Avista/SCC Lineworker School

Welcome to the Avista/SCC Lineworker School

Spokane Community College and Avista Utilities have formed a unique partnership with the goal of introducing people to the demanding field of the lineworker. This introductory course is open to individuals interested in entry-level positions leading to career positions in the line craft.

Through classroom and field training, participants will be introduced to a variety of knowledge and skills which are essential to the trade.

The line construction school is held at Avista's training facility. The facility features three fully-equipped classrooms with an on-site shop that houses various types of equipment used for training seminars. The ten-acre line construction site is equipped with a variety of line construction set-ups designed to provide a high-quality training environment. Hundreds of apprentices and journey level workers from utilities and construction companies have benefited from our training facilities and programs.

Gainful Employment Disclosure

Participants will learn the skills and knowledge required of a line crew helper. They will learn to set and climb poles, install crossarms, hardware, line, and transformers. They will learn how to use various tools and equipment of the trade through actual field experience. Overhead and underground construction practices will also be taught along with associated subjects such as basic electricity, transformers, etc. Classroom training will cover safety, electrical theory, interviewing skills, and the importance of attitude and teamwork to succeeding in today's work environment. Participants will be exposed to classroom instruction along with physically demanding outdoor construction work in varying weather conditions. Students will be assigned to crews for the more demanding tasks and for actual crew experience. Safety and teamwork will be stressed throughout the course. Participants will be expected to become accustomed to heights while pole climbing and to complete a variety of tasks while on the pole. The typical day starts with three to four hours of classroom work such as safety briefings/tailboards, electrical theory, math, and interviewing skills. The rest of the day is spent in the training yard doing hands-on training.

The line construction trade requires an extreme physical fitness level, hard work, and commitment both mentally and physically. Students must be able to work under pressure and make quick, sound decisions. The trade sounds fun and looks cool, but it is extremely dangerous. Lineworkers put their lives and the lives of their coworkers on the line every day.


Attending and completing this program does not guarantee any type of employment, nor does it guarantee employment with Avista. For applicants who are willing and prepared to travel outside the Northwest, placement is good. Many construction line contractors and utilities hire our graduates throughout the country as entry-level ground worker or apprentice lineworker. We prepare our students with interviewing skills and numerous employer contacts.

Please note: You must be willing and prepare yourself to travel outside the Northwest for employment.

This program will assist you in obtaining a Class A CDL, First Aid/CPR card, Flagging Traffic Control card, and Forklift certification. These are NOT required for acceptance into the program.

This is NOT your typical college course. Students are expected to be in class every day just as they would be present at a job site. Tardiness and absenteeism are NOT tolerated. The class is very fast-paced, and missing one day or partial days puts a student too far behind in course work to catch up. Training is four months (78 days, 616 hours instruction time) divided into three steps. The course runs Monday through Friday, eight hours per day, with academic and skills training. Homework will be assigned. Testing and certifications may require some evening and/or weekend scheduling.

Browse additional programs in the CCS Online Catalog.

Scholarship Opportunity

Once students are accepted into the class, they can apply to be considered for the Bob Smith Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is a wonderful opportunity to receive extra money to attend school. Students receiving notice of acceptance into the program can obtain scholarship application forms and information from the CCS Foundation Scholarships website.

Tool and supply costs are in addition to the tuition fees. Climbing tools are available for purchase at registration. If you have your own climbing tools, they must be inspected by an instructor at registration to ensure they meet safety standards.

Information included here is subject to change without notice and does not constitute a contract between the college and the student.

If eligible, a 1098-T from CCS will be issued up to $1,984.50 for a Washington State Resident or $2,994.24 for a non-resident; this reflects SCC's portion of tuition and fees. For receipts of additional monies paid, please contact Avista.


Winter Quarter 2017
Washington state residents $8,800.00
Non-residents of state $9,250.00

Tools & Supplies

Note: Prices may vary.

Line boots $380.00
Climbers w/pads $300.00
4 D-Ring body belt $331.00
Belt tool pouch $34.00
Bolt bag $20.00
Safety strap (rental) $150.00
Gloves $10.00
Tool bag $59.00
Heel guard $27.00
Hard hat $20.00
Safety glasses $8.00
9" Klien pliers $36.00
12" adjustable wrench $24.00
9/16" x 3/4" speed wrench $14.00
Screwdriver $6.00
Hammer $32.00
Folding wood ruler $17.00
Assorted knives $21.00
Channel locks $11.00
Gaff guard $7.00
Total $1,507.00

Books & Miscellaneous Supplies

Note: Books are supplied during class but may need to be purchased.

Fundamentals of Electricity $165.00
Lineman's & Cableman's Handbook $95.00
Calculator w/square root function $15.00
Total $275.00

Additional Costs That May Be Incurred

Prices may vary.

Commercial Driver's License $2,100.00
DOT Physical $85.00
State Driver's Permit $40.00
State Driver's Test $250.00
State Written Test $35.00
New Driver's License $125.00
First Aid and CPR Certification No charge
Flagger (traffic control) Certification No charge
MVR $13.00
Total $2,548.00

Arrangements will be made by the line construction school for enrollment with Spokane Community College. Enrollment cannot be made with the college until accepted and arranged by the line construction school.

Full tuition payment is due at the time of registration - no exceptions. If you are receiving financial aid or any other type of funding, you will need to have an award letter from the funding agency stating the payment amounts and dates at registration. If you do not receive enough funding to pay all the tuition, you will need to pay the balance at the time of registration. Any financial aid received during the class will be paid entirely to Avista until the tuition due has been paid in full.

