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Hello everyone

Is it really worth it? What? You ask.

I’m currently employed as a factory supervisor (we make automotive parts for high profile manufacturers). I’m 33 but I’ve already been in this role for nearly 10 years. My route to this role was fairly technical one, I was a setter technician on 3150 tonne injection moulding machines but I basically just plan production and carry out disciplinary investigations from behind a desk these days.

My question is, is it really worth doing my IRATA level 1?

I want to find a company that will give me a start as a trainee, I’m happy to do window cleaning or geo work to get some hours and then try to upskill further to work towards offshore work. I’m sick of sitting behind a desk I want to do physical work again where I can travel. If I don’t do it now I feel I’ll be stuck in this environment forever.
Anyone I’ve spoken to within the industry has just warned me off it because it’s ‘too hard to get into’ but I sometimes think that people say things like this as a way to secure their own position.

Any advice would be appreciated


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  • Root Admin

Hi there, welcome to the forum!

There are a great many others out there who have started exactly the way you have - some of them stick at it and make a success out of it and others give up after a certain period of time. Transitioning from any career is difficult but not at all impossible, it boils down to your own personal attitude and aptitude to change.

You have established engineering technical skills in your existing job that would help in your transition so that puts you at a slight advantage over someone coming in from a different background. You ask if its worth it? Only you can decide that, and you won't truly know until you've tried it.

Rope Access can form the basis of a highly rewarding career and there is ample opportunity out there for individuals who invest in themselves, constantly improve their skills, and network with their peers. The old adage of 'you get out what you put in' has never been more true.

There are companies out there who take on fresh level 1 techs, the geotechnical side is hard work and lower paid but provides a very good basis for honing your Rope Access techniques, which then makes you more employable in different areas - you can transition into building maintenance, window cleaning etc or choose to do more training and carry out more technical work at the end of a rope. The more training you have, the greater skills you can build up, the better job security you have then that leads to higher pay rates etc.

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