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How to become a rigger in Australia: careers in construction

How to become a rigger in Australia: careers in construction
Riggers are responsible for creating the temporary external structures used during the erection of buildings or completion of works on their exteriors. They operate machinery used to erect scaffolding and move equipment, and are skilled with clamps, hooks, bolts, knots and pulleys used in assembling, positioning and reinforcing these structures. Riggers also attach slings that hoist equipment to move heavy objects.

Being a rigger: daily duties

Riggers work on large commercial, industrial and residential construction projects. They erect and extend cranes, install cables and pulleys, and assemble booms, jibs and derricks for lifting. Riggers are qualified to operate rigging gear used to transport, reposition or install heavy loads like construction equipment and structural steel and concrete slabs.


  • Assembly of scaffolding on building exteriors
  • Repositioning heavy equipment
  • Disassembling rigging and scaffolding at project end
  • Using apparatus to position and reinforce scaffolding

Being a rigger: skills for success

Riggers need a high degree of physical agility and strength to carry out their work. They also need to be able to work at heights. Riggers must have good mathematical and conceptual skills in order to accurately estimate load-bearing capabilities of their equipment and the sizes, weights and shapes of the objects they are moving. Sound decision-making skills and good judgment are essential to ensure the safety of others on construction sites.
  • Good physical strength and agility
  • Able to work at heights
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Decision making skills and judgement
  • Good spatial awareness

Specialised roles within construction

Riggers primarily work on construction sites, but can specialise their skills to work in shipyards, docks, factories, mines or even in the entertainment industry.
  • Dockside rigger
    Dockside riggers manufacture safety products by splicing and braiding ropes and wires. They create restraints for high pressure pipes and hoses, safety and cargo netting and other items such as embarkation ladders.
  • Scaffolder
    Scaffolders erect and dismantle scaffolding, working closely with riggers. They install steel pipes, clams ad bases to create foundations to the structures.
  • Steel fixer
    Steel fixers reinforce concrete slabs used in large construction projects with steel bars or mesh to improve structural strength and stability.

Educational pathways for riggers

To work as a construction rigger in Australia, you generally need to complete a traineeship in rigging. Depending on your state or territory, there are a range of licencing requirements that may be required to perform this work.
  • Start your career
    A recognised qualification will give you the important construction skills you need to get your career underway.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Targeted training options ill let you develop your knowledge base.
  • Build your resume
    Take your career in the right direction with one of these courses, building on your knowledge and skills.
  • Industry requirements
    Riggers must apply for relevant licences in their state or territory to carry out this work.
  • Finding Work
    Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your construction career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
  • Employment Prospects
    There is a boom in the construction industry, with continued growth expected over the next five years for structural steel construction workers such as riggers.

Resources for Riggers

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