Top Image for Article: How to Become a Certified Tower Climber

How to Become a Certified Tower Climber

How to Become a Certified Tower Climber

Tower climbers are professional technicians who perform inspections, maintenance and repair work on guyed, monopole and self-supporting towers and other tower systems. There are several types of tower climber jobs, such as working on broadcast (television), radio towers, wireless internet service providers (WISP) or cell phone and microwave relay towers.

What Do Tower Climbers Do?

Tower climbers perform installation, regular inspections / tests, and maintenance of antennas or other transmitter systems. The climbing component is only one aspect of the job. A professional tower climber is expected to be skilled in communications technology, cable splicing and more. Tower climbers for cell phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon should also know the industry standard wiring methods for equipment.

Some tower climber jobs involve lifting and hauling heavy objects and tools up to the proper installation height on the tower. Those specialized tower climbers are known as riggers.

Tower Climber Training and Certification

As tower climbing jobs entail at-height risks, proper training programs and compliance with OSHA regulations are required by tower companies. These skills can be learned through, basic Competent Climber (Fall Protection) training, Advanced Tower Climber (Fall Protection) Training, Climber Rescue, EME (RF) Awareness, CPR, Emergency Planning, and more.

If you are new to the industry, then getting certified as a basic Competent Climber can be a great step to take as it not only provides fundamental knowledge / techniques, but also shows initiative and a commitment to working in this industry. Keep in mind that, although the skills learned are portable, the certification generally is not, contact one of our expert training advisors to learn more.

Unlike most Competent Tower Climbing Training that lasts two days, Safety One Training provides the option to get certified by the industry leading experts in only ONE day. So check us out if you are planning on getting certification (or getting re-certified) in the near future.

 What to Expect as a Tower Climber?

Outdoor Environment
Many tower climbers have a background in rock climbing and enjoy working outdoors. These traits are essential as your job is often 200 to 500 feet above the ground when in the field, and you will face all kinds of weather, including rain, snow, wind and extreme temperatures.

Frequent Traveling Schedule
Travel is often a big component of a tower climber job. Here is a rough breakdown of travel percentage between different types of tower jobs:

  1. 80% of travel anticipated, if you work for a carrier
  2. 50% of travel anticipated, if you work on broadcast towers
  3. 20% of travel anticipated, if you do local maintenance and repair

 

Good Physical Condition
Although tower climbers do not need to look like Arnold Schwarzenegger, you must be in good physical condition. The nature of tower climbing is tough to begin with. Tower technicians work at height for hours at a time and must have the strength and energy to make it safely back to the ground when the work is finished. Don’t forget, the equipment needed to complete a job must be brought to the site, either on the climber’s harness or through various hoisting options – this equipment can add 100 pounds or more to the load.

Safety Equipment and Climbing Gear
OSHA regulations require employers to provide personal protection equipment (PPE), which includes safety harnesses, helmet/hard hat, ropes, and other equipment for climbing the tower safely. All tower climbers must undergo training to learn safe climbing / controlled descent practices, as well as skills / knowledge to deal with emergency and / or rescue situations, as a fall from a tower can result in significant injury and even death.

Enjoy the View on Top of the Towers
One of the best perks, according to many elite tower climbers, is the breathtaking view from the top and the satisfaction of a job well done. Below are just a few examples of the gravity-defying photos taken on top of towers:

“In some ways, climbing in the clouds is comforting. You can no longer see how high off the ground you are.”
52 Comments
  • Michael Wayne Dorough
    Posted at 10:32h, 09 November Reply

    Hi, I’m interested in becoming a tower climber. I’m currently a wildland firefighter with the US Forest Service and spent nine years in the Army prior. I’m in good physical condition and am looking for a rewarding career. Any info on how to get started in this career would be greatly appreciated.

    Mike

  • Camaron Kosachuk
    Posted at 08:39h, 26 October Reply

    I’ve been in Construction for 2 years now and also work at UPS as a preloaded in the morning. While also working at my family business that I’ve been working for the past 10 years. I need a change in pace and wandered about tower technicians and how to become certified so that I can get into a company.

