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Course details and registration information

Telecommunications Tower Technician Apprenticeship, Level 1
Available Classes
To join the Tower Technician Apprenticeship training you must apply for the WakeWorks Apprenticeship program. Complete the application here For more information, contact us at [email protected].
Description Course Outline Requirements Intended Audience More Details
Intended Audience
Students interested in working in the Telecommunications Tower Construction Industry.
This course is designed to introduce students to telecommunications, tower climbing and working at heights safely. Students will learn about tower types, tower construction, tower maintenance and inspection. Special attention will be given to safety as it relates tot tower climbing, electrical work, and radio frequency/electro-magnetic energy. Students who complete this course will be prepared to sit for the Telecommunications Tower Technician Level 1 certification exam through the National Wireless Safety Alliance and obtain an entry level position as a Tower Technician, Level 1, in the Telecommunications Tower Industry.
Course Objectives
  1. demonstrate the ability to don and use a climbing harness and safety equipment properly,
  2. use appropriate climbing techniques 100% of the time,
  3. rig a load in a proper manner,
  4. perform signaling for lifting a rigged load,
  5. perform work at height involving installation of an antenna on a tower and routing a jumper connection,
  6. read construction drawings and follow assembly instructions,
  7. use tools safely and in accordance with manufacturer's instructions,
  8. work safely with electrical, radio-frequency and electro-magnetic energy, and
  9. weather-proof electrical connections and ensure systems are grounded properly.
Outline of Instruction
  1. Week One
    Introduction to Telecommunications and Safety
    - This module explains tower types, inspections, structural modifications, antenna and line construction, antenna types, mount types and AM towers.

    Tower Climbing
    - This module covers harness fit, selection, and inspection, work positioning lanyards, proper climbing form and ergonomics, climbing safety, tool tethering, fall arrest lanyard use and inspection, ladder safety, and laboratory exercises on a tower where the student demonstrates safe climbing practices.

    - An overview of the devices used in the measurement of tower components including calipers, measuring tapes, diameter tapes, ultrasonic thickness gauges and the Dillon Dynamometer. Students will demonstrate the proper use of these tools while performing measurements on tower components.

    Radio Frequency (RF) Awareness Certification
    - Awareness training on RF/Electro-Magnetic Energy and it's hazards, regulatory requirements, permissible exposure limits, monitors, signage, antennas, and work in controlled and uncontrolled environments.

    Week Two
    Week One Refresher and Quiz

    Introduction to Telecommunication and Safety
    - Students will learn the various construction trades involved in the tower industry and how to read construction drawings. Students will also be introduced to the American National Standards Institute/Telecommunications Industry Association (ANSI/TIA) 222 Structural Standard for Antenna Supporting Structures, Antennas and Small Wind Turbine Support Structures and the ANSI/TIA 322 Standard for Installation, Alteration, and Maintenance of Antenna Supporting Structures and Antennas.

    - This module focuses on the basics of rope descent and related safety precautions. After the classroom portion, students will practice these skills during controlled tower exercises.

    - Learn and demonstrate the safe use of Magnet Drills, Portable Bandsaws, and Grinders, as well as Guy Wire Preform Installation and Relaying Preform Demonstration.

    - Rigging involves lifting materials from ground level to working height using Ropes,Slings, Shackles, Blocks, and Capstans. Students will learn the basics of their use and selection, as well as how they are mounted to towers. Finally, students will learn the appropriate knots to use when rigging equipment and demonstrate how they are tied.

    Signal Person Certification Training
    - Hand signals are used when lifting loads to alert the lift operator. Students will learn and demonstrate the appropriate hand signals and complete the Occupational Safety and Health Administration certification for standard hand signals in accordance with OSHA 1926 Subpart CC.

    Authorized Climber/Rescuer Certification Training
    - Conduct a pre-climb protocol, demonstrate fall protection equipment use, care and maintenance, perform a successful self-rescue, a successful ladder rescue and a successful lowering of a remote casualty.

    Week Three
    Week Two Refresher and Quiz

    - Understand the types of rope used in the tower industry, their capacity and proper usage. Learn how to operate a capstan and complete capstan operator training. This module includes a rescue refresher.

    - Demonstrate the use of wrenches including the torque wrench. Compare manual estimation of tightening with verified torque. Includes hands-on lab exercises.

    - In Electrical 1, learn Electrical theory and safety, alternating current (AC) versus direct current (DC), multimeter usage, and the importance of lockout/tagout procedures for safety.
    - In Electrical 2, explore AC site configurations including 120/240 and 120/208, meter base configurations and wiring of disconnects and load centers. Continue with general DC power components including power supply units and radios. Complete Electrical 2 with grounding requirements including ground rods and plates.
    - In Electrical 3, students will work with RF equipment such as coax cable, jumper configurations, connector types, and there will be an overview of PIM/SWEEP testing. Also, explore Fiber equipment. Learn the difference between single and multi-mode, LC/SC Connectors, SFP Connectors, Common Public Radio Interface cards, connections to radios, MST and/or fiber delivery points, and the use of Optical Time-Domain Reflectomers.

