Power Line Technician Apprenticeship Program

FortisAlberta’s Power Line Technicians (PLTs) are responsible for the construction, operation, and maintenance of the electrical distribution system across our service area.

Becoming a Power Line Technician

There are several ways of joining FortisAlberta’s team as a Power Line Technician. In addition to hiring experienced Power Line Technicians who have already completed their journeyman certificates, FortisAlberta has been training and developing our own Power Line Technicians for more than 40 years. Our state-of-the-art, award-winning Employee Development Centre (EDC) near Red Deer, Alberta provides both classroom and hands-on learning for employees to complete their apprenticeship and prepare for their Red Seal examination.  

We work with high schools within the communities in our service areas to recruit students for two (2) month summer terms as Student Apprentice PLTs as part of the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP). Students receive a competitive hourly wage and hands-on experience while learning what it takes to become an apprentice PLT. Many of the high school students who are successful in their positions move into our Temporary Labourer program once they graduate.

Becoming a Power Line Technician is rewarding, but isn’t for everyone. Each year FortisAlberta recruits a number of candidates to join our Temporary Labourer program for six (6) month temporary positions. These competitive positions begin with initial discussions and interviews with the selection team, with the top candidates being invited to a three (3) day “bootcamp” at the EDC – a final opportunity for candidates to showcase their skills and learn the basics of climbing poles and building power lines. At the end of the bootcamp, the top candidates are offered positions with either our travelling construction crews or with training crews based in Lethbridge, Red Deer, or Spruce Grove.

At the end of their temporary assignment, labourers may be offered a permanent position and indentured as Apprentice Power Line Technicians. Apprentice positions may be offered at any of our service points, depending on the needs of our teams. 

During each of the first three years of the program, apprentices are mentored by experienced journeymen and undergo a minimum of 1,525 hours of paid, on-the-job training as well as four to five weeks of technical training and examination at our EDC facility. In their fourth year, apprentices complete a minimum of 1,800 hours of additional paid, on-the-job training and prepare for the national Red Seal final examination. Once they complete their required hours of work and pass their final examination, apprentice PLTs become Red Seal Journeyman Power Line Technicians.

FortisAlberta's journeymen PLTs have access to additional training at the EDC, including courses such as:

  • Equipotential Bonding & Grounding (EB&G) Theory
  • Substation Switching Certification
  • System Switching Certification
  • Basic and Advanced Live Line Certification

Other topics available for our journeymen to learn include specialized training on safety techniques, work methods, metering systems, remote apparatus operations, and construction heavy equipment.

What do I need to become an apprentice Power Line Technician with FortisAlberta?

Typically FortisAlberta opens Temporary Laborer positions for applicants once per year. To be considered, candidates must have a minimum of:

  • A completed High School Diploma, including completion of grade 12 math and grade 12 English. In lieu of grade 12 math, completion of a recognized math course as part of a compulsory trade apprenticeship or journeyman program may be considered. Candidates will be required to provide copies of their transcripts as a condition of employment.
  • A valid Alberta Class 5 driver’s license in good standing. Candidates will be required to provide a copy of their driver's license and current driver's abstract
  • Labourer, apprentice, and journeyman PLT positions are safety-sensitive. Candidates must pass a physical abilities test (PAT) and produce a negative alcohol and drug test as conditions of employment.

Check out some of the activities from our 2022 Temporary Labourer Bootcamp