    • Ty
      Posted at 13:41h, 26 October Reply

      Hi Camaron,

      Tower work can be a challenging and rewarding career path for many! We recommend you check out the job postings on wirelessestimator.com. From our experience most employers provide training and certification of some sort with all new hires. If you’re coming into the line without any at-height experience plan to start working on the ground to learn about equipment and the industry. From there you’ll find openings to start working, or assisting crews at height. Good luck with your future career!

      Stay Safe!

  • Joshua M
    Posted at 19:50h, 16 October Reply

    would it be difficult to start your own business to just changing lights on towers ?

    • Ty
      Posted at 07:16h, 17 October Reply

      Hi Josh,

      It would be similar to starting any other business! Although it sounds simple on the surface tower owners generally require crews with specific certifications including; climbing, safety and rescue, first-aid, various insurance policies, etc. Not to mention the equipment required to remain safe and compliant while working. Your best bet is to start climbing towers professionally – check out wirelessestimator.com to find local postings and take it from there!

      Stay Safe!

  • Jalin Jolie Carraway
    Posted at 07:32h, 24 September Reply

    Hey, I am 15 years old. I’ve had a love for this work since I was a little kid. My daddy started doing it when he was 17 or 18. Although times has changed I would like to start learning more and more about tower climbing. My dad stopped working on towers 2 years ago so he could stay home with the family more. I would like to start getting some experience as soon as possible. I just have no idea where to start or how.

    • Ty
      Posted at 13:24h, 24 September Reply

      Hi Jalin,

      We recommend folks interested in tower climbing check out wirelessestimator.com for relevant news, updates and a general understanding of the industry. Alternatively, talk with people you know who have worked (or work) in the tower industry about their experience. Also, NATE, the National Association of Tower Erectors has an interesting youtube channel that details a little about what workers experience on the regular. When you’re ready to make the move look for local tower companies to see if they’re hiring ground or warehouse positions and go from there. We look forward to seeing you in class some day!

      Stay Safe,

    • Jeff
      Posted at 18:08h, 08 October Reply

      Jalin,

      If you arent already doing so, get involved with a local rock climbing club.

  • Tyler A Reece
    Posted at 15:00h, 21 September Reply

    Looking to get certifited

    • Ty
      Posted at 10:04h, 24 September Reply

      Hi Tyler – the process to become a certified climber is actually quite easy. We host classes nation wide, you simply need to enroll in one of those or attend a class at our Littelon, CO facility. One of our Client Advisors will be in touch with you shortly to discuss options.

      Stay Safe,

  • Tom
    Posted at 22:20h, 26 August Reply

    I currently work in the Production industry. Rigging for concerts and Steel builds. How could 8 transition into this field?

    • Ty
      Posted at 08:00h, 27 August Reply

      Hi Tom – Great question! We recommend searching for jobs posted on wirelessestimator.com. One of our Client Advisors will be in contact with additional information.

      Stay Safe,

      Ty

  • Kevin keenan
    Posted at 17:50h, 21 August Reply

    I am a drone pilot looking to add tower inspections to my services. If that is all I intend to do is drone and physical tower inspections, where should I start

    • Ty
      Posted at 15:44h, 22 August Reply

      Hi Kevin,

      Excellent questions, we’ll be in touch with you soon to learn more about what you’re looking to accomplish.

      Stay Safe,

  • Mike Kirk
    Posted at 22:09h, 14 August Reply

    Hi I’m looking to get into the Tower Climbing Industry. I have a huge passion for Rock Climbing and wanna make a living climbing. Do companies hire and help pay for certification and help with gear costs? If so where is a good place to look for that

    • Ty
      Posted at 09:35h, 15 August Reply

      Hi Mike,

      Most employers will provide training (often through Safety One) and equipment when they’ve determined you’re ready to climb. Its not uncommon for new employees to spend a period of time working on the ground before they’re allowed in the air. We look forward to working with you in the future!

