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How Do I Become a Tower Climber?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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In order for you to become a tower climber, you must posses more skills than a simple lack of fear. Working at heights is a major factor if you want to work as a tower climber, however, you must also be able to work with electronic components, repair and splice antenna wire and cables and diagnose problems with malfunctioning equipment. Most companies that employ tower climbers require a applicant to complete a tower climbing course. The classes can take from one to several days to complete and focus on not only climbing techniques, but safety procedures, including rescue methods for fellow stranded or injured climbers.

With the use of wireless electronic devises continuing to rise, the need for tower climbers is also on the increase. The task of climbing a very tall radio tower is not for everyone; however, if you wish to become a tower climber, there are some requirements which typically need to be met. Enrolling in and successfully completing an electronics course is a must. The reason for climbing most towers is to repair or install an electronic device of some kind. Having the basic knowledge of electronics is a skill that will often go far towards achieving your tower-climbing goal.

Physical conditioning is also a must if you really want to become a tower climber. Some towers require the climber to spend several hours simply climbing and descending the tower. If you are not in peak physical condition, you may be seen as a liability instead of a resource to a tower service and you could be passed over for a position. You should also attend, at the very least, a two-year college to demonstrate your mental abilities. Classes that will aid in deciphering blue prints and schematics may help to prove you are one of the most capable candidates applying to join a company as a tower climber.

You may want to ask to apprentice with a smaller cable or cell tower provider to get a small taste of tower climbing prior to applying to a climbing school. This may go a long way towards verifying your ability to climb and work at heights to a prospective tower climbing employer. One of the most important things that you can do to assist in your goal to become a tower climber is to enroll in and complete a tower climbing course. These are often offered by the same companies that hire the tower climbers and maintain towers.

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Discussion Comments
By anon983526 — On Dec 30, 2014

Nope, pay is crap, you are treated like crap and you don't have a life outside of towers. I do not recommend anybody joining the career industry.

By Fa5t3r — On Jul 18, 2013

@pleonasm - I'm sure there have been a lot of studies done on this, and I've never heard that cancer rates go up in areas that have towers of any kind, whether for electricity or for cell phones.

And they've been all over the world for a while now, so you'd think someone would have noticed a pattern. It's possible that your friend's workplace simply happened to get a few people with cancer, or it might be that some other kind of environmental condition contributed to it. If I was really worried I'd look closely at the data surrounding actual tower climbers, since they would be the ones who were actually exposed the most.

By pleonasm — On Jul 18, 2013

@Ana1234 - I actually quite like heights, but I would still never do this job. I know that they are generally considered to be safe, but I don't trust those pylons at all and I wouldn't want to work near them all day and every day.

I had a friend who worked for a company that was close to some of those towers and he told me that a really high percentage of his workmates have turned out to have cancer over the last few years. More than one of them has had brain cancer, in fact, as well as other kinds of cancer.

He doesn't know for sure, of course, but he told me he suspects it's largely to do with the pylons. I don't know if they wear protective gear or what up there, but I don't think I'd feel safe.

By Ana1234 — On Jul 17, 2013

I could never do this. I'm just way too afraid of heights. It seems like it would be a pretty good job as well, since you'd be working outside and still doing something pretty technical. I'll bet it pays a fair amount as well.

But I'd rather work in a supermarket or something with my feet on the ground, than make a living clambering into the air.

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