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Daredevil Tower Climber Gets $20,000 To Change Lightbulb

Two tower climbers work on a huge communications tower

A day's work means a lot of different things to different people.

To some, it's meetings, phone calls and emails.

To others, it's running around serving and helping customers.

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Some, like police officers and firefighters, involve regularly risking your life to help other people.

What can be said is that most jobs, aside from working for airlines, don't involve working at a great height.


But there are some jobs that do require a real head for heights.

Kevin Schmidt is a professional tower climber for VIKOR Teleconstruction, formerly Sioux Falls Tower and Communications.

One of his main roles is to climb gigantic communications towers across the US - to change their lightbulbs.

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Unsurprisingly for a role many people would consider to be their worst nightmare - it's very well paid.

it is said as a tower climber Kevin gets around $20,000 per climb.

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Changing the bulbs is vital

The towers are around 1,500 feet high and the red lights are vital to alert aircraft there are very tall towers nearby.

It's the sort of role that would lead to extreme anxiety for a lot of people, but Kevin is calm about his high-flying role.

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Speaking to the Argus Leader in 2015, he said:"Some of my friends can't believe I do it.

"They get scared on top of their house."

Kevin's climbs take around two hours and he sometimes has to deal with 60mph winds.

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One of Kevin's co-workers realized another potential opportunity from Kevin's work - videos.

Todd Thorin happened to shoot drone footage for a start-up called Prarie Aerial.

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He had the bright idea to use one of his drones to film one of Kevin's epic climbs.

"I knew it would look cool"

18 million views later, he was right to send his drone up eight years ago.

Kevin added: "I didn't expect it would get this big.

Todd explained: "It was partially because I knew it would look cool, but it was also so we could see what we could do with it."

Kevin said he loves the job and said: " "You can't beat the view, and there's no greater sense of peacefulness than to be 1,500 feet in the air by yourself."

The video shows Kevin taking a selfie at the top of the tower, which he then sends to his wife.

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