Is your current job boring and monotonous? Are you looking for a job change to add a thrill to your life? Are you looking for excitement while you earn? Then why not become a rope access specialist? With a number of job opportunities for adventure enthusiasts, becoming a rope access specialist is one of the most premium jobs which you can consider.
What Does The Job Entail?
The services of rope access specialists are sought in specialized fields where reaching great heights is not possible through the staircase or ladders and even through cranes. The tasks may include window cleaning systems for high rise buildings or maintenance, inspection and repair of infrastructure such as dams, bridges or power plants, which can be accessed only by ropes. A rope access specialist will be entrusted with the not-so-convenient job of performing tasks which require wearing a harness and being suspended at great heights through ropes which connect the harness to the anchorage.
Prequalification Or Interest: Is This The Right Job For You??
- If you fall in the category of persons who have interest in activities such as rock climbing, mountaineering or caving you might naturally be attracted towards this profession. This is because you may find thrill and adventure at great heights and have already overcome acrophobia or vertigo.
- A person who enjoys working outdoors rather than a comfortable air-conditioned office cubicle environment would love to do this kind of job.
- You may be ready to take up tasks and challenges rather than routine desk jobs. The work of a rope access specialist is task oriented and not mundane.
- The work/tasks are generally at sites situated at remote locations. So, if fixed working hours or a routine job is not your cup of tea, then the job of a rope access specialist offers you travel opportunities to explore new places and areas.
- Patience, observation, good communication and perfect hand-eye coordination are the prequalification, if you are aiming to become a rope access specialist.
Training: There are institutes which impart training for a rope access specialist. Training may include rigging (tying and untying of ropes, cables and chains), rope knotting, assessing great heights with proper dexterity. Practical training and exercises are a vital part of training to give a feel of on-site tasks which you may be facing in the future. Training is done at three levels. After the completion of the training, you are required to pass an interview and skill test. An assessor will visit and judge your performance. You will be asked questions and may be given few on hand tasks/situations to work on. You are allowed to commit up to two minor faults/discrepancies. If that number exceeds three then your attempt is considered as failed. The principle of “safety is the key” is followed rigorously.
The certification has to be renewed after every three years.
After passing the training test at each level, you shall qualify to become a rope access specialist at different levels.
- Level One: It is the basic operator level, operating mainly the rigging. Here the tasks are performed under the expert supervision of a level three technician.
- Level Two: It involves rigorous training and taking up more specialized and difficult task of working at great heights.
- Level Three: Technicians at this level are in high demand. Planning, instructing and supervision of the team of rope access personnel along with other specific jobs are their function. It is a highly responsible job to check and maintain levels of safety and avoid any contingency. Even a minor slip/fault in planning and execution could be fatal.
Certification: There are internationally acclaimed agencies which provide certification. They aim to standardize and develop rope access works around the world.
IRATA International Rope Access Trade Association or Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT), ARAA (Australian Rope Access Association), FISAT (The German Association for Rope Access), PRAT (Professional Rope Access Technician), EPCRA (European Professional Certificate for Rope Access Technicians) are few companies which can be referred to become a certified rope access specialist.
Career as a rope access specialist is courageous and exhilarating, but also has its inherent threats. A little safety negligence can be mortal. But only when you dare to be different, can you reach extraordinary heights.