The need for qualified electrical lineworkers in Texas is predicted to grow at a rapid pace over the next few years, and Texas State Technical College’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program is teaching the next wave of workers at the Harlingen campus.
With an average salary of $61,400 in the Harlingen area, lineworkers are paid more than the state average of $55,880, according to figures compiled by www.onetonline.org, which predicts that electrical line installer/repairer jobs will increase by 16 percent in Texas by 2028.
TSTC instructor Angel Toledo said that lineworkers are in high demand because of the rapid growth of the Rio Grande Valley, and he commented on what students in TSTC’s lineworker program will experience.
What can students expect during the program, and how long does it take to complete?
Students should expect to learn the importance of safety in the lineworker program. Students can choose a certificate that will take three semesters to complete, or an associate degree that will take five semesters.
How important is it to have a pole yard on site for training?
Hands-on experience is necessary and essential to properly learn the components of the climbing gear. Once that is mastered, students will learn how to climb. Framing the hardware, rigging and installing transformers on the poles would not be possible without the pole yard.
What does it take to become an electrical lineworker today?
With a combination of safety, discipline, dedication and knowledge, future electrical lineworkers will gain the necessary experience to become a successful lineworker.
What does the TSTC program offer that is unique to South Texas?
TSTC is the only educational institution with a lineworker program from Corpus Christi down to Brownsville and all the way west to Laredo.
How important is it for you to see graduates gain employment?
It would be a great satisfaction to see students that put in hard work and dedication to this program gain employment. These students are at a young age, with a lineworker education under their belt and a future ahead of them, and are definitely deserving of employment. These students have the advantage of obtaining this knowledge and experience beforehand rather than starting from square one. They have more value for companies.
What advice do you give students when they begin the program and when they complete it?
My advice is to learn the importance of safety and teamwork. Once the program is complete, my advice is to always follow the safety rules and to share your knowledge with those who may need it.
Registration for the fall semester is underway. Scholarships are available. For more information, visit tstc.edu.