Skilled Trade


 Average Hourly Wage


What You Need

  • 18 years old
  • Highschool Diploma or GED
  • On-the-job training

Job description

Riggers help operate machines that move heavy objects including steel plates, bundles of steel rods, drilling towers, platforms, and the heavy construction equipment used to build and take down steel structures. Riggers decide which pulleys, booms, braces, and cables are strong enough for each job. They also must know where to attach the hooks, chains, and cables to lift a load safely. They are responsible for the inspection, lubrication, and maintenance of all types of lifting tackle, including cranes, derricks, driving winders, jacks, hoists, and manually operated lifting equipment. They need to have a sound knowledge of scaffolding, platforms, and tripods. In some cases, riggers build equipment around the object to be moved, such as a tower or boom. While the object is being lifted, riggers use hand signals and other means to direct crane operators and help guide the objects into place.

Working conditions

Riggers play important roles in all branches of heavy industry. They may work in workshops, underground in mines, on ground level or hundreds of meters up in the air. This job can often be very dangerous. Riggers are seldom stationary while working; they are continually moving about, climbing, and working in all possible positions and locations.

Length of apprenticeship

Apprenticeship applicants must be at least 18 years of age. In addition, they must provide proof of high school graduation or general education development (GED) equivalent. Local apprenticeship committees may require additional qualifications.

Minimum qualifications

Workers typically need a high school diploma or equivalent and less than one year of related work experience to enter this occupation. Those with a postsecondary non-degree award have a competitive advantage in the labor market. In addition, long-term on-the-job training is typically needed, once employed, to attain competency in the skills needed in this occupation.

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