An aerial erector performs repairs, maintenance, and construction on tall structures. Towers, scaffolding, and other high places are typical working locations for the aerial erector. From changing light bulbs on the top of radio towers to checking cellphone towers for wire chaffing, the aerial erector works exclusively at heights that might make other workers nervous. Many of these workers repair and test electronic equipment, making equipment changes when required. Installation and construction of radio, television, and radar antennas are also components of the erector's duties.
Working at extreme heights is mandatory for the aerial erector. Good physical conditioning is mandatory because most of the work involves climbing very tall steel towers in order to access the work site. The actual assembly of the towers also includes the aerial erector, from the installation and fastening together of the tower sections to the attachment of guide wires to stabilize the tower. The wiring of the lights, antennas, and other electronics used on the tower often requires more than one erector to be on the tower at the same time. This can lead to accidents due to crowding or incidental contact between the workers.
Along with physical strength, mental toughness is a requirement for the aerial erector. The ability to concentrate on the job at hand while never forgetting the extreme working height is a must. Attention to detail and thoroughness is also required when working at extreme heights.
Forgetting a tool or a component required to complete the repair or installation can result in several hours of lost time. Often, it can take several hours to simply reach the desired working height by climbing. The excess climbing due to forgotten components also drains energy from the worker that could result in an accidental slip due to fatigue.
The aerial erector must also possess nimble and deft hands to aid in the prevention of dropping tools and components. A tool dropped from the top of a tall tower could be potentially deadly to the people on the ground below. Equipment and machinery could also be damaged or destroyed from even the smallest of objects being dropped from far above. In most areas, regulations govern how far an erector is allowed to climb without a rest. Most towers have small platforms placed at the proper intervals to provide a resting location when the aerial erector is climbing and descending a tower.