Getting in a groundman position on a linecrew can be very difficult. One thing I would recommend (because this trade is so competitive) is getting a groundman spot and even an apprenticeship for powerline clearance/tree trimming. This way you still get excellent related work experience once you apply or get into an apprenticeship or groundman position on a line crew. Don’t look past this work and experience if you have the chance to try it out. It’s less competitive to get in, and awesome work experience!
- Related Work Experience: As I mentioned, it can be difficult to get on a line crew as groundman because of how many people are trying; it makes it competitive. Powerline clearance is an awesome way to get experience in the field. Why?: working outdoors in any weather, working with your hands, with a crew, next to powerlines, climbing, bucket work, rigging, knots, traffic, becoming part of the union, pinch points, pecking order, heavy equipment, traveling, long hours, storms.
- All the experience you get in the tree trimming trade directly correlates to the line trade. It can really only benefit you; the stuff you learn doing powerline clearance will help you as a groundman or apprentice on the line side. You can use all the skills you acquire doing tree work in the line trade. Rigging, knots, driving trucks, long hours, storms, traveling, and the list goes on.
- You can use that experience you get when you do your lineman apprenticeship interview. The interviewers love to see that kind of related experience. It’ll most likely get you a better score on your interview and get you faster in the lineman apprenticeship with a tree trimming journeyman ticket, or groundman work experience. They know what kind of experience you get doing powerline clearance, and they know it can make you a benefit on a line crew!
- If you decide on going through with a tree trimming apprenticeship; get your trimming journeyman card. It’s something to fall back on, looks great in an interview, and makes you an asset on a line crew.
- If I was an interviewer I would choose the tree trimmer over the line school guy. Why? That experience and knowledge he got from tree trimming I know for a fact he will be more of a benefit in the field than the lineschool kid. For reasons listed above.
- You might go to a line school and realize “this aint for me” but just spent 5 months and 10k just to figure out the line trade isn’t for you. You could get in on the tree side (getting paid) and figure out that the tree side is AWESOME and stick with it, or just continue to get that work experience and figure out you still want to do line work and become a lineman.