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TSTC Electrical Lineworker Technology students practice climbing and wiring at the college's pole yard.

(ROSENBERG, Texas) - Electrical lineworker occupations are among the most physically demanding careers, but also one of the highest-paying in the nation.

That is why Texas State Technical College is training and preparing the future lineworkers of the industry.

“This profession is listed as a high-demand occupation by the Texas Workforce Investment Council,” said TSTC Electrical Lineworker Technology statewide department chair Eric Carithers. “The projected growth of electrical lineworkers between now and 2026 is about 8 percent.”

To get in on the action, it takes one year to receive a Certificate 1 and 20 months to receive an associate degree from TSTC to enter this high-demand industry.

In addition to a certificate or associate degree, electrical lineworker students can also earn additional certifications such as a Class A commercial driver’s license, a first aid and automated external defibrillator certificate, and an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 30-hour construction industry certification.

Carithers said each class and its curriculum are carefully planned by TSTC faculty and the program’s advisory board, which is composed of industry partners that employ Electrical Lineworker Technology graduates to ensure that they train and concentrate on the most relevant skill sets sought by employers.

Training in this program is focused on hands-on learning in skills such as climbing safety, distribution operations, transformer connections, live-line safety, distribution construction, rigging, flagging and road safety, and system troubleshooting.   

And as a graduate from a program with a 100 percent job placement rate, according to Carithers, positions as groundman, apprentice, electrical lineworker and power lineworker can be obtained.

In Fort Bend County, every electrical lineworker graduate has been hired by CenterPoint Energy, North Houston Pole Line, Jackson Electric Cooperative or Sendero Electric Cooperative.

Companies throughout the state such as American Electric Power (AEP) and ONCOR have also hired TSTC graduates.

“Wages can vary by region and company, but overall the return of investment for a graduate from our program is huge,” said Carithers. “Their skills are in demand and are well paid for them.”

In fact, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Texas is the state with the highest employment level of electrical lineworkers, with an annual mean wage of more than $53,000 year.

Additionally, the BLS states that the Houston metropolitan area is No. 3, and the Dallas-Fort Worth area is No. 5 in employing electrical lineworkers.

Electrical Lineworker Technology is offered at TSTC’s Waco and Marshall campuses.

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