Real World Experience Matters

Real World Experience Matters

Welcome to “Cruise the Questions” (CTQ), where I answer your burning questions about blue-collar careers and real-world experience. Whether you’ve sent your question through Instagram, YouTube comments, or any other platform, I’m here to help. If you have a question, chances are someone else is wondering the same thing. So let’s dive in!

  • What route should you take to get into the lineman trade?
  • Whats worth more; real life experience or paid education?
  • Tips, tricks & advice for graduating line school and not sure what to do next.

Lineman School or Tower Climbing Job?

Thomas asked: “Hey, I love the lineman content you posted. It has truly helped me figure out that being a lineman is what I want to do. I’m graduating high school this May and I have two options: go to lineman school for two years or take a job climbing cell towers. The tower job would involve traveling four days a week and working ten-hour shifts. Which one will help me get into the trade the quickest?”

 Here’s my advice

  1. Go for the Real World Experience
    • Reason: Lineman school will take two years, which could be spent gaining hands-on experience.
    • Job Benefits: The tower climbing job offers immediate, relevant work experience.
  2. Interview Insight: When I interviewed for lineman apprenticeships, they valued real-world experience over school credentials. I had limited experience and it hurt my chances. Real-world experience, like climbing towers, is crucial. It shows you’re dependable and willing to work at heights, which is vital for a lineman.
  3. Transferable Skills: The skills you gain from the tower climbing job—working at heights, traveling, and completing physical tasks—are directly applicable to the lineman trade. Employers prefer candidates with practical experience over theoretical knowledge from school.
  4. Advice Recap: Skip the two-year lineman school and go for the tower climbing job. It will provide real-world experience, and you’ll be better prepared for a lineman apprenticeship. Having the soft & hard skills of woking with other people on a crew, outdoors, at heights gives you an advantage over other applicants.

Why Real World Experience is Crucial

In the trades, real-world experience is more valuable than classroom learning. Here’s why:

  • Practical Skills: Hands-on work teaches you practical skills that can’t be fully understood in a classroom setting.
  • Industry Connections: Working in the field helps you make connections and learn from experienced professionals.
  • Immediate Feedback: You get instant feedback on your work, allowing you to improve quickly.

Graduating Lineman School, Any Advice?

Brant asked: “I’m graduating lineman school in two weeks. Any advice?”

 Here’s what you need to know:
  1. Be Ready to Travel
    • Tip: Traveling is a big part of being a lineman. Be prepared to work in different locations.
    • Benefit: Willingness to travel can make you a more attractive candidate.
  2. Union Apprenticeship
    • Advice: Apply for a union apprenticeship with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). It’s the best path for training and benefits. Look up “IBEW lineman apprenticeships near me.”
    • Requirement: Union apprenticeships can be highly competitive, so be prepared to stand out.
  3. Brush Up on Math
    • Tip: Use the math skills you learned in lineman school. They’ll be crucial during the application and interview process.
    • Examples: Electrical theory, transformer hookups, and other math-related tasks are common in the trade. Algebra one and some geometry.
  4. Physical Preparedness
    • Advice: Be ready for physical tests that may include climbing, digging, and carrying heavy objects.
    • Training: Keep up with physical training to ensure you can handle the demands of the job.

Making the Best Choice for Your Future

When deciding between schooling and real-world experience, consider these points:

  • Cost and Time: Lineman school is costly and time-consuming. Working right away saves money and gets you into the trade faster.
  • Value of Experience: Employers prefer candidates with hands-on experience over those with just classroom learning.
  • Certification Opportunities: Some jobs offer on-the-job training and certifications, which can be more beneficial than a formal school setting.

Real world experience is invaluable in the blue-collar world. It not only provides the skills and knowledge necessary for the job but also demonstrates to employers that you are ready to work hard and learn on the go. Whether you’re climbing cell towers or applying for a lineman apprenticeship, practical experience will always give you a competitive edge. So, take every opportunity to gain that real-world experience and make your mark in the trade!

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