Electrical Distribution Systems

Have questions about the Electrical Distribution Systems program? You're not alone!  Click the boxes below to find answers to our most commonly asked questions.

Electrical linemen mainly work outdoors installing and repairing cables or wires in an electrical power or distribution system.  Job duties include stringing new wire or maintaining old wire, installing and maintaining insulators, setting towers or poles to hold electrical wire, assembling and erecting substations, installing and repairing traffic or train signals, and tree trimming.  Linemen are in high demand during natural disasters such as tornadoes, ice storms, and hurricanes.

There isn’t an exact answer for this question!  However, there are a few factors that may indicate your interest or aptitude for this program.  Above all things, you should not be afraid of heights.  Students will spend many hours climbing poles that reach up to 40 or 60 feet high.

Students who are well-suited for this program will also like working outside, as the majority of the job is spent working outdoors with power poles or clearing trees.  A lineman career is physically demanding, so students in this program typically like hands-on work and will use both climbing gear and equipment to perform job duties.

No, and this is a major benefit to our program.  Students are provided all the necessary gear and equipment during their time in the program, including the BuckSqueeze belt and climbing gaffs.  The only item you need to purchase is a hard hat, which will be worn in the outdoor lab at all times.

Sometimes prospective students and parents are concerned about the safety of pole climbing and working off the ground.  It should be known that safety is the top priority of this program, and safe practices are taught from the first day in the classroom.  The program's Lead Instructor constantly enforces this during classroom instruction and while working outdoors.  By the time you graduate, safe practices will come naturally.

The expectations of this program are hands-on, physically demanding, and at times challenging.  But the saying “practice makes perfect” applies here.  Students will spend many hours outdoors and getting comfortable with climbing poles and performing other exercises.  Compared to other lineman training programs across the country, FCC’s EDS program gives extra focus to retention and teamwork.  Students are given more time in this program to develop their skills, learn the curriculum, and prepare for a career.

Students will typically report to the classroom to learn theory and review assignments and plans for the day before moving on to the outdoor lab to climb the poles. In the event of inclement weather, the hands-on work will be moved to the indoor lab or students will focus on theory in the classroom.

Each day’s activities and lessons will be molded around the weather and events, just like a graduate can expect on the job.  Students must be willing to adapt to change and the constantly changing weather conditions.

Students can complete the FAFSA and may be eligible for financial aid or assistance.  However, Frontier Community College offers multiple scholarships specific to the EDS program that offer anywhere from $500 to full tuition and books.  EDS-specific scholarships include:

  • Steve Rafferty Memorial Scholarship
  • Earl R. Pottorff Memorial Scholarship
  • Wayne White Scholarship in Honor of Gerry Kinney

For more information about financial aid and scholarships, please contact our Financial Aid department at 618-842-3711.