Aerial Lineman

Fiber To The Home: How Aerial Linemen Make it Happen

Our lives are integrated with internet-enabled devices, yet rarely do we really think of how they continue to function. Streaming services, video games, and online stores are all dependent on the connectivity offered to us by internet service providers who often work with National OnDemand to build and maintain the infrastructure needed for our high-speed internet to function. One of the roles needed to build and maintain large networks is the aerial lineman.

What does an Aerial Lineman do?

Our aerial linemen play major roles in our Construction Division, a team focused on building or extending network infrastructure projects. Their biggest responsibility involves hanging strand and lashing cable between utility poles.

As an aerial lineman in the fiber construction industry, most of your work is completed with minimal supervision in situations requiring alertness and the ability to make quick decisions.

Responsibilities include:
  • Operating a bucket truck as well as other aerial fiber construction equipment
  • Understand clearances from the other utilities
  • Understanding and ability to properly frame poles according to industry specifications
  • Ability to lash/over-lash single and multiple cable bundles of fiber cables
  • Ability to read and interpret network prints
  • Ability to safely climb poles using gaffs or ladders
  • Understand and follow OSHA safety requirements to complete the job(s) safely and efficiently
  • Communicate by phone frequently throughout the work day
  • Follow direction(s) specifically delivered from crew leader
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

These duties and responsibilities are completed primarily outside in all weather conditions. Every National OnDemand aerial lineman safely performs these tasks with knowledge and understanding of all relevant tools, objects, and techniques. For those new to the aerial lineman job, our training program can craft you into an industry-leading professional in no time.

What are some skills developed on the job?

Becoming an aerial lineman at National OnDemand is more than just career development. It’s also personal development. Michael Crabb, Director of Operations, Construction Division says that there are key attributes that are developed as an aerial lineman, the first attribute being a respect for safety while working. Between climbing poles with gaffs and working on the side of the road, the safety of the individual as well as teammates becomes a top priority of every lineman. This team safety awareness is developed through training and on the job experience, yet it is also a form of empathy and care that is pivotal from the lens of personal development.

Michael Crabb, Director of Operations, Construction Division

“It’s not just about what’s in front of you, but also what’s ahead of you”

Michael Crabb, Director of Operations, Construction Division

The next attribute Michael noted was developing a talent for problem-solving. As problems arise on the job, having the best ratio of time spent with solutions found is important. Taking too long to critically respond to an issue can lead to a myriad of issues and potentially injuries. Problem-solving not only relates to task completion, but also learning from previous errors to prevent future issues, which naturally relates to Michael’s third attribute, planning. “It’s not just about what’s in front of you, but also what’s ahead of you,” he said, adding that it’s important to always be thinking “five or six steps ahead.” These three skills, although developed through the aerial lineman position, are easily transferrable to day-to-day life scenarios.

Why National OnDemand?

Although there are many companies out there to work for, few compare to National OnDemand with regard to the opportunities provided to new linemen. National prides itself on being willing to bring on people with little to no experience in the field and turn them into cutting edge professionals in the telecommunications industry. Additionally, National has a wide range of benefits provided to their employees, including a company vehicle and fuel card, insurance, production bonuses, and more. You’ll need a strong work ethic, a desire to work with your hands, and the ability to complete some of the basic physical responsibilities listed previously.

National OnDemand also welcomes seasoned professionals to join us as an aerial lineman. Although we do accept and train professionals with no previous experience, we also offer training programs to experienced linemen as well, making the transition to National as smooth as possible. We invest into our employees by paying for all training to create a long-lasting relationship and career path for hardworking individuals.

What is National OnDemand’s six-week training program like?

Our training program functions to equip individuals interested in the aerial lineman field that have little to no previous experience. Our program is typically six-weeks long and is conducted in-house, taught by our industry-leading professionals. We teach candidates the basics in climbing, hanging strand and lashing fiber, as well as all proper safety protocols and procedures. We also teach how to read project maps, how to notate billing codes, and, most importantly, how to turn a job into a long-lasting career.

