Electric lineworkers install and repair cables and wires used in electrical power and distribution systems. They erect poles and light- or heavy-duty transmission towers. They locate line trouble, climb poles, use hot line tools, and operate and maintain substations. This program provides theoretical and hands-on training in all phases of power line construction and maintenance. It provides fundamentals of electrical theory, as well as application of electrical equipment with emphasis on safety.


Potential employers will require you to possess a CDL (Commercial Driver License). Southwest Tech offers a CDL Preparation course to better prepare students to take their CDL permit test, but does not offer a CDL Road Test. For information on how to attain your CDL, please access the Wisconsin Department of Transportation website.

If you are unable to access documents here, please contact Technical Skill Attainment Team (tsa@swtc.edu, 608.822.2464)
  • Overview
  • Is This Program for You?

    If you like working outdoors in all kinds of weather, are an independent problem solver, and enjoy the rewards of a hard day’s work, Electric Power Distribution may be the ideal program for you.

    Students entering the Electrical Power Distribution program should:

    • Have an interest in math and science.
    • Enjoy problem solving.
    • Think creatively.
    • Enjoy working with their hands.
    • Have good hand-eye coordination.
    • Are detail-oriented.
    • Be able to lift 50+ lbs.
    • Be able to handle extreme temperatures, very hot or very cold.
    • Be able to use their hands to hold, control, and feel objects.
    • Be willing to work irregular hours (Weekend & Overtime).
    • Be able to bend, stretch, twist or reach.

    Program Basics

    • Technical diploma, nine months to complete.
    • Day classes.
    • High school articulation courses accepted.
    • Classes start in August.
    • Financial aid available.
    • Students must achieve a "C" grade or better in each core (413) course of the program curriculum to be eligible to progress.
  • Curriculum & Costs
  • Cost of Attendance (COA) 23-24

    Cost of Attendance (COA) is a total of all the usual expenses of being a student. The COA sets the maximum amount of financial aid a student can receive.

    Category Amount
    Tuition and Fees $4,713
    Living Expenses (Housing and Food) $9,614
    Books and Supplies $2,061
    Personal Expenses $2,245
    Transportation $2,007
    Charger Tech 360 Fee $600
    Loan Fees $83
    Yearly Total (Living Away from Home) $21,323
    1 Semester Total (Living Away from Home) $10,662

    Based on Wisconsin Residents.

    Approximate school costs are for a full-time (12 credit) student over a semester span of 17 weeks.

    Fees are legislated by the Wisconsin Technical College System Board.

    These costs are estimates and are subject to change without notice.

  • Requirements
  • Admission and Program Requirements

    • Submit Application
    • To make sure your classes are the right fit, we consider any previous college credit you've earned, Accuplacer or ACT scores, high school GPA, or an assessment at your registration session. Submit High School Transcripts, College Transcripts, and Test Scores to: Southwest Tech, Attn: Admissions, 1800 Bronson Blvd, Fennimore, WI 53809
    • Admissions Preference Policy

      Priority for program acceptance will be given in this order until May 1, 2024:

      1. Southwest Wisconsin Technical College District Residents (permanent address is in one of Southwest Tech’s 30 school districts the College serves) Southwest Tech District Information
      2. Non-District State Residents
      3. Out-of-State Residents

    Helpful Academic Background

    • Math
    • Computer skills
    • Technical education courses

    Program Fees

    • This program is eligible for Financial Aid.
    • Estimated cost for each semester can be found under the Curriculum tab. Please note that costs are approximate and are based on the current academic year.
    • Please discuss additional fee questions with the program advisor or instructor.

    Additional requirements

    Students must have eye wear protection (safety glasses with side shields or wrap around safety glasses over prescription glasses) and must meet OSHA Z87.1 or greater while they are conducting operations that are deemed hazardous in nature. These glasses can be purchased at the College Bookstore.

  • Outcomes
  • Program Outcomes

    At the completion of the program, students are expected to be able to:

    • Apply electrical theory
    • Construct Overhead Electrical Distribution Systems
    • Disassemble Overhead Electrical Distribution Systems
    • Construct Underground Electrical Distribution Systems
    • Construct Overhead Electrical Transmission System
    • Disassemble Overhead Electrical Transmission System
    • Maintain Electrical Systems
    • Disassemble Underground Electrical Distribution Systems
    • Demonstrate safe work practices

    Some employers will require CPR and/or First Aid.

  • Career Opportunities
  • This program prepares a student to advance to an electric line technician apprenticeship and related occupations. Employment has been excellent for graduates in the following types of jobs:

    • Electric Utility Lineman
    • Cable Maintenance Technicians
    • Equipment Operator
    • Telephone Repairman
    • Cable TV Installer
    • Apprentice Line Technician
    • Troubleshooter
    • Line Inspectors
    • Substation Operator
    • Cable Splicer
    • Underground Cable Installer

    Southwest Tech's Career Connections Center offers Services to assist students looking for job placement.

  • Transfers
  • Prior Learning
  • Credit for Prior Learning

    Experience Pays! You've Been There... You've Done That... Let's See If You Can Get Credit For It!

    Credit for prior learning gives you opportunities to earn credit for college-level knowledge that you have already acquired. This may be the result of work or volunteer experiences, certifications, apprenticeships, military training, extensive self-instruction, or professional development. Credit for Prior Learning affords you the opportunity to accelerate the completion of your educational goals.

    For more information on Credit for Prior Learning see our Credit for Prior Learning page.

    At any time, you may Request Credit for Prior Learning.

    Electrical Power Distribution Courses that may have Credit for Prior Learning options:

    Course # Course Title
    Challenge Exam
    Challenge Exam
    10-105-110Computer ApplicationsYes
    10-620-156Fiber Optic Cabling TechnicianYes
    FOA Certified Fiber Optic Technician (CFOT)
    31-804-305Applied MathematicsYes
    College Mathematics CLEP Test would also be accepted.