.
If you’ve never heard of linemen before, don’t feel bad. It’s not something that everyone is familiar with, but once you know what they do, you’ll start noticing them more often and appreciate their importance to our modern way of life.
In this guide, we cover the list of lineman schools in Texas and everything you need to know about becoming a lineman in Texas: What are linemen and what do they do? Where do they work? What are the benefits? The drawbacks? What are the requirements? How do you become one? And what is the job market like for people in this field of work?
Let’s get started.
Why Become a Lineman?
If you’re the type of person that enjoys working outdoors, with your hands, and as part of a team in physically and mentally challenging situations, then becoming a lineman might be the perfect fit for you.
Becoming a lineman isn’t an easy decision to make. If it’s something you’re considering, there are many variables at play. You may have family obligations or personal commitments that need to be considered.
These things should be taken into account when deciding whether or not this is the right step for you to take at this time in your life.
Here are some reasons why people decide to become linemen:
- The job pays well and provides good benefits.
- There are plenty of opportunities for advancement once you’ve completed training.
- It’s a prestigious position with great job security.
- You get to work outdoors using your hands and as part of a team on challenging projects.
- You can work with several different types of employers.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Lineman?
It can take between three and five years for someone to become a fully-fledged, journeyman lineman. Most apprenticeship programs are four years long and may require up to 144 hours per year of coursework.
The program you attend will determine the length of your training, but the IBEW and NECA have structured their apprenticeships around four years of education and on-the-job training.
And if you live in Texas, becoming a lineman is not difficult. Many lineman schools in Texas can help build your career towards becoming a competent journeyman lineman.
In this article, we will go over the selected lineman schools in Texas and colleges that are renowned for their quality and certification. Also note that all the lineman schools in Texas that we will be focusing on, are top accredited schools in Texas.
Why Attend Lineman Schools in Texas?
Lineman schools in Texas are typically a good idea for those who want to start their careers, for the following reasons:
- There are lots of lineman jobs in Texas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over 8,000 linemen were working in the state as of May 2017. And Zippia confirms that the majority of the Linemen in the United States are found in Texas and North Carolina.
However, the BLS also estimates that there will be no change in job prospects for linemen between 2020 and 2030. Despite the limited employment, BLS projects that there are, are about 23,300 job openings for linemen each year–which is not bad.
- Being a right-to-work state, Texas doesn’t have laws that require workers to join or pay dues to unions, nor does it prohibit unions from requiring employees to join or pay dues as a condition of employment.
Additionally, Texas is an at-will state, meaning employers can fire you without having to give you prior notice or any other reason beyond “I don’t want you working here anymore.” This is because your boss won’t need union support if they decide to fire you for no discernible reason, there’s less pressure on them not to act rashly and without cause since there’s less risk associated with firing people in general.
- The Lone Star State has one of the strongest economies in the nation and is currently ranked as one of the Best States to Live In due to its job growth. This should make it easier for linemen graduates from lineman schools in Texas to find employment after completing their training programs.
It also means they’ll probably earn higher salaries compared with counterparts doing similar work elsewhere due largely because demand exceeds supply – which naturally drives up prices among all industries including utilities like electricity generation and transmission lines where most linemen work today.
How Much Do Linemen Earn in Texas?
When you enter the field of electrical engineering, a career as a lineman could be quite lucrative. According to Indeed, linemen in Texas earn an average of $46,126 per year. Your earnings may be much higher if you work in certain areas of the state.
For example, linemen in Houston and San Antonio earn around $75,529 and $71,910 per year respectively, on average. Those based in Dallas tend to earn about $76,923 on average each year. Austin-based linemen bring home about $76,363 per year on average.
Overall, being in lineman earns you a decent income in Texas. And coupled with the job security and 401(k) benefits that lineworkers are known to get, it is safe to say that the lineman job is a lucrative one.