      Stay Safe,

      Ty

  • Jason Sroufe
    Posted at 16:00h, 16 July Reply

    Are there any classes near Memphis TN

    • Ty
      Posted at 08:01h, 17 July Reply

      Hi Jason,

      We host classes across the country (and internationally). One of our client advisors will be in contact with specific details soon.

      Stay Safe,

      Ty

  • Andrew James Beasley
    Posted at 02:29h, 10 June Reply

    can a tower climber be red/green colorblind??

    • Ty
      Posted at 15:23h, 11 June Reply

      Good Day Andrew,

      Generally speaking, folks who are colorblind are able to work on most towers or similar structures ultimately its up to the climber, and the employer, to ensure the individual climber is up to the task.

      Stay Safe,

      • Andrew James Beasley
        Posted at 00:22h, 17 June Reply

        sweet thank you. do you have any classes near tampa FL? if so once I get certified would this mean I’m qualified enough to get my foot in the door for a job?

  • Matthew Padin
    Posted at 12:15h, 05 June Reply

    I would love to take your class on becoming a certified tower climber. Can you please send me some details on the course and pricing so I can pass onto my boss. Thank you. -Matthew Padin

    • Ty
      Posted at 10:15h, 06 June Reply

      Hi Matthew,

      One of our Client Advisors will be in touch with you soon regarding the details.

      Stay Safe!

  • Plinio Orellana
    Posted at 09:41h, 04 June Reply

    I want information about the tower climbing course

    • Ty
      Posted at 11:13h, 04 June Reply

      Greetings Plinio,

      One of our Client Advisors will be in touch with you soon or drop us a line at 1.800.485.7669 or send us an email at [email protected] if you have any specific questions.

      Stay Safe,

  • Rocky Taylor
    Posted at 14:32h, 09 May Reply

    Hello my name is Rocky

    I have been looking at becoming a tower technician for a bit now but have had no luck. All the job posting I am seeing want you to have experiences. How can I get my foot in the door for this career path?

    Thank you

    • Ty
      Posted at 08:28h, 11 May Reply

      Hi Rocky – as with most jobs it can be tricky to jump into your ideal role. Many of the climbers we work with have a background in various construction disciplines or start by working in the warehouse and move to “ground work”. Also, working with the components in warehouse or on the ground helps make sense of the entire tower construction/improvement process and will give you a leg up later.

      Best of luck on your new career!

      Stay Safe,

  • Josie B.
    Posted at 10:48h, 05 April Reply

    I’m a little overweight & in my mid 40’s….would this be a job I can do?
    I’m looking for something out of the ordinary but something I will enjoy

    • Ty
      Posted at 08:16h, 09 April Reply

      Hi Josie,

      Thank you for your question! There are plenty of tower climbers in a similar situation to yours, we recommend checking out the job boards at http://www.wirelessestimator.com to find local job openings and to meet local tower workers. Perhaps they would be willing and able to guide you in your tower climbing path.

      Stay Safe,

  • NICHOLAS MANKIN
    Posted at 00:08h, 04 April Reply

    HI MY NAME IS NICK, JUST LOOKING FOR CAREERS IN THIS TYPE OF FIELD. HAVE BEEN IN THE MILITARY FOR ABOUT 8 YEARS AND IM CURRENTLY DEPLOYED AT THE MOMENT. HOW CAN I GET CERTIFIED TO BE ABLE TO DO THIS…ALSO DO THESE COMPANIES SUPPORT VETERANS. WHAT IS THE HIRING PROCESS. AND DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING BACK EAST, OHIO, PA, ECT.

    • Ty
      Posted at 07:43h, 04 April Reply

      Hey Nick – first, thank you for your service!

      We recommend the job boards on wirelessestimator.com as a resource for finding open positions. We certainly have classes across the United States. One of our Client Advisors will be in touch with specifics.

      Stay Safe,

  • Damien brown
    Posted at 22:23h, 22 March Reply

    I was working this kind of job and had to quit cause I wasn’t certified and have been trying to find out how to do it please let me know what I have to do to be certified I loved this job

    • Ty
      Posted at 10:17h, 26 March Reply

      Hi Damien,

      We can certainly get you certified – one of our Client Advisors will be in touch soon!

