Becoming a Rigger


The trades are in high demand these days. Becoming a tradesmen means earning while learning on the job, with only a small amount of schooling involved. But if you really can’t stand being cooped up in the classroom, there is a trade that takes place 100% on the job: rigging. If becoming a rigger is something you’ve considered, here’s what you’ll need to do.

On-the-job training

On-the-job training, or OJT, is the very definition of learning by doing. The best part about it: you get paid to do it. Actual riggers at actual worksites are your teachers here, and there is no tuition fee or added costs involved.

The apprenticeship

Before you get started, be aware that you will have to have a high school diploma or GED if you want to get started in your career as a rigger. While the trade does entail on-the-job training, still you must have a minimum education.

To get started, you will need to enter into an apprenticeship. This can be done through a union or even an independent contractor. Mathematics is required and a cursory knowledge of skills like welding and blueprint reading are helpful. An apprenticeship can last anywhere from 3-4 years and must be done under the direct supervision of a licensed contractor.

In-house and outsourced training

On top of OJT, your employer may choose to provide you with added training either on-site or from a third party source. This will help you become skilled in the many different aspects of becoming a rigger.

Regulatory requirements

The fact is, OSHA does not require a rigger to be certified in order to be qualified. The only things OSHA does require is that the rigger possesses extensive knowledge, training, and experience to get the job done right. Furthermore, it is up to the employer to determine which task the rigger is qualified to perform.

Things a rigger must know

In detail, a rigger must know the following:

-Determining a load's weight
-Determining a load's center of gravity
-Selecting the proper sling and rigging hardware
-Knowledge of the effect of sling angles
-Knowing the proper methods of safe load securing
-Knowing how to select proper hitches as well as their applications
-Knowledge of standard hand and voice signal communications
-Know how to inspect rigging equipment

On top of that, a good rigger should have knowledge of crane operations, basic math, and safety measures.

If this all sounds good to you, good luck in your quest to become a rigger.


Recommended products:

RIGGING LEVEL 2 TRAINEE GUIDE     NCCER: Basic Rigger Trainee Guide     Rigging Fundamentals NCCER Trainee Guide     Bob's Overhead Crane & Rigging Handbook