T&D World Magazine
DTE Energy Center of Excellence Technology Training Center
Chris Fleming (left) enjoys passing along the knowledge he gained from his mentors to the apprentices in the DTE Energy Center of Excellence Technology Training Center after a long career as a lineman, where he saw many technology advancements in the profession. Jason Uhl (right) was intrigued by electricity at a young age, so his journey to become a lineman may have seemed like a natural fit, even though he originally started as a meter reader for DTE Energy until he worked his way into the apprentice program.

Passing on Knowledge: A New Generation of Linemen Prepare

As a large number of linemen near retirement, a new generation prepares to take the lead with expectations of continued change for their profession while carrying on the proud traditions of the past.

Many electric utilities face a common challenge: their experienced linemen are retiring. The average age of a utility worker in 2009 was 48, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many linemen can retire at 55 with full benefits, so it may come as no surprise the bureau predicts that almost half of the utility workforce plans to retire in the next five to 10 years.

Replacing these linemen is no easy task. The profession requires an adventurous soul, and even when

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