Lineman Program Prepares Students for Good Jobs

“Lineman jobs are out there now for trained people, and there will be many more in the future as baby boomers retire,” said Bob Chaffins, Professor and Coordinator of Applied Process Technologies (APT).  APT offers a lineman program as well as chemical plant and power plant operator programs.

In 2012, linemen in the tri-state area earned a median hourly wage of $24.96 according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, and construction jobs are projected to increase approximately 16 percent from 2010 to 2020.

“My advisory committee states that as much as 50% of the current workforce is or will be eligible for retirement over the next ten years, and that means there is a great opportunity for jobs for new linemen,” Chaffin said.

 “Employers that hire from our program include AK Steel, AEP, Calgon, Marathon, Viola Environmental, Sun Chemical, DuPont, Pike Electric, Davis Elliott Contracting, Grayson RECC, CW Electric and MasTec,” Chaffins said.  “Contractors and industries in surrounding areas and adjoining states are also hiring.”

"I decided to be a lineman because my dad worked for AEP and he always talked about what lineman did,” said Anthony T.  Lewis, an Ashland resident who is starting work at AEP in Huntington this month.  He earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Applied Process Technologies - Lineman Option in 2011 with honors.

“I know there are good job opportunities out there because I was hired while still in college by MasTec,” Lewis said. “I decided to go ahead and get the degree so that I would be more qualified to move up to a supervisor position in the future."

“I would definitely recommend ACTC to people who want to become lineman, because you get the experience and knowledge needed to start in all aspects of the job,” Lewis added.

“Many of our employers require a minimum two year degree as entry level for hiring,” Chaffins said.  “Our graduates have a broad based knowledge of the technology and are experienced with independent study so they can continue learning on their own.”

“ACTC has definitely changed my life for the better,” said Clinton D. Miller, a Willow Wood OH resident and 2010 graduate of Chesapeake High School. “The instructors are great, and I’ve made some very good friends.”

“I’m 21 years old and worked in many jobs before starting college.  I’m here to get ready for a good job,” Miller said. “This is the only lineman school in our area, and it’s definitely a good low cost school for lineman training.”

Dennis E. Lewis from Sandy Hook is also working on a Lineman certificate. “You need higher education to better yourself,” said the Elliott County High School graduate. “I’m glad to be here because I’m getting ready for a job. I like meeting new people, and the college has a friendly feel.”

Climbing poles, utilizing equipment such as bucket trucks, and working with electric current are only part of the job.  Students also learn to maintain and troubleshoot power transmission systems.

“I’m getting everything I need to begin a career in a field that has plenty of jobs that pay well,” said Randolph A. Brewer from Compton KY.  A Wolf County High School graduate, he is working on a Lineman certificate and would like to work for a local power company. “My best experiences here have been the one-on-one-training sessions that help me better understand the job and duties in the workplace.”

For  information on spring classes, contact Chaffins at: robert.chaffins@kctcs.edu or call 606.326.2478 after January 5.