Requirements for Entering Lineman Schools in Texas
There are some requirements for entering lineman schools in Texas that you should be aware of. All programs require a GED or high school diploma, and all have an age requirement of 18 or older. Most programs include drug tests and background checks as part of the admission process.
Students must pass a physical examination, too—so while there is no official “physical requirements” list, it’s best to be in good physical condition before enrolling. If you’re interested in this line of work, certain qualities will help you succeed:
- No fear of heights (you’ll be working with power lines that are up to 300 feet tall).
- Good hand-eye coordination (this will help you use tools accurately).
- Ability to work independently (you’ll often be working alone).
- Ability to work in a team (you’ll also sometimes need to collaborate with others on projects).
- Physical and mental strength (you’ll do some heavy lifting on the job, and you will need a lot of patience if you must stay put in this job).
The List of Top Lineman Schools in Texas
Finally, what are the best lineman schools in Texas suitable for your career?
Do you live in Texas? Do you dream of someday, becoming a lineman? Do you want to attend a lineman school in Texas for your degree certification?
Then this exhaustive list of lineman schools in Texas is your ultimate guide into the world of powerline workers in Texas. The lineman schools in Texas listed herein are all accredited by the proper accreditation bodies in Texas and the United States. Some of them include the:
- US Department of Labor, etc.
Coupled with that, these lineman schools in Texas are all quality schools that offer degree programs in Lineworker Constructions or Electrical Apprenticeships. These degrees, depending on what you select may be bachelor’ or Associate’s degrees.
Now, the actual list of lineman schools in Texas:
# Electrical Training Center, Houston
Tuition and Fees: $1,500.
Duration: 2 – 4 years.
The Electrical Training Center in Houston offers a three-year apprenticeship program in the electrical trade. It also offers a two-year program for those who already have experience in the field.
The school boasts of an outstanding job placement program, and its graduates can make anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 in their first year of work. Graduates of ETC’s two- and three-year programs are highly sought after by contractors across Houston and the state of Texas.
You can contact them here.
# Texas State Technical College, Waco
Tuition and Fees: $16,020
Duration: 20 months.
At the Texas State Technical College in Sweetwater, Texas, there is a 20-month program available for future linemen. The total estimated cost of the program is $16,020, which is higher than many other lineman schools in Texas on this list.
However, state colleges are known to be much more expensive compared to vocational schools. As a result, the training being offered in lineman schools in Texas like TSTC is a lot more thorough, practical, and engaging.
You can participate in the program via online or in-person attendance. And upon completing this course, graduates will earn an Associate degree.
The program covers topics such as electrical theory and safety, transformers and power systems, and basic lineman skills. Graduates of this program will also be certified as journeyman linemen by the Texas Workforce Commission.
See the Lineworker Program.
# South Texas Electrical JATC, San Antonio
Tuition and Fees: $1,750 – $4,800.
Duration: 5 months.
Based in San Antonio, this lineman school in Texas offers a five-year apprenticeship that meets six hours per week and consists of four years of classes and one year of on-the-job training. Tuition is $600 per year. However, the drawback with South Texas Electrical JATC is that only Texas residents are eligible to attend this school.
# Western Texas College, Snyder
Tuition and Fees: Local tuition is $4,200. Cost varies.
Duration: 22 months.
Western Texas College in Snyder offers both a two-year degree program and a nine-month certificate program.
The programs are accredited by the US Department of Education and teach lineman skills through an apprenticeship model. Students can get assistance with job placement at Western Texas College in Snyder.
# Northwest Lineman Center, Denton
Tuition and Fees: $18,000+.
Duration: 2 – 4 years.
Northwest Lineman Center is another good lineman school in Texas. It is above average. However, it still delivers one of the best lineman training among the lineman schools in Texas. The NLC has different campuses scattered across the country, including Texas and Florida. So, feel free to select campuses and locations that appeal to you.
Is Northwest Lineman Center Worth It?
According to reviews from past students, it has been discovered that the tuition cost for NLC is impossibly high; hence, a lot of prospective students think twice before applying to study in this school.
