Tower climbing is one of the few remaining fields that seems to be over 95% male dominated. While rare, female tower climbers are not unheard of. In 2005, the US saw less than a dozen female tower climbers, the numbers aren’t much higher almost a decade later.
Unlike the majority of the jobs in the US, the difference in pay between gender is relatively low. Meaning that instead of making $.75 on the dollar compared to men, women in this field can expect a competitive salary. Physical demands can be over come the same way men overcome them… working out. Some employers have even commented that female tower climbers tend to be more organized and more likely to follow the rules than their male co-workers.
Since not all companies provide on the job training, it can be worth the time to research outside schools and training programs. Even if the company you currently work for offers training, improvement of your skills is never a bad thing. Many colleges offer beneficial courses, such as, fall protection, climbing techniques, etc… But to really get the best training, try the places below where your safety is important.
Best Tower Climbing Schools
Preparing for a new career in tower climbing can be exhilarating and exciting, after all, it pays well and there is something about being 1000 feet up in the air that gives a person a whole new perspective on things. It is often said that the first couple of climbs are the toughest. Even experienced rock climbers will feel the burn in a whole new set of muscles. The varying temperatures can also wreak havoc on and ill prepared body. There are some tips and exercises that can prepare you for that infamous “first day.”
TOWER CLIMBING AND RESCUE: NATE CERTIFICATION
VSI Tower Climbing & Tower Rescue Authorized Climber
VSI’s training programs have been developed in accordance with the guidelines set by the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) Tower Climber Fall Protection Training Standard.
Authorized Climber Certification
Our training programs have been designed to ensure that the student understands the proper techniques and practices to safely work at heights. By its very nature, this type training can be hazardous. VSI promises to ensure your safety is never compromised during training. In return, we expect that students show up for training ready, both mentally and physically, to learn. Adequate rest is important on the days we are training, and we expect students to be on time, each day. This module will introduce the student to the world of fall protection. The student will also receive an introduction to the training program, the instructor, and their training provider, Vertical Systems International Inc.
Tower climbers rarely get the credit for bravery that firefighters, police officers, and US troops fighting wars do. It takes strength, finesse, guts, and perseverance to climb towers everyday, sometimes 60 hours per week, in every condition known to man. Those who choose the profession aren’t in it for the glory, the recognition, or the fame. Those who become tower climbers get a good salary, but there is a fearlessness that can’t be taught.
There are many things that those outside of the field don’t know about tower climbers.
There has been a push in the country lately to give jobs to veterans of the military. The tower climbing industry is no different. In November of 2013, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, along with many privately held telecommunication companies, joined forces to create the program “Warriors 4 Wireless.” The purpose of this nonprofit program is to connect former military members to jobs in the telecommunications industry. This program will ideally create 5,000 jobs specifically for veterans by 2015.
One main reason that so many industries like to hire veterans is to show their patriotism. There are additional benefits though. Soldiers are well adept at taking and following orders, from day one of boot camp they have been taught to follow the words, learned from experience, of those who have been enlisted longer than they have. Many new hires straight out of college are cocky and refuse to listen to the experience of others. On a job where you are 500 feet up in the air, this is dangerous for everyone on a crew.
Where safety is concerned, no price is too high, but what equipment is really needed? What can you wait on and the biggest question of all, how much will it cost? A lot of companies will either supply the equipment you need to get started or take care of it for you. Some places though, may require you to purchase your own equipment, then reimburse you or it will come off as a tax write-off (yeah business expenses).
Safety Harness – Arguably the most important piece of equipment for any tower climber, especially a newbie. These come in a wide variety of styles and are made from several different materials, many are equipped with added padding for comfort, different colors for safety (or style) and even built in tool belts.
The least expensive one that was found on an internet search starts at $283.00, not including tax or shipping. From there, they average seems to be $300-450.00. One deluxe model runs just above $600 and is made of a lightweight aluminum, with six adjustable straps for an amazing fit. It also has quick lock closures and back support.
The life of a tower climber is not one for many. It is a highly specialized occupation that requires focus and precision.
What if you had the kind of job where you had to climb thousand foot structures on a daily basis for major cell phone carriers that care more about money than they do about your well being? Instead of being in the trenches with the thousands of tower climbers, these corporate professionals can more likely be found in the board room or on a corporate jet totally detached from the realities of the industrial hazards and pressures.
I think time is the worst factor because it wears down the mind in an insidious manner. Work environments vary and all are extreme. There are many factors at play that when all combined could result in a catastrophic injury. Workers climb on a daily basis so they are very confident about doing their job, which could lead to a serious lack of judgment that could result in fatalities.
There are different ways of getting a job as a tower climber. But one method that has stood the test of time is that of using a staffing agency. Different agencies offer different services. There are many tower climber agencies out there that you can start with. But before that, it is important to note some of the benefits a person would get from using an agency rather going alone to look for a job. Tower Climber agencies specialize in providing industry specific data, statistics, news and important updates.
● Saves Time
“Time is money” is a familiar saying. This keeps many of us running against time to try to reach our goals. Have you ever asked yourself how much time you consume visiting different sites to seek a job? Agencies are making things simpler for you to locate that perfect job and eliminate the wasteful tasks. For instance, there is no need to travel to different destinations to find that job. Instead, a smarter way is to subscribe to an agency, sit back and wait for a call.
With so many companies to work for, there is a lot to think about when applying. Larger companies are more likely to have benefits and relocation potential. It can however, be harder to move up in a larger company.
Crown Castle- In 1994, Crown Castle started with just over 100 tower in Southwest Texas. Today they own over 22,000 towers in the United States and 1,600 in Australia. They have been able to rise up through technological advancements and innovations. Their tower tenants include most of the major wireless carriers.
American Tower – Though the corporate office is in the United States, American Tower has almost 15,000 towers all over the world. The have locations in Peru, Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Germany, India, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico. The have over 2,800 employees.
SBA Communications- By striving to build better communications, as their motto says, they have reached nearly 15,000 towers. The specialize in vertical growth, utilizing rooftop towers, as well as, traditional towers. They are one of the preferred companies to work with for those in the wireless communication indusry.