Few online electrical line worker training programs are available, though there may be ways to transfer your current industry experience into college credit. Several important factors, such as program availability and the purpose behind them, are necessary to consider when choosing where to attend.
How to Select an Online Electrical Line Worker School
Students considering online electrical line worker schools must make their decision based on several key factors. There are few, if any, entry-level education programs available online for prospective electrical line workers. This is because of the hands-on nature of the work and because of hiring requirements. Most education programs for electrical line workers require students to attend a series of in-person classes to learn how to climb electric poles and how to maintain and replace wires and components. Those who already work on electrical lines may be able to make arrangements with local colleges to apply their hands-on training to a degree program that will allow them to complete other coursework online.
Hybrid degrees or diplomas for electrical line workers are also extremely difficult to find. Some programs are available that allow students to take online classes for a portion of their education, especially the general education component of certain degree programs. These are offered by a handful of technical colleges.
Purpose of Degree or Diploma
Those seeking a degree or diploma program for electrical line workers should also consider the purpose of their education. For entry-level line workers, apprenticeship programs and career diplomas are common options, though these are normally available only in traditional format.
Options for Experienced Electrical Line Workers
Line workers who have already completed apprenticeship training may be able to find online associate's degree programs that grant them college credit for the training they have completed. This varies from state to state, however, and may require an articulation agreement between a college and a power company.
Online Programs for Electrical Line Workers
Associate Degree Articulation Agreement
Some colleges have articulation agreements with local power providers that allow those who have already completed apprenticeship programs with the power company to apply that apprenticeship toward college credit for an associate's degree. Students must normally apply the credit from their apprenticeship toward a degree in a related area of study, such as construction science or technology studies. They will then need to complete general education requirements and perhaps other core classes in the degree program. Online, hybrid, or traditional degrees may all be available, depending on the institution. Electrical line workers learn how to:
- Install, repair, and maintain power lines
- Inspect and test power lines
- Follow safety standards
- String power lines among buildings, poles, and towers
- Operate power equipment
Schools with Online Programs for Electrical Line Workers
Lansing Community College offers a partially online certificate for electrical utility line workers. This 13 month program covers all the skills a person would need in order to operate effectively as a line worker. The admissions process consists of submitting an application and taking a climbing test, all of which is reviewed in addition to education history, driving record, physical aptitude, and a criminal background check. While the majority of work is done in person, some classes can be taken online or in the morning or evenings. Climbing courses are on a fixed schedule in person, however.
Specific online programs for electrical line workers are extremely rare, but some programs may be offered that include partially online components especially for general education courses. When considering where to apply to, it is important to review the available programs at a school, the possibility for an articulation agreement, and the purpose behind their education.