However, NLC is arguably one of the biggest names in the United States when it comes to lineman training programs. They have been around for over two decades now, and it is safe to say that they have gathered experienced tutors who can handle the physicality of the job.
But what stands out the most with NLC is the multiple certifications and extra skills like CDL, OSHA, and climbing skills that you will pick up during the program. It truly feels like a bargain.
So, if you are an entry-level student who wants to study in this lineman school, and can afford it, then feel free to learn more about what this school offers. And if you are not convinced that this school is right for you, then you can look out for other great lineman schools in Texas.
Visit their website.
# North Texas Electrical Training Center, Grand Prairie
Tuition and Fees: Not Specified.
Duration: No data.
Located in Grand Prairie, North Texas Electrical Training Center offers a 6-week lineman course. (They also offer a 4-week course for those with prior experience.)
The curriculum covers electrical theory, the National Electrical Code, transformer connections and testing, and the installation of the primary and secondary cables. It also includes first aid/CPR training in case you have to rescue a co-worker who’s been shocked.
Students will spend half their time in class and a half doing hands-on work in their lab. The facilities include a lab for aerial lifts, drop lines, pad mount transformers, manholes, and directional drills. Graduates earn nationally recognized certifications from NCCER along with OSHA 10 training card.
Admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED certificate; applicants must be 18 years old (or 17 if they’ve received parental consent) and pass an entrance exam before being accepted into the program.
For more information about this school check out their website.
Other Lineman Schools in Texas That You Can Check Out for Yourself
Furthermore, these are some other top choices for lineman schools in Texas. These schools are accredited and have the best reviews for their Electrical Lineman, and Electrical/Electrician Technology courses.
You can also find good union lineman schools in Texas to study in.
- Trinity Valley Community College, Athens
- Lee College, Baytown
- Western Texas College, Snyder
- Odessa College, Odessa
- Lamson Institute, San Antonio
- Grayson Institute, Denison
- Texarkana College, Texarkana
- South Plains College, Levelland
- South Texas College, McAllen
- Laredo Community College, Laredo
- San Jacinto Community College, Pasadena
- Houston Community College, Houston
- El Paso Community College, El Paso
- Northeast Texas Community College, Mount Pleasant
- North Lake College, Irving
Becoming a Lineman in Texas
The Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR) lays out statewide guidelines for becoming a licensed electrician in the state. Businesses and individuals alike must be licensed to perform electrical work in this state. In the case of electricians who are employed in agricultural operations, they do not need a license from the state.
Texas Electrician License Requirements
As early as age 16, a person can become an electrician apprentice, as long as they work under the supervision of a master electrician. If they pass the residential appliance installer exam, a 16-year-old can also become a residential appliance installer.
At age 18, one can become a lineman apprentice by applying to any of the lineman schools in Texas on this list.
Upon completing 4,000 hours of on-the-job training under a master electrician and passing the residential wireman exam, one can qualify as a residential wireman. One can become a maintenance electrician after working under supervision for 8,000 hours and passing the maintenance electrician exam.
After 7,000 hours of electrician training, you can also choose from multiple journeyman options. An apprenticeship program or three years of employment as a journeyman lineman for a state employer can lead to certification as a journeyman lineman after completing 7,000 hours.
Additionally, they must pass an electrician school’s journeyman lineman exam. Individuals may take the journeyman electrician examination or the journeyman sign electrician examination after completing 8,000 hours of apprenticeship under a master electrician.
A career as a lineman in Texas is challenging and rewarding. The starting salaries are high and the job prospects are stable. If you have an interest in this field, I encourage you to do more research on the schools listed above.
Look at the programs they offer, their tuition rates, and if they’re not located near you, ask yourself if moving is something that would work for your family.
If you’ve already attended one of these lineman schools in Texas or have attended one in another state, let us know what your experience was like!
As always, we wish you the best of luck with all of your goals!
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