How many tower climbers are really out there? Number of Tower Climbers December 1, 2005 -- is undertaking a long overdue project to identify the approximate number of field personnel involved nationally in the "engineering, maintenance and construction of towers and other communications structures".

Due to the industry not having its own Standard Industrial Classification code, the National Institute of Safety and Health is oftentimes quoted as stating that there are between 10,000 to 100,000 people in the industry that climb elevated structures. Unfortunately, not having a better estimate hurts the industry in many regards. In example, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is unable to accurately identify the number of fatalities in our industry per 100,000 employees.

You can help!
If you are employed by a company in the private or public sector that has climbers, you can assist in this research by providing the following information in a return email:
1. Your company name
2. The state where corporate offices are located
3. Approximate number of field employees that provide construction or maintenance on an elevated communications site.

Please send this information to: . All individual company information sent to will remain confidential.

The "wireless construction universe" we are viewing is a lot broader than just cell site installations and maintenance; it also involves many areas such as broadcasters, Wi-Fi companies, utilities, municipalities, and state government as well as climbing structural engineers.  In example, although major power companies might hire tower erectors to perform major installation projects, oftentimes their own technicians will perform maintenance on the structure.

It's easier to identify the field employee count of major companies such as Andrew Systems' 350 employees, approximately 200 of them being climbers. There are a great number of companies with considerably less tower climbers; some businesses have as little as three employees or less. However, there are many of these hardworking and successful companies throughout the nation.

Thanks in advance for helping to identify a more accurate number of industry construction and maintenance professionals that work on elevated structures. Results of our survey will be published in January.