When people hear the term tower climber, their minds fill with an image of thrill seekers, dangling 1,500 feet in the air, and they get a very glamorous image. There are many other qualities besides not having a fear of heights that makes a good tower climber.
The average tower is 200′-1500′ in the air. This goes beyond a fear of heights. The whole world is different that high up in the air. There has to be an ability to handle the pressure and the potential danger. It is not an amazing view that has these men (and women) up there. They are there to do a job that nobody else can or is willing to do.
Tower dawgs need to know the ins-and-outs of both computer and electrical systems. It is not the kind of job where someone wakes up and says “I like adrenaline, I think I’ll be a tower climber.” There is some serious education that must be completed for someone to be certified and qualified to climb a tower.
A wide range of skills must be possessed by each tower climbers. Some of the time they will be climbing up just to change a light bulb out. Other times they may be required to replace integral systems which aid in the tower function.
There are times when a tower is not operational and no one is quite sure why. The job of the climber then becomes to test the systems functions, one-by-one until they find the source. The tower may require new lines to be fed, antennae to be replaced, fuses to be changed, and rust to be removed.
A specialty exists within the tower climbing field, that is of someone who can both weld and climb. The general public does not usually think about it, but towers are metal and someone has to put them together. When towers are constructed they are put together from the ground up and tower climbers are there, during every step. Good eye-hand coordination is important for more than just the climb. All of the meticulous details that tower dawgs see to requires them to be very precise.
Tower climbers do get paid fairly well, but the job requires some out of pocket expenses that most don’t think about. Believe it or not, getting life insurance in a field known as the most dangerous occupation in the world is neither easy nor cheap. Health insurance on the other hand is relatively inexpensive. The health insurance companies figure that if a tower climber is injured at work, there is a good chance they wont make it to the hospital. It is tragic but true.
Since so much travel may be required for tower climbers, the whole dynamic of the home life can be disrupted. Being away from children, a wife, girlfriend, and pets can really wear thin after a while. The men who do this job sacrifice much for their careers, but many will tell you, they would never want to do anything else.