What Does It Take to Become a Rope Access Technician?

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What Does It Take to Become a Rope Access Technician?
...and Other Frequently Asked Questions
Marietta, GA. (May 28, 2021) —
Applied Technical Services offers SPRAT rope access training and certification courses for students who want to begin or advance in a career of working at heights. As a leading rope access training site, prospective students often ask us what they can expect from our courses. When they enroll in one of our 5-day courses, students will come to our Marietta training center (unless their company requested a special onsite course to train many students at once) for both theoretical and hands-on instruction that covers everything they need to pass their examination. On the fifth day, a SPRAT-certified tester will attend to independently administer their certification exam. Once they pass their written, oral, and practical assessment, students will receive certification from SPRAT authorizing them to perform rope access work.
Below, we cover a few of the most common questions ATS has received over the years.
What Does It Take to Become a Rope Access Technician?
SPRAT certification comes in three tiers, each of which handles a different level of rope access work, and thus, a different set of requirements for candidacy.
  • Level I: student must be at least 18 years old
  • Course covers all personal rope movement techniques
  • Level II: student must have logged 500 verified hours performing work as a Level I technician
  • Course covers up to intermediate rope rescue techniques
  • Level III: student must have logged 500 verified hours performing work as a Level II technician
  • Course covers the most advanced rope rescue techniques, as well as system design and compliance
Each course level presents the same material —those seeking to achieve initial certification and returning technicians seeking recertification receive the same instruction. Anyone who meets the criteria qualifies to take the relevant exam, but we highly recommend that veteran rope access technicians take the instructional course for the best refresher available. Remember: students are only allowed two discrepancies per test, and those that fail must wait and pay to take it again.
Other Common Questions
How physical is the job?
Rope access takes a bit of endurance and upper body strength. Technicians can spend uninterrupted hours in the harness, which entails using their arms functionally the entire time. For instance, while the rope system primarily handles the weights involved with rescuing an unresponsive person, the technician must still maneuver themselves into position, make the necessary connections, and raise or lower the additional load to safety.
Is it okay that English isn’t my first language?
That is perfectly fine! Other students who speak English as their second (or third, or fourth) language have reported that studying the material earlier allowed them to familiarize themselves with terms. This preparation can make all the difference in the written and oral sections of the exam.
Do I need to bring anything specific to class?
We require close-toed shoes and recommend gloves, but ATS provides all other materials necessary to complete the course and the certification exam.
How much can a Level I expect to make?
That varies according to what skillset each student intends to supplement with SPRAT certification. Rope access is not a job in itself but a specialization used to bring the technician’s skills to an elevated work environment. Students with backgrounds in welding, structural engineering, nondestructive testing, videography, or any other skillset that benefits from a worker who can perform at heights can expect to make more than they would without certification.
What makes a good rope access technician?
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way — being good with heights will help tremendously as a rope access technician! Otherwise, students who are ready to challenge themselves excel in their careers after they certify with us. Finally, technicians who bring a diligent and conscientious attitude to their work environment see fewer incidents and better enjoy their work.
If you are seeking SPRAT certification (or recertification), contact us today about our course availability, or you can check here for our current class listings.