POWER LINE CLEARANCE & TREE TRIMMER PROGRAM
Line clearance is maintenance of a power line right of way intended to prevent interruption of service to customers. A line clearance/tree trimmer engages in a variety of tree care operations which include tree pruning, tree removal, and brush clearing. Much of this work is done in the vicinity of energized, high voltage power lines. An individual working in this trade must remain alert, and aware of the extreme hazards associated with such work, always.
Trimmers use both powered and hand tools, some insulated to prevent electric shock. The use of bucket trucks and heavy equipment is common. Ropes and rigging are also tools of the trades. They may work for residential or industrial customers, but most often work on utility properties. Line Clearance / Trimmers work almost exclusively outdoors, and very often in inclement weather. Their work includes cleanup operations during and after storms and other natural disasters. They must be willing to travel between cities.
The work of a tree trimmer includes climbing and heavy lifting. It is quite strenuous and is usually performed at great heights (20’ to 100’).
Tree trimmers must display physical agility and coordination. They should be stable, dependable, cooperative, physically active, and have a well-controlled temperament. Interests in outdoor activities and a mechanical aptitude are conducive to this occupation.
Applications are accepted year-round and the rank list is updated the first Tuesday of every month. To start your application your will need to create your account under “My Account“. Once your account has been confirmed, you will be notified by email. You can then start your online application.
Minimum requirements to apply are the following:
- Complete online application
- Copy of Birth Certificate or Driver’s License (Proof of age)
- High School Diploma or High School Equivalency
- Apprenticeship registration form (emailed to you for signature)
Items strongly recommended (not required) to include in your application:
Documentation of past work experience on company letterhead
Industry related certifications – i.e. pesticide applicator licenses.
Applicants will be placed in the order of the rank (or point number) on the list of eligible according to their score. The pool of eligible list will be re-ranked once a month, or more frequently if necessary.
Qualifying applications will be reviewed and scored according to the following point system:
Trade-related work experience:
Power line clearance: 1,000 hours = 8 points
Trimmer (residential): 1,000 hours = 4 points
Groundman/logging: 2,000 hours = 1 point
Current employee of training agent = 5 points
General work experience:
Letter must be from employer on company letterhead
General construction: 2,000 hours = 1 point
Other: 2,000 hours = ½ point
Education related to occupation:
Copies of cards and/or certifications
Laws & Safety 2 points
Rights of Way 2 points
ISA Certification: 2 points
Flagging Traffic Control Certification: 3 points
1st Aid/CPR Certification: 3 points
High school education:
Transcript or copy of diploma or GED
High school diploma: 5 points
GED or equivalent: 2 points
GPA – 2.0 or above (official copy is required): 1 point
Transcripts or copy of Completion Certificate
Trade school (need to specify): 5 points
Job Corps or B-FIT graduate: 3 points
4-year college degree (official copy is required): 3 points
2-year college degree (official copy is required): 3 points
Job Corps Forestry Program Graduate 2 points (additional)
Military/Americorps/Peace Corps: 1 year service = 2 points 8 maximum points
Commercial driver’s license permit: 1 point
Commercial driver’s license: 5 points
(Manual transmission – no code “E” restriction)
Areas Of Dispatch
Areas of dispatch:
Southwestern Washington (Grays Harbor, Mason, Pierce, Thurston, Pacific, Lewis, Wahkiakum and Cowlitz counties)
Northwestern Washington (Whatcom, Skagit, Snohomish, King, Kitsap, Jefferson, Clallam, Island and San Juan counties)
Eastern Washington (all counties east of the Cascades)
Northern Oregon (Counties of Washington, Yamhill, Marion, Clackamas, Multnomah, Hood River, Wasco, Clatsop, Jefferson, Deschutes, Crook, Wheeler, Sherman, Gilliam, Morrow, Columbia, Grant Harney, Umatilla, Union, Baker, Wallowa, and Tillamook)
Southern Oregon (Counties of Lake, Klamath, Jackson, Josephine, Curry, Coos, Douglas, Lane, Linn, Benton, Lincoln, and Polk; and Del Norte, Modoc, and Siskiyou counties in California)
Please note: Failure to accept a dispatch in an area selected will result in being removed from all Rank Lists, so choose carefully!
