If you enjoy hanging out and working with your hands, take a look at a day in the life of a rope access technician. You’ll find them in their natural habitat swinging courageously from tall buildings (a bit like Tarzan).
Ever seen people cleaning the windows of tall buildings ON THE OUTSIDE and nearly had a heart attack just thinking about doing that? Well, here we met up with one of those crazies. He now owns his own business in rope access. Yes, he himself does it and he pays people to hang from really tall buildings or billboards to put signs up. Sound like your kind of adrenalin pump? Well, let Josh Otto enlighten you about the world of just hanging in there. As he likes to say… it’s the best.
How do you spend your days? Having your own business and all.
|Time of Day||Activity||Comments|
|07:00||Wake up||Coffee asap.|
|08:00||Leave home||I would leave later but my partner won’t let me.|
|09:00||Arrive on site||Sites are numerous and there always seems to be an issue. It’s the best|
|14:00||Lunch||This is a big hope. An hour lunch is a luxury for me, so it’s usually just 10 minutes max.|
|15:00||Back to work||The best.|
|18:00||Leave site||Traffic is my pet peeve. This is a bittersweet time for me.|
|20:00||Admin||As the owner of my own company, there is always an email or 38 to send out.|
|20:30||Love wife||I love her always, but the designated time slot makes me look like I know what I’m doing.|
|21:20||Watch series online/continue loving wife.||Not necessarily just series, but I’m usually too lazy to expend energy on anything else.|
|23:00||Wife is asleep||I stay up and use the Internet. Usually YouTube and play games.|
What do you enjoy MOST about your job?
Just hanging around. There are always new sites and challenges so its never the same old boring office.
What do you enjoy LEAST about your job?
It gets really hot out there. If you want a fine, muscley body then the physical strain will definitely get that going for you.
Is there a qualification required to perform this job? Where and what did you study?
Yes, IRATA Rope Access course at Ropeworx. I just did level one of rope access. There are many more levels which would increase your expertise and pay.
Is there any training provided by the organization once you come on board?
No, they don’t train the people. You have to do the course first.
What type of person would be well suited to this job?
A hard-working person and someone who makes a plan. You should also enjoy problem-solving.
How long have you been in this position and how did you get there?
I started my own business in October 2015. I got tired of making someone else rich.
Do you have any additional advice for someone interested in pursuing this career?
The best advice would be – if you have a choice – don’t do it. The market is flooded, there are way too many technicians out there looking for jobs.
What is the earning potential of this career?
Now that I own my own business I would say the potential is R50 000 – R60 000 a month. Possibly more, it all depends on how business goes
What is a typical starting salary in this career field?
I’d say R5000 a month if you’re lucky. Like I said, I got tired of making someone else rich with my hard work and labour. If you want to earn more you’d need to do more courses like welding and rigging. It’ll make your qualification better. Rope access is a means to an end, you need additional skills to be useful.
Any quirky advice for scholars looking to pursue a career in your field?
Once you’re in it, hang in there. It gets better.
Life doesn’t always turn out the way that you imagined it to be. Sometimes you find yourself matriculated and with absolutely no idea of what to do with your life. And that’s okay. Until you figure out what you really want, go out there and do something productive that can only be beneficial to your growth. I bet Josh didn’t imagine owning a rope access business at the ripe age of 22. Yet here he is, successful and happy with something he never expected. Embrace life and just be the best version of you.
“All these kids going on about getting high and hanging around are on to something. I do it for a living and I can never go back.” – Josh Otto