The Guide To Getting Qualified as a Rope Access TechnicianRope Access USA
So you want to break into the rope access industry in North America and work as a rope access technician? Is being paid to climb is a dream come true for you? The industry has never grown quicker than it is right now so that dream can be a reality.
Rope Access USA can help you every step of the way in Getting Qualified as a Rope Access Technician, starting right here.
The Rope Access Industry
There are several bodies that exist to standardize and govern the rope access industry. However, if you’re based in the United States then there are two that really apply to you. The first is the International Rope Access and Trade Association (IRATA) which is based in the United Kingdom but generally accepted worldwide both onshore and off. The second being the Society for Professional Rope Access Technicians (SPRAT), a US based organization and is primarily used in North America.
Both organizations have their own tests and assessments to become a qualified rope access technician and both have three levels of aptitude:
- 1 – a rope access technician working under supervision, not usually responsible for rigging and works under supervision of a Level 3.
- 2 – can set up rigging and perform rescues, works under less supervision
- 3 – overall responsibility for site and safety, highly technical and skilled at advanced rescues or rigging
To be a rope access technician you’ll need to have a decent level of physical fitness. If you’re already a climber this won’t be a problem but if not, a few pull-ups and push-ups wont hurt! (ok they might hurt but only for the first couple hundred).
Rope Access Technician Training
You can practice your knots before you even book a training course. Just get some rope, look up some of our training videos and get practising these:
- Figure of Eight
- Double Figure of Eight on the bight
- Barrel knot
- Overhand knot
- Alpine butterfly
Get in touch with a training centre and book your course.
The courses are a mixture of classroom and practical work in a training environment. There is a lot to get through but your trainers will take you carefully through each competency and you’ll be reviewed regularly.
It pays to ask questions if you’re not sure about something. If you don’t speak up you’ll wish you did come assessment day!
Rope Access Assessment
The assessment will be conducted by a SPRAT or IRATA assessor qualified at level 3 and with a wealth of experience. These guys generally have an encyclopedic knowledge of ropes and safety. They want you to be safe on the work site, (deaths look very bad for everyone in the industry after all) so they won’t take any BS or excuses but they will impart their wisdom quite gladly.
You mustn’t feel under pressure. There is no urgency and you won’t be asked to do anything you’ve not done in training. Usually only one assessor will be overseeing proceedings and he/she has to keep an eye on all of the technicians at the same time, the consensus among experienced rope techs is to not bring any unnecessary attention to yourself. So even if you think you have a certain manoeuvre covered there is no need to rush.
Take your time, listen to the assessor and don’t panic. If you feel you’re getting in a bit of a flap, just take a moment to chill, run through what you’re doing and move on when you’re ready.
Now you have your ticket a whole new industry is open to you. Get in touch with companies from our directory (the most complete rope access directory in North America). Build up your contacts and get your resume out there (use our service for a killer-resume).
The Rope access industry in the US is undergoing huge growth which is set to continue for years to come. Getting in now is a sure-fire way to a long and prosperous career.