How Much Do Riggers Make?

When asking the question “How much do riggers make,: one must take into consideration several different factors. Rigging by definition is the task of inspecting, testing, repairing, and maintaining rigging. But that can entail all kinds of equipment in all kinds of industries in all kinds of places. How much you make as a rigger depends on who you are, where you are, and what you do.


On average, a rigger earns anywhere from $32,000 to $48,000 a year. Salaries for riggers are the highest in Hawaii where they average more than $63,000 per year. In Hawaii, for example, riggers are typically employed in the Scientific, Professional, and Technical Service industries.


Highest pay by industry

It’s not just location but industry which determines the pay of a rigger. Riggers in the Utilities business tend to average around $63,000 per year while those in the retail trade come in at a much lower $30,000 per year.

But it’s in the oil and gas business where riggers are making the most money these days. The booming oil and gas business has led to a widening employment gap in the industry and riggers are right now cashing in.

In fact, a recent survey shows that oil riggers are right now averaging almost $100,000 per year, and that’s just the average. Riggers with more experience and advanced skills are making much more than that. For example: a drilling consultant can make as much as a quarter million dollars a year with a reservoir engineer coming in at almost $150,000.

These days even the roustabouts, those oil-rig workers with very little training, are making almost $40,000 a year, and that’s before overtime.

Offshore pays the most

When dissecting riggers’ salaries it’s important to note that there are sub-categories within the general categories. Case in point: the offshore oil rigger.

For offshore riggers, a maintenance roustabout, the lowest paid of all the riggers, can average as much as $47,000 a year. With overtime, it can sometimes come out to twice that. Remember, this is just starting pay.

It pays to have a specialty

Like in any industry, it pays to have a specialty. Rigger drillers start out at $56,000 per year while scaffold riggers earn a little more than that. Rigger welders chime in at $62,000 per year with tool pushers, drill leaders and other supervisory rigger positions earning anywhere from $75,000 to $100,000 per year.

It pays to travel

If you are willing to travel, to work overseas for an extended period of time, you can increase your pay dramatically. Working overseas means sometimes working as much as a hundred miles offshore, so you’ll have to be able to remain on-site for a long time, but the pay is well worth it.

Some riggers working abroad are paid 1 ½ times their normal payscale just for doing so, and twice that for overtime. It’s not uncommon for a specialized worker to make on average $200,000 a year or more when working abroad.


Recommended products:

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