Wages And Benefits
Apprenticeship is an “EARN while you LEARN” program. The 4,000 hour program is broken into 4 steps, based on training, both on the job and classroom, which advance your progression to completion. Upon completion of the hours for each step, your wages are increase as well.
In addition to full medical, dental and vision for the apprentice’s immediate family, you will be covered by a defined pension plan as well as an annuity plan – all covered by your employer!
The current average wage for a Journeyman Trimmer in the Northwest is $32.35 per hour.
1st Step = 75% of J/M wage
2nd Step = 80% of J/M wage
3rd Step = 85% of J/M wage
4th Step = 90% of J/M wage
Questions And Answers
Question: How do you get started in the apprenticeship for Power Line Clearance & Tree Trimming?
Answer: First step would be to create an account to start your online application. It can take up to 24 hours for your account to be approved. Once your account is approved you will receive an email with a link to start your online application.
Question: Is there an application fee?
Answer: No, there is no application fee.
Question: What are the travel requirements?
Answer: On your application there are five areas to indicate where you would like to work (Northwest Washington, Southwest Washington, Eastern Washington, Northern Oregon and Southern Oregon). You will be added to the rank list for the area(s) that you have indicated you want to work in. You will only work in the area from the rank list you are indentured from. (i.e. you selected Northern and Southern Oregon on your application but are indentured from the Northern Oregon rank list, you will be working just in the Northern Oregon area during your apprenticeship).
Question: Once an application is completed, what is the next step?
Answer: Once you have a completed application, you will be notified by mail of the score you received based on the points submitted. Applications completed the first Monday of the month by 4pm will be added to the rank list for the month, otherwise they will be added the following month. You will be notified by email of your ranking.
Question: When are apprentices selected for the apprenticeship?
Answer: When contractors need an apprentice, they contact the JATC office. If all currently indentured apprentices are working, they will notify the top applicant on the rank list for the area the contractor needs (NW WA, SW WA, E WA, N OR, S OR). The top applicant is given the time, date and location of the work assignment and indentured as a new apprentice.
Question: How often is the rank list updated?
Answer: The first Tuesday of every month.
Question: Can you submit more points after you have been added to the rank list?
Answer: Yes, you can submit more points to move up the rank list. Documents for points must be submitted the Monday prior to the first Tuesday of the month by 4pm to be added to the rank, otherwise they will be added the following month.
Question: How long are you on the rank list for?
Answer: You will remain on the rank list for two years or until your indentured into the program.
Question: When are applications accepted?
Answer: Applications are accepted all year long. The rank list is updated the first Tuesday of every month.
Question: How does my previous experience count towards credit in the apprenticeship?
Answer: Experience for work performed in the trade will be given credit toward your first advancement. Documentation must be submitted prior to being indentured into the program, be on company letterhead, and must be specific in the type of work. The documentation is reviewed and the Assistant Director to the program, agrees on the amount of credit to award that applicant.
Question: How long is the apprenticeship program?
Answer: The program is approximately 2-year program 4,000 hours on the job training. During this time, you’ll advance through four (4) steps of the program. After completing each of these steps, your pay rate will increase, coming closer and closer to that of the journeymen linemen you’re working and training with.
Question: Are apprentices required to attend school?
Answer: Yes, you will be attending classroom training one Saturday month during your two-year apprenticeship program (24 classroom/climb lab trainings).
Question: Is there fees associated with the apprenticeship?
Answer: Yes, there apprenticeship fees that cover your books and tuition. You will be invoiced once your indentured and can make monthly payments.