Electrical Line Tech at NMU

The electrical line technician (ELT) program is offered through a partnership of NMU and the Midwest Skills Development Center (MSDC). Students will attend courses at the MSDC training site on the former K.I. Sawyer Air Force Base in Gwinn, Mich. Students will receive introductory elevated outdoor work-site field experiences related to electrical power transmission and work-site field experiences related to electrical power transmission and distribution systems, including climbing, pole setting and framing, guying and bucket and digger truck operation. Students will also learn the principles of electricity and the fundamentals of current flow in series, parallel and compound circuits as well as the general safety rules used in the electrical power industry. Applications of safety policies, personal responsibility, accident reporting procedures, and the safe use of various tools will be covered. 

One year certificate (32 credits)

The electrical line technician certificate program prepares graduates for employment as profession linemen, able to install and repair cables, wires, and structures used in electrical transmission and distribution systems. You may find yourself erecting poles and light or heavy duty transmission towers, stringing conductors, and installing various pole top equipment, all while adhering to safe work practices and procedures, such as using appropriate personal protective equipment and electrical protective equipment, employing barriers around work areas, and the use of protective grounding. You will test conductors, according to electrical diagrams and specifications, to help identify corresponding conductors and to prevent incorrect connections. Work can be physically demanding in all types of weather conditions and sometimes includes irregular hours on evenings, nights and weekends when needed. 


Employment opportunities scan vary depending on interest. Generally graduates find apprenticeships with electrical contractors, which normally requires extensive travel and a variable work site reporting location, or with electrical utilities, which usually results in a fixed work site reporting location. Graduates may also find employment as cable TV and telephone installers or with communications tower installation and maintenance companies. Whether with a contractor or a utility, an apprenticeship usually requires about 7,000 hours of on -the-job training to achieve journey person status (about three and one-half years). Job opportunities are available nationwide. Once journey person status has been achieved, you will have a profession that is easily transportable and needed by most of the population -- virtually anywhere in the world. 

Earnings, job growth and education levels noted are from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (National), and CareerOneStop/U.S. Department of Labor (Michigan).

Median Earnings


Projected Job Growth

to 2029
+2% (National)
+11% (Michigan)

Education Levels

of current workers
39% high school diploma
33% some college
19% associate degree
4% bachelor's degree