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How to become a scaffolder in Australia: careers in construction

Scaffolders erect temporary structures at events and on work sites to aid crew members and labourers by providing them with a platform to work on at varying heights. They work from flor plans to perform an array of tasks such as fitting metal materials together, laying flooring on to each level of the scaffold and disassembling the scaffolding on completion of the job. To work as a scaffolder you will need a Height Risk working permit, due to the nature of the occupation, as well as logged work experience.
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Pathways

Being a scaffolder: daily duties

Scaffolding is needed for a variety of purposes, therefore each job will have different requirements and the duties will vary. In general, scaffolders need to work out scaffolding solutions for the job they have been given including designated space requirements. They must be mindful of health and safety requirements and minimise risks. They work from plans to assemble support braces, guard rails, safety nets and planks using a system of platforms and pulleys.

Tasks:

  • Fitting pipes, braces and clamps together
  • Laying planks to create flooring
  • Positioning and securing scaffolding sections
  • Working from blueprints
Skills

Being a scaffolder: skills for success

Scaffolding is a physically demanding job, so a good deal of strength and fitness is necessary. Due to the nature of the role working at heights, coupled with the other risks of construction working with tools, chemicals and heavy objects, it is considered to be a high-risk occupation. An exceptional awareness of health and safety is necessary, as is attention to detail and a good level of concentration.
Skills/attributes
  • Able to work at heights
  • Keen awareness of health and safety hazards
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Able to adapt skills to varying job demands
Specs

Specialised roles within construction

There are many doors that can open after becoming a qualified scaffolder, enabling you to work on an array of projects in different environments.
  • Rigger
    Additional training and education is needed to become a rigger, however a background in scaffolding assists in this role. Rigging involves the use of mechanical systems like jibs and derricks to move heavy structural objects.
  • Music and entertainment scaffolder
    Companies that specifically service the entertainment industry often require scaffolders to erect structures for a arrange of events such as fashion shows, music concerts and industry awards nights.
  • Construction scaffolding
    Construction scaffolders erect their scaffolds so that other workers may repair building facades and can work at great heights. This role requires additional industry and job-specific skills.
Pathways

Educational pathways for scaffolders

There are a variety of pathways to follow to tailor your career path and become qualified as a scaffolder.
  • Start your career
    Get your career started with a course that will give you knowledge of the construction industry’s standards and practises.
  • Strengthen your skills
    Complete your studies and gain important trade knowledge and skills.
  • Build your resume
    Get hands-on experience backed by technical understanding to hone your professional abilities.
  • Industry requirements
    To work as a scaffolder in Australia, you’ll need a High Risk work permit as well as a Construction Induction Card. Some states also require completion of a short course on safely working at heights.
  • 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
    Over the next five years, there is expected to be growth in employment opportunities for scaffolders.

Resources for scaffolders

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