(ROSENBERG, Texas) – Working on electric power lines is a family affair for Jalen Larkins.
His father has been a lineworker since before Larkins can remember.
“He took me one time when I was young, and I said, ‘Yo, I want to do this’ — and now I’m doing it,” Larkins said. “It’s always been what I wanted to do.”
The Texas State Technical College fall 2021 graduate wrapped up his final semester of training in TSTC’s Electrical Lineworker Technology program with a certificate of completion.
He looks forward to getting a job — whether it happens to be at Mesa Line Services, where his father works, or another company where he can apply his skills.
What made you decide to come to TSTC?
I was from Michigan originally. My dad was here, and he saw this opportunity for me that Michigan didn’t have. (He saw TSTC as) a good thing so I’d get knowledge and experience.
How has your experience with the Electrical Lineworker Technology program at TSTC been?
Really good. The past two semesters have been great. It’s definitely hard work, but we’ve been able to manage it. I’m glad I’m here. I love the environment — the teachers really help us. They’re here when we need something.
What has been a favorite memory from your training?
My favorite moment was when I was doing the double crossarms. For me being a short guy, we have to do a lot more work than a taller person. It’s the same job, but it’s more difficult. Doing double crossarms took a minute — that was probably the hardest. I’m glad I overcame it, because now I’m doing it.
What advice do you have for prospective students interested in the Electrical Lineworker program?
It wouldn’t hurt to at least come and try. You may look at it and see somebody on the pole and be like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ But if you don’t try, you don’t know. Once you learn it, you’ll get the understanding of it — and you can do it.
What do you wish everyone knew about being a lineworker?
I’ll tell you right now — the instructors say this, and even people at the job when you get recruited — it’s a brotherhood. We all have respect for each other. We all do the same thing. We all have a good time, we all share laughs, we all share the same work. We put our blood, sweat and tears in this trade. It’s definitely a good trade to get into. I don’t regret doing this. I’d do it five times over.
In addition to the Fort Bend County campus, TSTC’s Harlingen, Marshall and Waco campuses provide lineworker training. TSTC offers an Associate of Applied Science degree in Electrical Lineworker Technology and a certificate of completion in Electrical Lineworker.
In Texas, lineworkers can earn an average annual salary of $55,880, according to onetonline.org, which forecasts lineworker positions in the state to grow by 16% through 2028.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that Texas employs the most lineworkers in the U.S. — and that the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan area has the highest employment level of lineworkers.
TSTC is confident that its Electrical Lineworker Technology program graduates will get hired in this in-demand field. That is why the program comes with a Money-Back Guarantee. If lineworker graduates do not get hired in the industry within six months of earning their degree, TSTC will refund their tuition.
Enrollment is underway for the spring semester at TSTC. For more information, visit tstc.edu.