About the Program

As a NW Line JATC apprentice, you will receive on-the-job training to become a journeyman lineman. You will build, repair, and maintain the powerlines that carry electricity to homes and businesses across our communities. From the point of generation at the power plants to the customer’s meter, linemen are responsible for the work- from powerlines and overhead structures ranging upwards of 300 feet to underground vaults and trenches. Work can be in rural or metropolitan areas.

people on powerlines

Job Functions

A lineman will operate various types of heavy machinery like digger derricks, aerial lifts, backhoes, and cranes to assist in the construction and maintenance of powerlines. As part of your apprenticeship training, you will learn how to properly operate various types of heavy machinery and will have the opportunity to complete your crane certification.

Lineman Duties

  • Adhering to OSHA and customer safety requirements
  • Construction, maintenance, and repair of traffic signals and streetlights
  • Installing and maintaining transformers and other equipment
  • Insulator installation and maintenance
  • Maintenance and repair of overhead distribution/transmission lines
  • Project management
  • Stringing new wire or maintaining old wire
  • Substation assembly and erection
  • Supervision of groundmen and apprentices
  • Tower erection
  • Underground distribution system installation and maintenance
  • Use of various types of hand tools and heavy machinery

How to Apply

Interviews for the Lineman Apprenticeship are typically held between March and August, specific dates will be posted on our calendar. Only candidates with completed applications on file will be scheduled.

Application Requirements

  • Commercial Driver’s License (Class A with no E restriction)
  • Current First Aid/CPR certification (online certifications are not accepted)
  • Official high school transcript or equivalent (GED/HSED)
  • Proof of math proficiency- official transcripts outlining one cumulative grade of “C” or better in either one (1) year high school algebra or one (1) term college-level algebra
  • Valid Driver’s License, 18 or older

Other Recommendations (not required)

  • CDL Tanker Endorsement
  • Current flagging/traffic control certification
  • Industry-related certifications: crane operator, heavy equipment, etc.
  • Sign the out of work books at IBEW outside locals
person on crane

Apprenticeship Includes

As the Northwest’s only construction line apprenticeship training program, NW Line JATC offers applicants a path to a meaningful, high-paying career. An apprenticeship is your chance to learn on the job and receive the real-world experience you will need to excel as a journeyman lineman

Lineman and helecopter

Apprenticeship Features

  • College credit - Apprentice training can earn you college credits provided by the American Council of Education
  • Medical Insurance – 100% employer paid benefit for both you and your family
  • Retirement - Linemen receive access to retirement programs that help to ensure a secure financial future.


  • 1st Step 1000 hours 60% of Journeyman Wage
  • 2nd Step 2000 hours 63% of Journeyman Wage
  • 3rd Step 3000 hours 67% of Journeyman Wage
  • 4th Step 4000 hours 72% of Journeyman Wage
  • 5th Step 5000 hours 78% of Journeyman Wage
  • 6th Step 6000 hours 86% of Journeyman Wage
  • 7th Step 7000 hours 90% of Journeyman Wage
  • Current Journeyman Wage: $55,43 (as of 5-31-21)

Medical Insurance

As an employee in the electrical industry under the Four Local Agreement, you will receive insurance benefits for yourself and your dependent family, including health, dental and vision insurance. The insurance is provided 100% by the contractor and is not deducted from your paycheck. The health insurance plan provided allows you to see any doctor you wish, anywhere in the country.

Retirement Plans

In a time when most companies are cutting back on retirement benefits, the outside electrical industry offers two outstanding retirement benefits- National Electrical Annuity Plan (NEAP) and National Electrical Benefit Fund (NEBF). In addition, they also offer 100% employer paid Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), Long Term and Short-Term Disability.

College Credit

Because your apprenticeship is more than just on-the-job training, you are eligible to earn college credit issued by the American Council of Education (ACE) and/or through a Local Community College.


Veterans may be eligible for educational benefits while working their way through the apprenticeship program. Once you have been indentured, our Certifying Official will work with you to get your benefit claim going.


How long am I on the rank list?

