At PEC, our dedicated and skilled lineworkers work rain or shine, day or night, in extreme temperatures, risking their lives to ensure we deliver safe and reliable electricity to our members. Whether it’s maintaining the system or an emergency restoration operation during a winter storm, each PEC crew will have at least one journeyworker among them. A journeyworker is a lineworker who has completed a lengthy and challenging apprenticeship program, and is certified to work with equipment of all electric voltages.
For those looking for a career as a lineworker, it all starts with an apprenticeship. PEC’s Lineworker Apprenticeship Program provides aspiring journeyworkers an excellent opportunity to earn pay while working their way through the approximately four-year program. During that time, lineworkers develop the skills required to earn the industry-recognized Department of Labor Journeyworker certification. Lineworkers are in high demand nationally, and PEC is working to build and train the next generation, right here at home at our new Safety and Technical Training Center in Marble Falls.
PEC Lineworker Apprentice Benito Garcia Jr. has reached the final stage of his apprenticeship before receiving his certification, meaning he has demonstrated he is capable of safely undertaking almost all of the work done by journeyworkers. “Your skill set coincides with the time and commitment you’ve put in,” Garcia said, “from pulling a trailer as a new apprentice to transferring hot wire to a new structure as a journeyworker.”
For lineworkers, graduating to journeyworker is not just a promotion, it also includes serious new responsibilities that put the safety of others in their hands. As a lineworker advances in their career, they become qualified to work on more dangerous, higher-voltage equipment. Safety is always the number one priority, so certain work is only performed by journeyworkers.
“I’m elated I will have finally made it to journeyman in the coming months, but I know that it’s not over after that,” Garcia said. “I can only hope to be as good of a teacher as those before me, and to set a good example for the apprentices that are on the path to becoming journeymen.”
On a day-to-day basis, the job can involve routine duties like connecting new members to power, line maintenance, and setting poles. But even these routine activities can be dangerous, and climbing poles is certainly not for the faint of heart, especially during bad weather. Bigger jobs can also require an impressive amount of coordination and teamwork, and it falls to our journeyworkers to show strong leadership for their crews.
Succeeding as a journeyworker is about much more than developing technical skills. Journeyworkers are critical mentors to PEC apprentices. They also communicate directly with members in the field to help ensure their safety and satisfaction. Much of the time, a journeyworker is the face of the cooperative. The quality of their character and the work of their crew will leave a lasting impression in the minds of those they interact with.
Interested in starting your own journey? Visit jobs.pec.coop, and we’ll make a lineworker out of you.