How to Become a Journeyman Lineman

How to Become a Journeyman Lineman
Last updated at September 8, 2021

Are you 18 years of age or older? Do you have a high school diploma or an equivalent certification? Are you interested in a career that is both exciting as well as physically and mentally challenging? As a journeyman lineman, you get the opportunity to work in a job that is not only demanding but exciting and not for those who are faint of heart.

What is a Journeyman Lineman?

A journeyman lineman is a professional who installs, repairs, and maintains electrical and telecommunications systems. They are the brave men and women who ensure that the lights stay on and that our calls and emails go through.

Linemen maintain electrical and telecommunications equipment in power stations and telephone poles. Keeping this complex web of cables and poles running at top-notch efficiency with a minimal casualty is no easy task as the work usually involves working with high voltage electricity and the repairs that are needed may at times be high above the ground. That is why a state job as a journeyman lineman usually requires not only years of experience but also certification.

Journeyman Lineman Salary

According to, the average hourly wage for a Journeyman/Lineman in the USA is $39 as of June 28, 2021. The range typically falls between $36 and $40. The hourly rate can vary widely depending on many important factors, including education, certifications, additional skills, the number of years you have spent in your profession, and what region you serve.

How do you become a Journeyman Lineman?

Achieving a journeyman’s status often requires the lineman to complete an apprenticeship program after which they may apply for a journeyman’s license typically at a fee. As with most lines of work, the first requirement is that the applicant needs to be an adult, that is, 18 years of age or older. A high school diploma or its equivalent is also required.

The candidate needs to have completed at least one year of algebra and also needs to undergo an aptitude and drug test. Once accepted, they will have to complete up to five years of training as an apprentice before attaining the journeyman status.


To obtain a certification, there are a few steps that an applicant needs to complete. The first step is enrolling in an apprenticeship program. Employers usually require that interested job applicants complete three to five years of classroom and on-the-job training.

The second step is joining recognized journeyman organizations such as the Fiber Optic Association and the National Association of Journeymen Linemen, which provide valuable resources, education, and certification.

The third step is understanding and adhering to certification requirements which are essential for passing a credential exam.

The last step is passing the credential exam and reviewing the organization’s continuing education requirements for recertification.


Upon attaining a journeyman’s status, after completing the necessary training, the applicant may be required to take the extra step of being licensed by the state. Paying attention to the necessary requirements is paramount as each state’s requirements are unique.

Completing hours of the apprenticeship program as well as completing a state-administered exam are some of the requirements for licensing.

Where Do Linemen Work?

Once you have completed all the training requirements and you have racked up enough experience, you may be faced with the age-old question: where do I work?

A journeyman lineman’s job in the United States is quite desirable, especially working for states such as California. In my opinion, applicants should consider jobs as electrical linemen as these usually exploit a broad range of skills. Electrical Linemen in the USA also report medical as well as dental coverage.

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