You will remain on the rank list for two years or until you are indentured into the program. After two years, you will need to re-apply.

When will I be selected for apprenticeship?

Applicants are offered apprenticeship positions based on industry need. NW Line Contractors contact the NW Line JATC when an apprentice is needed on a crew. If all current apprentices are working, the apprenticeship then calls the first person on the ranked applicant list and offers them an apprenticeship position. The number of applicants will vary each year based on Industry demand.

What happens after I submit my completed application?

Upon completion of your application, you will be scheduled for an interview. Interviews typically occur March through August. You will be scored based on a variety of factors during your interview. Your overall score will then determine where you fall on the rank list. If you are not indentured after two years on the list, your name will be removed.

How do I start the process to enter the Line Apprenticeship?

Once you have determined that being a lineman is a good fit, you will need to create an online account. This account can take up to 24 hours to be approved. Once the account is approved, you will receive an email with a link to start your online application.

How often is the rank list updated?

The rank list is updated following each interview session.

Is there an application fee?

Yes, $35.

What are the travel requirements?

During your apprenticeship, you will be required to work within the entire geographical jurisdiction of the program – spanning Oregon, Washington, Northern Idaho, and Northern California. These areas fall under the four NECA/IBEW Locals- Local 77, 125, 483, and 659.

Can I re-interview to get a better score?

Applicants can reapply after one year if they provide documentation of additional industry related education or a minimum of 300 hours of industry related work. To re-interview, go to the resources page and complete the Request to re-interview form.

What is my job outlook? Where can I go with my training?

As the country is experiences a shortage in trained journeymen linemen, the prospects are in your favor. The experience and training you will receive through NW Line JATC reinforces to employers your quality education and skilled capabilities.
The good news about working as a journeymen lineman is there is no seniority or tenure within the Industry, meaning you can move to the top of your field rather quickly. Upon completion, you have the potential to be promoted to Foreman or some other supervisory position. Advancement in the industry pays no regard to seniority, it is solely based on knowledge and ability. Many journeymen linemen who have transitioned to managerial positions, have taken their technical and managerial skills and pursued careers as educators, independent business owners, consultants, and inspectors, to name a few.

Where can I take the necessary algebra course requirement if I do not already meet the “C” grade or better?

Algebra classes can be taken at any accredited college. An online Technical Math class is also offered via NJATC in partnership with the University of Tennessee. You can register for this class here http://www.njatc.utk.edu/techmath.htm

As an apprentice, am I required to attend school?

Classroom instruction is typically eight (8) hours per day and introduces the apprentice to the fundamental building blocks of their trade. Camp Rilea offers the apprentices a chance to apply their classroom knowledge to practical real-world application. Training includes basic skills such as climbing, distribution, transmission hot sticking, as well as safety protocols and guidelines for everyday life in the field.

Can my previous work experience count as credit towards my apprenticeship?

Previous experience for work performed on a line crew may be given as credit toward your first advancement, however this will be at the discretion of the Program. Proper documentation must be submitted prior to your interview. It must be on company letterhead and outline the specific type of work completed. Previous work experience will only be granted for work performed on a line crew under the direct supervision of a journeyman lineman. Once your documentation has been reviewed and approved, credit will be awarded prior to being indentured. Groundman hours do not apply and will not be awarded credit.

Are there fees associated with the apprenticeship?

Initially, you will be required to purchase your own tools. Then a fee of $25.00 per week will be withheld by the contractor. During your apprenticeship, you will be responsible for your own travel expenses.

How long is the apprenticeship program?

The apprenticeship program is a 7,000-hour, on-the-job training program completed in approximately four (4) years. During this time, you will advance through seven (7) individual steps, completion of each step granting a pay increase.

What are your career prospects as a journeyman lineman?

With proper training and ongoing education, journeymen linemen can advance to supervisory positions. Some may go into teaching/training or manage their own electrical contracting business. In addition, throughout the training process and on-the-job experience, you’ll be learning valuable skills which you can put to good use in your future. These include interpersonal communications, supervision, project management and teamwork skills.

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