Industrial Rope Access

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Thinking of becoming an industrial rope access specialist?

Awesome! We’ve got the info you need right here.

Why become an industrial rope access specialist?

Start your career with no student loan

Earn a wage from day one, and finish your programme without a massive loan hanging over your head!

Work that suits your lifestyle

Work outdoors instead of being stuck in the same office all day. As your career grows, you’ll have more freedom and flexibility in your schedule to fit in more time for the things that matter, such as family, hobbies, and interests.

A variety of experiences

No two days are the same! You’ll get the chance to work on a wide range of jobs throughout your career.

What do industrial rope access specialists do?

You’ll be setting up industrial rope access systems to work safely at height or in places with difficult access. There is a huge range of sectors that need people working in these areas, including building and construction, high-rise window cleaning, oil and gas, and more.

On any given day you could be:

  • Inspecting and maintaining height safety equipment
  • Setting up, altering, and dismantling industrial rope access systems
  • Using a safety harness for personal fall prevention when working at height
  • Using, installing, and taking down temporary height safety systems when working at height
  • Planning and preparing for basic industrial rope access work
  • Communicating information in a specified workplace
  • Listening actively to gain information in an interactive situation
  • Giving oral instructions in the workplace
  • Identifying and applying industrial rope access legislation

By the numbers

Length of training

Training to become an industrial rope access takes approximately 1-2 years.


Qualified and experienced industrial rope specialists can enjoy starting pay rates of around $25 – $30 per hour. As your experience grows, so will your income.


Job outlook

The job outlook for industrial rope access specialists is good, especially once you’re experienced and hold a qualification.

Source: Skills/Infometrics

Industry training

As an industrial rope access trainee, you’ll be working, learning, and earning money at the same time. You’ll work closely with experienced people at your company to learn everything you need to become a qualified industrial rope access specialist.

During your training, you’ll learn the skills you need to become an industrial rope access specialist in two ways:

On-job learning

This is the practical learning side of your training. Someone at your company will teach you the tasks you’ll carry out in your day-to-day work, and you will be assessed on how well you can do these tasks.

Off-job learning

This is the theory learning side of your training, where you’ll be studying different topics throughout your training to support the skills you learn on the job.
A supervisor at your company will support you to check you are working correctly and safely.

Available Courses

There is a great qualification that is available in Industrial Rope Access. Click on the title below to read more about this qualification. 


New Zealand Certificate in Industrial Rope Access (Level 3)

If you are interested in a career in industrial rope access, you can do the New Zealand Certificate in Industrial Rope Access (Level 3). This is the first step on the industrial rope access pathway and covers the basics of industrial rope access.

As a graduate of this programme, you will be capable of working under limited supervision doing basic rope access tasks on a range of rope access sites. You will attain basic on-rope vertical skills using constructed anchors. This includes the ability to conduct rope access work including inspecting and testing, maintenance and repair, cleaning and painting, geotechnical and construction activities. This programme is aligned to the IRAANZ Certificate of Competency for Level 3 Rope Access Operators.

To enrol in this course, you will need to:

  • be employed and engaged with work related to industrial rope access
  • have existing knowledge and skills in numeracy that includes/ exceeds what is covered in unit standard 8489 Solve problems which require calculations with whole numbers; and
  • hold a current comprehensive workplace first-aid certificate.

The New Zealand Certificate in Industrial Rope Access (Level 3) takes approximately six to ten months to complete and is done through block courses, on-the-job learning, and verification.

For more information (including cost and enrolment), please contact one of the listed providers.

Goleman Group on 0508 GOLEMAN, or visit

Vertical Horizonz on 0800 031080, or visit

Or contact Skills on 0508-SKILLS

Where can I go?

To become a qualified industrial rope access specialist, you need to first find an employer who will take you on as a trainee. You will gain nationally recognised training in industrial rope access.

Once you complete this programme, you will be able to work under limited supervision, doing basic rope access tasks on a range of rope access sites.

Want to go further? You can do more training and get qualified to Level 5 to increase your job prospects.

As your experience grows, so will your career opportunities. You can go on to senior or more specialised roles such as site technician or site supervisor, go into related fields such as rigging, or even start your own business.

Is it for me?

There are some basic skills which will help you go far in your career as an industrial rope access specialist. You should be:

Responsible and well-organised

Comfortable with heights for long periods of time

Happy working outdoors in any weather

Reasonably fit, with good hand-eye coordination, hearing, and eyesight (with or without glasses)

Good at communicating with others

Flexible with working hours, as evening, weekend and on call is sometimes required

Patient and observant

Next steps

Find an employer
The first step of the process is to find an employer. If you’re already working in the industrial rope access industry you can approach your employer. If you are looking to begin your journey in the industrial rope access industry you can contact industrial rope access businesses directly or you can use services like Seek or TradeMe.

Contact Skills
Once you and your employer are ready to get started, contact Skills on 0508 SKILLS who will provide you with the information you need to take the next step.