10 jobs for people who like to climb stuff
Talk about moving up the ladder! These 10 jobs will keep you moving throughout the day and make for rewarding careers.
Spiderman, Tarzan, and King Kong probably don’t seem like the most qualified employees for our modern workforce, but it all depends on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 18.7% of all jobs in 2017 required workers to climb ladders, ropes, or scaffolds to complete their duties.
Thankfully, you don’t have to have superhuman abilities to excel at these particular jobs—but you do need to be good at climbing (and have an aversion to cubicle life). Using BLS data, Monster rounded up 10 jobs where you take the whole “climb the career ladder” thing seriously.
Percent of job that requires climbing: 99.6%
What you’d do: You’re familiar with stop, drop, and roll, but a firefighter’s duties often take them in the opposite direction. Virtually all firefighters must climb, scale, and maneuver through unfamiliar manmade structures and natural environments as part of their job in putting out fires.
What you’d need: Along with having an emergency medical technician (EMT) certification, firefighters must successfully complete written and physical exams. On-the-job training is also part of the onboarding process. Check out a sample resume for a firefighter.
What it pays: $48,030 per year
Find firefighter jobs on Monster.
Percent of job that requires climbing: 99.5%
What you’d do: Since 1879 when Thomas Edison invented the first incandescent light bulb, our world has relied on electricity. Today, electricians install, maintain, and repair systems for power and lighting in a variety of capacities (industrial, commercial, etc.). That often involves getting up high to wire homes, buildings, and other structures.
What you’d need: Along with a high school degree, electricians must complete a journeyman program, which lasts about four years. Check out a sample resume for an electrician.
What it pays: $52,720 per year
Find electrician jobs on Monster.
Telecommunication line installer/repairer
Percent of job that requires climbing: 98.3%
What you’d do: You’ve often seen these workers on the tops of telephone poles, and wow do they have their work cut out for them: More than 113,000 miles of cable cover the U.S. alone, with an additional 550,000 hidden in our oceans. Telecommunication line installer and repairers work for companies that make sure these cables are operating as they’re intended, with safety as a top priority.
What you’d need: Along with a high school degree or GED, line installers receive lengthy on-the-job training.
What it pays: $62,650 per year
Find telecommunication line installer/repairer jobs on Monster.
Percent of job that requires climbing: 96.6%
What you’d do: Like woodworking? Building things with your hands? Climbing ladders while doing those things? Carpentry is the perfect career path for you. Carpenters build frames for structures of all kinds (commercial property, homes, etc.) and at all heights.
What you’d need: A high school diploma or GED, plus completion of an apprenticeship program; you may also receive on-the-job training. Check out a sample resume for a carpenter.
What it pays: $43,600 per year
Find carpenter jobs on Monster.
Percent of job that requires climbing: 96.6%
What you’d do: There are lots of types of painting, beyond what immediately comes to mind in the fine art realm. Painters can work independently, work for contract firms, and on a variety of mediums and subjects (homes, commercial real estate, and others)—some of which, you guessed it, are located up high.
What you’d need: On-the-job training after high school is the most likely path to painting. Solid stamina is a must have for this job.
What it pays: $37,570 per year
Find painter jobs on Monster.
Percent of job that requires climbing: 93.1%
What you’d do: Things break. Not just little things, but big things: apartment heating systems, plumbing, and more. Maintenance workers fix it all. Rarely will you hear a maintenance worker complain, “This is why we can’t have nice things,” because there’s a good chance they’ve already fixed what broke.
What you’d need: Along with a high school degree, general maintenance or construction experience is preferred. A knowledge of building operation systems will come in handy.
What it pays: $36,940 per year
Find maintenance worker jobs on Monster.
Lifeguard, ski patrol, etc. (recreational protective service worker)
Percent of job that requires climbing: 89.3%
What you’d do: While we’re not exactly sure how much climbing lifeguards do, the BLS nonetheless listed them along with ski patrol workers and recreational protective service workers on their list of climbing-intensive occupations. Recreation is supposed to be fun (duh), but occasionally accidents happen. These workers’ jobs are all about keeping people safe in the event of a natural disaster or someone just so happens to attempt something they really shouldn’t be doing.
What you’d need: Safety certification like CPR is required, and you may also be required to complete a formal training program, depending on the position and employer.
What it pays: $23,870 per year
Percent of job that requires climbing: 88.1%
What you’d do: When we think of plumbers, toilets come to mind. But hey, it’s much more than just toilets. If you’ve ever had a pipe burst in your home, a plumber will likely need to climb a ladder in order to make repairs. Become a plumber, and you'll be responsible for fixing piping and fixtures, water distribution systems, and more.
What you’d need: Most states require a license; a technical school education is common, but plumbers can also receive an apprenticeship.
What it pays: $51,450 per year
Find plumber jobs on Monster.
Heating and air conditioning mechanic and installer
Percent of job that requires climbing: 84.1%
What you’d do: HVAC is short for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. In order to keep buildings and homes at a comfortable temperature, HVAC workers install and repair these climate-controlling systems—and that includes a lot of time spent in and around ceilings.
What you’d need: Some states require that to become an HVAC worker, you need to get accredited training in air conditioning and refrigeration systems; on the job training is also common. Check out a sample resume for an HVAC technician.
What it pays: $45,910 per year
Percent of job that requires climbing: 81.6%
What you’d do: Someone has to make sure buildings are up to local and national standards, and that’s exactly what building inspectors do. Following building codes and zoning regulations, inspectors review structures to make sure they are structurally safe and report any violations and inconsistencies. They start at the top (the tippy top) and work their way down to the foundation.
What you’d need: A high school diploma or GED is the minimum; you may also be required to have your Secure Worker Access Consortium (SWAC) card, any number of International Code Council (ICC) certifications, such as Commercial Building Inspector, Commercial Plumbing Inspector, etc., or related certifications.
What it pays: $58,480 per year
Find building inspector jobs on Monster.
Get help climbing the career ladder
Whether you prefer being on solid ground or having a bird’s eye view, you will have a better chance at getting a job if people know you’re looking for work. Need help spreading the word? Join Monster today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions of your resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiters search Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates, just like you. Additionally, you can get job alerts sent to you when positions become available. Step up and get started today!