How to become a Rigger

Riggers assemble and install rigging gear such as cables, ropes, pulleys and winches to lift, lower, move or position machinery, structural steel and other heavy objects.

Personal requirements of a Rigger

  • Enjoy practical outdoor work
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Able to work at heights
  • Good with hands
  • Safety-conscious
  • Able to work as part of a team

Education & Training for a Rigger

To become a rigger you usually have to obtain a licence to perform high risk work. To gain a licence, you will need to complete units of competency at an approved Registered Training Organisation and work under the supervision of a licensed operator. You will also need to keep an approved logbook to record competencies achieved during training. Assessment by an accredited assessor will then be required. The High Risk Work Licence is issued under the National Standard for Licensing Persons Performing High Risk Work. You can also become a rigger through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Rigging. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. For more details, see Section 2. Ask your career adviser about the possibility of starting some of this training in school.

Duties & Tasks of a Rigger

Riggers may perform the following tasks:

  • examine objects to be moved, estimate their size, shape and weight and decide on the type of equipment necessary to move them
  • erect a temporary jib or derrick (lifting devices) if required, and install cables, pulleys and other tackle
  • choose or make slinging equipment and attach it to the load
  • erect cranes and mobile crane booms, and increase the height of tower cranes by bolting component parts in place and rigging cables
  • splice ropes and cables to make slings and tackle
  • erect structural steel for buildings or plants under construction
  • erect precast concrete panels used on facades of buildings
  • inspect, maintain and repair equipment
  • make sure that safety requirements are met at all times.

Working conditions for a Rigger

Riggers mainly work outdoors on construction sites, but can also work on ships, in factories and mines, and in the entertainment industry completing tasks such as setting up stages.

Employment Opportunities for a Rigger

Riggers are usually employed by building and construction firms, building industry subcontractors and contract-labour hire firms. Mobility between associated occupations such as crane driver and scaffolder is possible, provided the relevant licence to Perform High Risk Work is obtained. Due to the greater earnings available, some riggers undertake crane driving during periods of high building activity.


Dockside Rigger

A dockside rigger splices and braids rope and wire to manufacture a range of safety products such as cable stockings and hose restraints for high pressure hoses and pipes; embarkation ladders and gangway nets; and cargo and safety nets for lifting cargo to and from ships. They also work on site, assembling and installing rigging equipment in shipyards and dockside loading facilities.

Additional Information
You must be 18 years of age to be eligible to obtain a High Risk Work Licence. However, training may commence at a younger age. All those who work in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Card (CIC).
Related careers