Career Development

What Does a Rigger Do?

Find out what a rigger does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a rigger.

Riggers are responsible for installing, maintaining and removing rigging equipment. They’re often called upon to install safety equipment on construction sites or other industrial settings where heavy machinery is used.

Riggers also commonly work with aerial lifts—large platforms that can be raised into the air by a crane or other piece of equipment. These lifts are used to access hard-to-reach areas and provide a stable platform from which workers can perform their jobs.

Rigger Job Duties

Riggers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Installing and maintaining rigging equipment, including ropes and pulleys
  • Inspecting rigging equipment for damage or defects to ensure it is safe to use
  • Checking that the rigging meets industry standards, including using the right materials for the job and following safety regulations
  • Using tools such as hoists and cranes to lift heavy equipment or materials into place
  • Working with other technicians to create and install lighting or sound systems in concert venues or theaters
  • Installing safety devices such as harnesses, lanyards, or chokers on rigging equipment to prevent accidents
  • Assisting with the setup of staging, scenery, lighting, and other stage equipment used in productions
  • Maintaining the integrity of rigging systems by replacing worn parts or adding reinforcements as needed
  • Inspecting rigging equipment for damage or defects to ensure it is safe to use

Rigger Salary & Outlook

Rigger salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the company size and geographic location. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of overtime.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,000 ($23.56/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $165,000 ($79.33/hour)

The employment of riggers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Riggers will be needed to install and maintain large equipment, such as wind turbines and power plants, which are becoming increasingly common. In addition, demand for riggers will continue to come from the oil and gas industry, where they are needed to build and repair pipelines.

Rigger Job Requirements

Riggers typically need to have the following qualifications:

Education: Riggers typically need a high school diploma or GED certificate. Some employers may prefer candidates who have completed a post-secondary program in rigging or related field.

Training & Experience: Riggers receive most of their training on the job. They may work under a more experienced rigger until they are comfortable enough to work on their own. They may also receive training in the military or through a vocational program.

Certifications & Licenses: Riggers are required to be certified in the use of all rigging systems and equipment they may use on the job. There are several different certifications available for riggers to demonstrate their competence and knowledge.

Rigger Skills

Riggers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Rigging: Rigging is the process of connecting and securing equipment to a structure. Riggers use their knowledge of rigging to ensure that all equipment is properly connected and secure. Riggers also use rigging skills to build and repair rigging equipment.

Welding: Welding is the process of joining metal together to form a new object. Rigs often require welding to create the necessary structures, and many rigs require specialized welding skills. Rigs often require welding skills to create the necessary structures, and many rigs require specialized welding skills.

Communication: Riggers need to communicate with their team members to ensure they understand their instructions and to answer any questions they may have. They also need to communicate with clients to answer questions and to ensure everyone is on the same page. Riggers may also need to communicate with other professionals, such as engineers, to ensure they understand the rigging needs.

Problem-solving: Riggers use problem-solving skills to identify potential issues and develop solutions. They use this skill to ensure the safety of the crew and the production team during filming. For example, if a rigging system isn’t working properly, a rigger might identify the issue and find a way to fix it. This ensures the production team can continue filming safely.

Physical stamina: Rigs can be heavy and awkward to move, so it’s important for riggers to have physical stamina. They may need to lift heavy equipment and tools, and they may need to stand for long periods of time while working on a rig. Riggers may also need to climb on and in the rigs they’re working on.

Rigger Work Environment

Riggers work both indoors and outdoors, in all types of weather conditions. They typically work full time, and some riggers may work overtime or irregular hours. They may be required to travel away from home for extended periods of time, particularly those who work on offshore oil rigs or in other remote locations. Riggers typically work on construction sites, where they may be exposed to noise, dust, and other hazards. They may also be exposed to hazardous materials, such as lead, asbestos, and chemicals.

Rigger Trends

Here are three trends influencing how riggers work. Riggers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Specialized Rigs

The need for more specialized rigs is a trend that is being driven by the increasing complexity of modern machinery. As machines become more complex, they require specialized rigs that are able to support their specific needs.

Riggers who are able to specialize in this area will be in high demand, as they will be able to provide the expertise needed to build and maintain these machines. This will allow companies to save money on maintenance costs and ensure that their machines are running at peak performance.

More Use of Robotics

As robotics becomes more popular in the construction industry, riggers will need to learn how to work with these machines.

Robotics can be used to automate many of the tasks that riggers typically perform, such as lifting heavy objects or installing bolts. By learning how to work with these machines, riggers can become more efficient and productive. In addition, they may be able to find new jobs that utilize robotics in the future.

A Greater Focus on Safety

The construction industry has always been focused on safety, but recent years have seen an increased focus on this topic. This is due to the fact that there has been a rise in accidents and injuries in the workplace, which has led to greater scrutiny from regulators and insurance companies.

As a result of this trend, riggers will need to focus on ensuring that their work sites are safe and that they are following all necessary precautions. This includes using proper equipment, training employees on safety procedures, and keeping track of OSHA regulations.

How to Become a Rigger

Riggers have a lot of options when it comes to their career path. They can specialize in one area, such as heavy lift rigging or marine rigging, or they can become generalists who are able to work in many different areas. Riggers can also move into supervisory roles or management positions.

Riggers should keep up-to-date on the latest technologies and safety regulations in order to stay competitive in the industry. They should also take advantage of training opportunities offered by companies and organizations in the field.

Advancement Prospects

Riggers typically start out as apprentices, working under the supervision of experienced riggers. As they learn the trade and develop their skills, they are given more responsibility and eventually move up to journeyman rigger. With experience, riggers may become supervisors, lead riggers, or project managers. Some riggers start their own businesses.

Riggers who have good communication and interpersonal skills may move into other occupations that involve working with the public, such as customer service or sales. Those with strong mechanical skills may become mechanics or maintenance workers.

Rigger Job Description Example

Riggers are responsible for the safety of personnel and equipment during the construction, erection, and dismantling of scaffolding and other rigging systems. They work closely with other members of the construction crew to ensure that all materials are properly secured and that all safety protocols are followed. Riggers must be able to read and understand blueprints and other technical drawings in order to properly execute their duties. They must also be physically fit and able to lift heavy objects.

We are looking for a qualified rigger to join our team. The ideal candidate will have previous experience working with scaffolding and other rigging systems. They will be able to demonstrate a strong understanding of safety protocols and will be physically fit and able to lift heavy objects.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Erect, install, and maintain all rigging equipment following company safety guidelines
  • Perform regular maintenance and repairs on rigging equipment as needed
  • Inspect rigging equipment prior to each use to ensure it is in good working condition
  • Select and set up the appropriate rigging configuration for each load
  • Operate cranes, hoists, and other lifting equipment to move loads into place
  • Signal crane operators or other workers to guide them in moving loads
  • Secure loads to rigging using knots, hitches, and other fastening techniques
  • Work at heights using ladders, scaffolding, or aerial lifts as needed
  • Read and interpret blueprints, drawings, and specifications to determine rigging requirements
  • Keep accurate records of all rigging activity, including inspection results and maintenance performed
  • Train new riggers on proper safety procedures and equipment operation
  • Assist with other tasks as needed, such as loading and unloading trucks

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience as a rigger
  • Working knowledge of rigging equipment and techniques
  • Ability to read and interpret technical drawings
  • Excellent physical strength, stamina, and coordination
  • Good balance and sense of spatial awareness
  • Able to work at heights

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Vocational training in rigging
  • Certification from an accredited rigging program
  • Experience with computer-aided design (CAD) software
  • Experience with load calculation software

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