Within the company, there are a variety of options available in your career path. One route is transitioning from a lineman to a supervisor, allowing you to lead a few teammates to accomplish their tasks for the day. Over time, this role can transition into other positions like becoming a member of an elite travel team. As part of the travel team, you would be among National’s best as you help train others and take the lead on fiber construction projects across the country. Ultimately, this could lead to positions like construction manager and more!

Two aerial linemen coordinate the hanging of fiber across a highway in Eastern Texas.
Two aerial linemen coordinate the hanging of fiber across a highway in Eastern Texas.

It’s important to consider the skills that need to be developed before advancing in your career. Many of the skills carry over from one to the other, meaning that your time as an aerial lineman is fundamental in your training to become a supervisor or manager. Teamwork, relationship-building, problem-solving, determination and planning are all as crucial to management-level employees as they are to frontline employees. In addition to these abilities, though, comes teaching and compromise. As a supervisor or manager, it’s pivotal to be able to work with fellow employees in helping them grow, no matter their level of experience.

What are some tips for applying?

Knowing a few basic qualities about yourself can go a long way in determining if the aerial lineman position is a good role for you. Do you like being outside? Can you lift a few dozen pounds? Are you able to climb up a pole? Do you have a significant fear of heights? These are just a handful of questions to ask yourself before seriously pursuing the position. Other than that, it comes down to your strengths. Having a great attitude is key to acing any interview process, as well as a palpable determination to make things possible. National OnDemand is an equal opportunity employer and values diversity, equity and inclusion.

What is RDOF and how does it affect this position?

RDOF, also known as Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, is a multi-year endeavor to provide high speed internet access to everyone, especially those in rural communities. RDOF is a federal program, meaning the multi-billion-dollar deal is set and not going away any time soon. Aerial lineman will be an asset to the industry for years to come due to programs like RDOF. However, this federal fund is just the beginning. Aerial linemen are also an asset to National OnDemand in continuing the mission of the company by connecting rural America with the technological services they need.

Quality vehicles like this 2021 Ford F550 XL are provided to our aerial crews for performing their job function and moving between work sites.
Quality vehicles like this 2021 Ford F550 XL are provided to our aerial crews for performing their job function and moving between work sites.

What is the day-to-day life like?

Aerial Linemen work full days, primarily outside, to support broadband network construction. As a lineman, you primarily climb poles to maintain or build overhead cables. Your team varies by the day depending on the task. As part of the Construction Division, linemen work across a variety of projects that have changing needs, making every day a learning opportunity to safely try something new.

Hard work is rewarded as we provide production bonuses to our employees to support their endeavors in the field. Additionally, we provide our linemen with company vehicles and fuel cards to lower the costs for our employees to get to and from jobs. On top of that, we provide our linemen with the tools and uniforms they need to reduce out-of-pocket costs even further.

The Takeaway

If you are interested in being an aerial lineman, visit our careers page or check out the tab on the right side of the screen to learn how to become a part of our team. National OnDemand, Inc. prides itself on always maintaining high standards and prioritizing safety on every construction project. Join our network of talented professionals and set yourself up for a long and successful career!

  • Major Medical Plans - Blue Cross/ Blue Shield
  • Life Insurance* - $25,000
  • Employee Assistance Program*
  • Teladoc Program*
  • Vacation/Sick Leave/PTO
  • Vision
  • Dental
  • 401K - Vanguard
  • Voluntary Short/Long Term Disability, Voluntary Term Life & AD&D
  • Company Vehicle and Fuel Card**

National OnDemand, Inc. prides itself on always maintaining high standards and prioritizing safety on every construction project. Join our network of talented professionals as we help customers looking for “cable companies near me.” Set yourself up for a long and successful career with National OnDemand!

Current Openings

Aerial Lineman

Terre Haute, IN

Post Date: 11/01/2022

Aerial Lineman

Montross, VA

Post Date: 11/01/2022

Aerial Lineman Trainee

Montross, VA

Post Date: 11/01/2022