Do Linemen Make Good Money?

Welcome back to the lineman blog, where we talk about everything electricity… or in this case money. Today we are going to talk about wages in the line trades and pay as an apprentice. We’re going to talk about what google says they make, and then we’ll talk about what you can actually expect as a lineman.. So without further ado, let’s get into it. 

Contractor or Utility.. The first question you have to ask yourself is, are you working for contractors or a power utility. What’s the difference? A public utility is an entity that provides goods or services to the general public. Public utilities may include common carriers as well as corporations that provide electric, gas, water, heat, and television cable systems. Utility workers tend to work less hours, but the work is consistent and close to home. An example of a utility would be APS. Contractors are companies that provide services to the state, utilities, or private entities. When working for a contractor, there’s typically longer hours, travelling, and lots of overtime. Now that we’ve established contractor vs utilities, let’s get into pay. 

The Pay.. So what can you expect to make? Well google will tell you the average journeyman lineman makes $91,121 per year. Now for working 40 hours a week this is a pretty accurate estimate, so when working for a utility you can expect to make around 90,000 a year. Now this is largely  dependent on your location. Every state in the US has a different journeyman rate. You can see the journeyman rate by state here. Switching to the contractor side, a journeyman lineman can make much more. When working on the contractor side, you still get paid journeyman rates, but you tend to work a lot more hours, and with hours comes overtime. Overtime is considered anything over your normal shift hours. So if you’re scheduled to work 8 hours, but you work 12, you get 4 hours of overtime for that day. Overtime is either time and a half, or double time, meaning you make double your hourly rates. This is all dependent on the contractor and the contract they have with the local utility. 

Pay as an apprentice.. So what can you expect to make as an apprentice? Well like anything else, it depends on the state. You can see the different steps and pay for apprentices here.  As of May 2018, reported that an entry-level lineman with zero to five years of experience earned a median yearly salary of $50,617, with half making less and half making more. The bottom 10 percent made under $29,785, while the top 10 percent earned $87,467 or more. Your specific pay for your first year depends on the apprenticeship program and any prior experience. For example, in 2018 the Northwest Line Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee paid new apprentices $28,690 annually with pay increases as they climbed seven steps of experience, while Southeastern Line Constructors Apprenticeship and Training listed a starting wage as being 60 percent of a journeyman’s $23.54 to $38.38 an hour wage. –

Here’s a video explaining pay as a lineman both as an apprentice and journeyman. 

So that’s it, can you make amazing money as a lineman? Yes, if you’re willing to travel and work long hours you can make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. We hope this blog helped you out, and until next time, see you. 

More to Explore

5 Key Apprentice Benefits

What are 5 apprentice benefits, getting started & being an apprentice in a skilled trade? Read & learn more here!