    CPR/First Aid/ AED Certification Training
    - First Aid, Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation, Automatic External Defibrillator, and Bloodborne Pathogens training.

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration 10-Hour Certification Training
    - Topics include: Slip,Trip and Fall Hazard Protection; Fixed and Portable Ladder Safety; Fire Prevention, Protection and Emergency Egress Safety; Dangers of Electrical Hazards; Using and Choosing Personal Protective Equipment; Causes and Prevention of Musculo-Skeletal Disorders and Repetitive Motion Disorder and Injuries; Workers' Rights to Know the Chemical Makeup of Materials Found in their Workplace; Chronic vs. Acute Health Ailments; Hazards of Spray Finishing, Dipping/Coating, Combustible Liquids and Compressed Gases; and Dangers of Unguarded Equipment.

    Week Four
    Week Three Refresher and Quiz

    Introduction to Telecommunications
    - National Wireless Safety Alliance (NWSA) Telecommunications Tower Technician Level 1 (TTT1 Practice Exam)

    - Rig a mount, hoist and bolt into place on a Tower

    - Students will demonstrate their ability to read construction drawings and then measure, cut and assemble a simple mount from the drawings.

    - Hoist and attach a coaxial cable, support and weatherproof the cable in accordance with the construction drawings, simulate line sweeps, and adjust the antenna down-tilt and azimuth.

    Department of Transportation (DOT) Driver Training and Practical Exam
    - Learn the responsibilities of drivers and passengers, safe vehicle backing, the use of a spotter, equipment pairing, vehicle load rating, and securing a load.

    CADweld Certification Training
    - Students will learn mold types, and mold preparation, user safety and demonstrate proficiency.
Contact Hours
Industry Standard, State, or National Certification
National Wireless Safety Alliance - NWSA has defined two levels of telecommunications tower technicians - Telecommunications Tower Tech 1 & 2. This course prepares students to sit for the Technician Level 1 Certification Exam.
Website URL
Certification Learning Outcomes/Requirements
  1. Demonstrating ability to follow assembly instructions
    Proper tool use
    Donning of harness and safety equipment
    Proper climbing techniques
    Performing work at height (installation of an antenna on a tower and routing a jumper connection)
    Weather-proofing Electrical Connections
    Knot tying and rigging
CE to CU Articulation
Text and Supplies Needed
Training manuals will be compiled using the latest industry training bulletins, OSHA and ANSI/TIA standards, and manufacturer's instructions for products. These be provided to the students as part of the class.

Students will be provided safety harnesses, helmets, ladder safety devices, fall arrest lanyards, work positioning lanyards, trauma relief straps, connectors, hooks, carabiners, bolt bags, anchor slings, and tool tethers for use during lab exercises.
Clinical Site/Special Facilities
Hands-on Climbing activities will require access to training towers where students can practice climbing and demonstrate the ability to work safely and perform rescue activities.
Requirements for Successful Completion of this Course
  1. Attendance 90% or above
  2. Participation
  3. Students will be evaluated using written tests, practical demonstrations, and hands-on assessments. Students must pass each written test with a minimum score of 70%. Safety training, practical demonstrations and hands-on assessments may require higher scores due to the hazardous nature of the work.
  4. Successful completion of this course requires 90% attendance and satisfactory class participation (i.e., be able to demonstrate proficiency in all concepts taught). If a student has extenuating circumstances causing absences of greater than 10% of the class time, the student must make arrangements with the instructor to provide evidence of keeping up with the class material and making up the work, exercises, and projects missed; or demonstrate competency in the course objectives. Students with irregular attendance, less than 90% attendance, or who are unable to demonstrate competency will receive a grade of NG (no grade).
  5. Lab exercises, when applicable, are due on the date assigned by the instructor. Late assignments may be accepted only at the instructor’s discretion
Accreditation/Special Approval Requirements
Intended Audience
Students interested in working in the Telecommunications Tower Construction Industry.
Specific Industry or Business Support Needs
Telecommunications Tower Technician, Level 1
Wake County Need for Industry Positions
Representatives at Tower Engineering Professionals provided the following information:

In 2017 we hired 25 Tower Technicians in NC.
In 2018 we hired 63 Tower Technicians in NC.
In 2019 we hired 91 Tower Technicians in NC.

COVID-19 has impacted our hiring in 2020 but we would have been on track to hire around 120 employees (for inspections and construction related work in NC) and we haven't realized the full impact of the 5G roll-out quite yet.

Here is a link from Indeed showing 30 active job openings within 100 miles of Raleigh, NC.
Industry or Job Titles Related to training Outcomes for Employment
  • Telecommunications Tower Technician
Related Courses
  • Basic Telecommunications - TCT-3101A4
Course Contact Information
Michael Moore