      Stay Safe,

      Ty

  • Raymond Berroa
    Posted at 02:53h, 20 March Reply

    Hello im very curious about this career and would like information about it. Im 25 and in good shape and i have been working as a security Officer for 5 years. Im currently in college working on getting my A.A . I also love heights .

    • Ty
      Posted at 09:44h, 20 March Reply

      Hey Raymond! Thanks for reaching out, we recommend checking the job postings page of http://wirelessestimator.com/ for local openings. One of our Client Advisors will be in touch with you soon!

      Stay Safe,

      Ty

  • Stephen Blankenship
    Posted at 08:58h, 21 February Reply

    Hello, I am very interested in working as a climber. I am 21 years old, in good physical shape, and am transitioning from the military this summer.

    • Ty
      Posted at 07:09h, 22 February Reply

      Hi Stephen,

      One of our Client Advisors will be in touch with you soon!

      Stay Safe!

  • Greg McDonald
    Posted at 17:26h, 03 February Reply

    Hi my name is Greg and I would like to become a tower climber. Please give me the information that I need to get started.

    • Ty
      Posted at 12:22h, 05 February Reply

      Hi Greg,

      We recommend you check wirelessestimator.com for job openings around the country. In the mean time one of our staff will be in contact. Feel free to give us a call should you have any questions! 1.800.485.7669.

      Stay Safe,

  • Adam Pumphrey
    Posted at 11:21h, 23 January Reply

    I have a background in wall climbing a d rock climbing and would love to get into this profession. What can I do to get my certifications to climb towers and where can I find job listings?

    • Ty
      Posted at 15:39h, 23 January Reply

      Afternoon Adam,

      Thanks for checking. We offer certifications in climbing, rescue and other related topics. One of our training coordinators will be in touch with you soon. We recommend http://www.wirelessestimator.com for job listings.

      Stay Safe,

  • Elliot Hauber
    Posted at 14:52h, 14 January Reply

    I love the adrenaline rush of heights, as well as the aspect of climbing to maintain towers. I have been looking into this career for a while. No experience in the field but would love to learn! It’d be great to speak with a representative!

    • Ty
      Posted at 12:14h, 15 January Reply

      Hi Elliot,

      Thanks for reaching out, we’ll be in touch with you soon. If you prefer feel free to give us a call at 1.800.485.7669

  • Livad Ivan
    Posted at 19:16h, 10 January Reply

    I ve always been interested in joining a company thats willing to train some one without experience. I live in irving tx.

  • Jeffrey W. Howell
    Posted at 21:28h, 25 December Reply

    I’m interested in climbing and joining a team to where I can be part of the stratosphere of earth and hopefully make a career out of it. Please feel free to give me a call/email on how to get started today. I have 15+ construction years of experience and is very interested.

    • Ty
      Posted at 13:21h, 03 January Reply

      Hi Jeffery,

      Thanks for your comment, one of our staff will be in contact with you shortly!

      Stay Safe,

      Ty

  • joshua johnson
    Posted at 08:51h, 11 December Reply

    what do i need to do to get 2 climbers certs for cell towers

    • Ty
      Posted at 11:11h, 11 December Reply

      Hi Joshua,

      Thank you for your comment. Please give one of our Client Advisors a call at 1-800-485-7669 or shoot us an email at [email protected], we are happy to find the right class for your climbers!

      Stay Safe,

      The Safety One Team

  • Matthew Reynolds
    Posted at 18:05h, 12 September Reply

    Wanting to become a light changer for towers. How to I get started or pointed in the right direction?
    Thanks Matthew

    • Ty
      Posted at 08:23h, 13 September Reply

      Hi Matthew,

      Thanks for reaching out! There are many great industry resources, we recommend you start by checking out the “job boards” at WireessEstimator.com you can search for open positions or post a position you’re interested in. Also, check out InsideTowers.com. Naturally, there are many other industry resources but both of these are a great place to start.

      If you want to “get your feet wet” and see what climbing is all about give us a call at 800.485.7669 or shoot us an email, we’re happy to help!

      Stay Safe!

      Ty

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