Sunday, December 9, 2012

Journeyman Lineman Test

When I met Mike 6 years ago, he was a 17 year old kid who talked a big talk about being a lineman one day. I was so impressed, seriously who knew what they wanted at 17! I remember having no clue what a lineman was, hell who really does know? I know when I tell people what Mike does they always look at me a little funny. I mean honestly Mike really doesn't look like a football lineman... sorry honey! I've gotten used to saying my husband climbs poles for a living and using the term apprentice lineman. Well I suppose now (well in 2.5 months) I better start saying journeyman lineman.
my first picture of mike climbing... right after his lineschool graduation.

Mike wanted to keep his test a secret (this was really hard for me not to blurt out to the world so if you knew count yourself very lucky that I trust you ;)) he left Friday morning for Helena. His written test was Friday afternoon... the written test consisted of 3 different tests. Mike passed them all except for transformers theory by a few points. Saturday morning he woke up to take his pole yard practical test. Basically he had to be acting Foreman for 2 other guys and was tested on this... I haven't heard the full details yet but he passed so I'm sure he passed with flying colors. Next his had his knots test and passed that as well. Mike will be returning to Helena in Feb to retake that one test, it'll work out great because he should have all his hours a few weeks after that.

this is what we did while waiting, watch the snow fall... well this and my 5 am bad ass tramp wife move (more on that another time...)

These tests are what Mike and other apprentices have been working towards for the past few years. Almost four years in Mike's case... he started his lineman journey just shortly after he graduated lineschool and took a starting position as a groundsmen in southern Idaho. He was there for about 6 months... those hours did not go towards his apprenticeship but that's how dedicated he's been. Willing to pack up and live in a sketchy motel, 12 hours away from home just to maybe get his foot in the door.... Shortly after my visit to the Thunderbird Motel we decided it was time to buy him a travel trailer... best decision ;) That following September he got the call from Mountain States and headed to Utah to fully start his apprenticeship.

8 States (5 states he's been back to more than once and 3 more states have been in the last year and a half with us), 2 trailers, 2 trucks, roughly 6,500 hours, almost 4 years has gone into all this. his has moved within days notice, gone months without seeing family, worked days on end just to earn a few more hours. if that doesn't say a lot about my husbands character I don't know what does. How many of you can say your husband climbs poles and flips on the city lights? (okay linewives that doesn't count you!! ;)) yes I am SO incredibly proud of Mike. It has been a long journey to start seeing the road back to our home state, but he's worked his ass off and kept his chin up... and we're finally seeing the end. (we started the house buying process woop!)

my boys! we're so proud of you!!

If you've had the pleasure of watching Mike grow through the past few years, than you've first hand watched my high school crush turn into the strong man I'm married to today and know how tough this has been. It's been such an amazing experience watching Mike follow his dream. It hasn't been easy being married to a "rambling man" but I thank God he's kept me around so I can write this extra braggy post and share it with you all! Besides I know you all love hearing about our ridiculous stories.

We still have a few months left, around 500ish hours, and one more test to go but I think I can say this for both of us a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders. We'll be able to fully enjoy the Christmas season, making memories in Montana in the trashiest trailer park :)


  1. This basically sums up my life right now :)

    Nice Blog!

  2. Love your blog. I've been a lineman's wife for 38 years. I just wrote a post about it on my blog. I was goggling for images and your blog came up. :) Good Luck. Linda

  3. I fully realize the hard work and dedication he has put in it!As I have just recently finished my apprenticeship this last year! It takes a good strong willed man to do this kind of work and even a better wife! Congrats Mike only few can do it!

  4. I fully realize the hard work and dedication he has put in it!As I have just recently finished my apprenticeship this last year! It takes a good strong willed man to do this kind of work and even a better wife! Congrats Mike only few can do it!

    1. hello I am thinking about joining this career path. The question i have is, whets the normal work day like. when not traveling. do you work 40 hours a week. Are they 12 hour, 10, 8 hour days? any insider tips would be helpful.

  5. Congratulations! My husband is thinking of starting an apprenticeship as a linesman. We are just worried about the traveling. Our baby girl is only one and a half. I don't want him to miss her life so we may just pack up and go with him!