LUBBOCK, Texas – With the city’s electrical grid growing, Lubbock Power & Light said it has been a challenge to find qualified linemen to put in the field.
“It’s getting harder and harder to find good qualified people,” said Brady Anderson, Overhead Transmission Supervisor for LP&L.
Linemen are required to have years of experience and certification before they get to step in the bucket.
“Most people want it handed to them and this aint a job you can have handed to you,” said Anderson.
LP&L said linemen have to have a special kind of dedication to stay in the field, many working around the clock to answer to emergency situations. All linemen have also been trained in CPR with various rescue scenarios.
“I love it. I love the challenge. I take every challenge with a grain of salt really,” said Bryce Chapa who just made Journeyman Lineman with LP&L after 4 years of experience.
“It takes about anywhere from four to five years to accomplish the title of journeyman, they need to get about 2000 hours a year, they’ll have to take 10 tests a year, written test, and then one field test,” said Anderson.
Linemen have a risky job. Constantly working with energized lines that require extensive safety training to avoid injury or even death.
“There’s open wire, secondary everywhere, so the foreman and lead journeyman are watching out making sure that I don’t start a fire or making sure that I’m working safely,” said Chapa.
Despite the rigorous workload and challenges, the linemen say it’s a rewarding job.
“You’re gonna make lifetime friendships here, tighter than any marriage, these guys rely on each other every day, they work with each other 24 hours a day at times,” said Anderson, “It’s so rewarding to see somebody succeed or to have a neighborhood out of power that’s been out of power for 12-15 hours and then when the lights come on, there’s no greater feeling or greater reward in this world.”
LP&L helps those interested get their training and certification through an apprenticeship program, for more information click here.