Students who withdraw from the program in accordance with withdrawal regulations will receive a refund according to the Spokane Community College refund schedule.

Financial Aid

Students seeking financial aid through SCC are encouraged to apply as early as possible. You can apply online at fafsa.ed.gov. An application takes approximately four weeks to process when submitted online, or approximately six weeks when submitted by mail. For questions regarding financial aid, please contact SCC's Financial Aid Office at (509) 533-7017.

Application Process

Admission Requirements

  • Be 18 years or older at the start of training
  • Have a valid driver's license without restrictions to obtain a CDL
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Meet or exceed the criteria for oral, written, mathematical, and physical requirements
  • Have verification of funding
  • Pass a drug screening
  • Meet SCC admission criteria

You must complete and submit the online application, schedule your math test and apply for admission to Spokane Community College by the deadline.

Financial Aid

Do you plan to receive financial aid benefits to attend Avista/SCC Lineworker School? If so, be sure to complete your FAFSA (Free Application For Student Aid) application as soon as possible. Helpful information and links can be found on the Financial Aid website.

Math Test and Interview with Avista

You must achieve a minimum of a certain score on the math test administered by Avista in order to continue with the application process. The math test will be given at the Avista Jack Stewart Training Center. Please consult our sample math test as a study guide. You may use a calculator when taking the test. Interviews will also be held at Avista's Jack Stewart Training Center for those successfully completing the math test. Someone will be available to schedule interviews after the test.

Acceptance into the Program

Acceptance into the Avista Pre-Apprenticeship program is not done on a first-come, first-served basis; rather it is based on a competitive list. Acceptance is based on the results of your math test and your interview with Avista. Avista will accept 25 to 40 students for each term out of approximately 100 to 150 applicants. Classes begin summer and winter quarters. Avista will notify each applicant of his/her acceptance into the program within five days of testing and interviewing.

Students accepted in the line construction course are required to pass a drug screen prior to the start of class and put in a random drug pool during class. Students who test positive or diluted are immediately removed from the class and will not be allowed to return. Students testing positive or diluted during class will not receive a tuition refund. If you cannot pass a drug screen, do not apply for this program.

Students are required to have a valid driver's license without restrictions to obtain a CDL. If you cannot obtain a CDL or have restrictions on your license, do not apply.

Avista Line Construction Important Dates
Date Information
February 9, 2018 If applying for financial aid, must have FAFSA completed online at fafsa.ed.gov, or mailed in.
January 9, 2018 Deadline for online applications
January 29, 30, 31 Avista math test at Avista Jack Stewart Training Center, 8307 N. Regal at 8:00 AM by arrangement
IF YOU PASS THE THE MATH TEST: Interviews at Avista's Jack Stewart Training Center by appointment.
January 31, 2018 All steps of the application process must be completed.
Final notice regarding acceptance into the program from Avista.
March 1, 2018 Registration at Jack Stewart Training Center, 1:00-5:00 PM
April 2, 2018 First day of class
July 18, 2018 Last day of class

How do I apply to the program? (Click to open)

You may apply online on this site. Be sure to select which day you want to take the math test. A confirmation for the math test and a map to the Avista training facility will be mailed to you ten days before testing.

If I apply by the deadline, will I be accepted into the class?

Not necessarily. Acceptance is based on the results of your math test and your interview with Avista. Avista will select 25 to 40 students for each class out of 100 to 150 applicants.

If I am not accepted in the class, can I apply again?

Absolutely! Passing math scores are good for two years. You will need to interview again.

Do I get paid while in class? Am I considered an employee of Avista?

No, unfortunately this is not paid training; you attend class and look for employment when finished. Employment is not guaranteed upon completing the program. Avista only hires from the class when they have job openings. Do NOT count on employment with Avista. Employment opportunities for graduates who are willing and prepared to travel outside the Northwest have a greater chance of starting into a line apprenticeship. Local employment opportunities are not as common, though such opportunities do arise as budgets and attrition allow.

Will I get help finding a job during class?

Employment preparation is a part of the class. Students learn how to create a resume and practice interviewing skills. Avista does have employers that hire from the class and keep a job board up-to-date with any openings of which they are aware. It is the students' responsibility to "hustle" their own jobs.

What are the starting wages upon completing the class?

Wages vary throughout the country, but the starting average is $19 to $24 per hour.

Do I need a driver's license to apply?

Yes, you need a current, valid driver's license without restrictions to obtain a CDL, Class A. If you're unsure whether you have restrictions, contact the Department of Licensing.

What time are the classes, and what happens if I miss class?

Class is held Monday through Friday from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM. Unexcused absences and tardiness are not tolerated. You are expected to be in class every day, on time, and ready to learn. We treat this as if it were a job.

Can I purchase tools outside of Avista before school starts? If I have my own tools, can I use them during class?

Tools are offered at a discount from supporting vendors at the time of registration. You can usually get a better price there. Proper body belt sizing and fitting are very important and are done at registration. Any tools or climbing gear not purchased at registration will have to be inspected to ensure that it meets Avista's safety standards.

Will financial aid cover my tuition?

Probably not fully. Financial Aid is awarded based on several factors. It is important you fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as soon as possible. You can apply at fafsa.ed.gov. Be sure to use school code 003793. You may need to apply for student loans to help cover the tuition costs. See the financial aid section of this site to get started applying for financial aid.

When should I apply for admission to SCC?

You should apply for admission to SCC when you apply for the program and schedule your math test. All students applying for the line construction program will need to make application to Spokane Community College. If you are a new student (have never attended SCC or SFCC credit classes), you will also need to pay the $25 application fee. If you are a former student, no fee is required.

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Avista/SCC Lineworker School