Powerline program prepares students in indoor, outdoor labs

Minnesota West offers powerline program at Jackson, Granite Falls campuses.

JACKSON — Have you ever been sitting at home or at work and your lights flicker, or your power goes off and there is no electricity to do your everyday things? Have you ever wondered who restores your electricity after a storm and the power goes out?

The local power company does and the personnel working for them are linemen. These people work on the powerlines and have completed a Power Lineman college program and received the training needed for a career in the powerline industry.

For some people, working outdoors beats everything else. If you’re not afraid of heights and like nothing better than the thought of climbing a pole in the great outdoors, making very good wages and working on overhead and underground powerlines, the Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s powerline program is the program of choice!

Since 1966. students have come to learn the linemen trade in the college’s state of the art indoor and outdoor laboratory training facilities. In the summer of 2017, the new 7,244-square-foot indoor training facility was built on the Jackson campus. It, along with an outdoor training field, is used to train students.

We are able to have 35-foot poles inside the indoor training lab, and we can have our bucket and digger trucks inside our lab to do more training. Minnesota West is the only college in the state to have this kind of indoor training lab.


Students become proficient at climbing, maintaining a safe work environment, pole framing, setting and replacing poles, bucket and digger derrick truck operation, transformer and transformer banking installation, underground distribution, substation, line maintenance and other skills through extensive hands-on training.

Minnesota West offers three degree options in powerline:

  • Powerline Diploma, a one year program;

  • Powerline Technology A.A.S., a two-year program that offers more training in the substations, transformers, metering, relays and protective equipment; and

  • Electric Utility Substation Technology program for substations only.

Powerline graduates are trained to become apprentices in powerline construction and maintenance, supporting the southwest Minnesota region and economy with the skilled persons trained to work for power companies, municipalities and electrical contractors.
The Powerline program is offered on the Jackson or Granite Falls campus.

Related Topics: EDUCATION
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