What Do Riggers Do?
Various construction projects depend on riggers to ensure that the company’s rigging system is set up correctly and safely. Riggers may also work on logging yard, shipyards or manufacturing plants, but no matter where they are working, they need to ensure that the company’s cables and ropes are set up properly. Good riggers will always be needed, and growth of 23% is projected to occur annually all over the nation. This translates to 720 job openings a year, which means there is going to be plenty of work to go around for people interested in this career.
Riggers Skills and Abilities
Very basic mechanical knowledge is required in order to become proficient in this field. That includes knowing how to repair, maintain and design the various cable systems your business utilizes. A background in engineering can prove to be beneficial, or if you are familiar with the principles associated with building new structures, then that can come in handy as well. You need to be able to visualize how something will look before it is created in order to determine if it really is the most efficient practice to undertake. You constantly need to monitor your surroundings to ensure everyone is using the rigging system safely, and if there is a problem that needs to be corrected, then you need to be able to identify the issue and come up with a solution.
Once the rigging system is set up, you will be responsible for signaling to other workers who are doing the actual hoisting. Remaining in constant communication is vital to ensure that anyone using the system is kept safe, or if materials are being transporting with the rigs, then they should be kept safe as well. Before a system can even be used, you should be the one to test it to ensure it works optimally. In order to ensure proper functionality, you will need to select the best materials and gears. Once the equipment has been used and is no longer needed, you will be tasked with making sure it gets taken down promptly. Other tasks you should be prepared to handle include:
- Cleaning machines and components.
- Attaching loads to the rig.
- Operating lifting equipment.
- Moving supplies.
Riggers Tools and Technology
Although you may need to utilize software that will help you design the most efficient pulley system, you will be spending most of your time with the tools necessary to actually create the rig. A small sampling of the tools you will need to be comfortable using includes:
- Utilize knives
- Hand wrenches
- Allen wrenches
- Steel banding tools
Education and Training for Riggers
A majority of riggers only have a high school education or less. More education can be pursued if desired, but generally, the most important factor in this line of work is acquiring essential experience. Once you get the job, you will likely receive a little bit of training in order to familiarize yourself with all the tools associated with the job.
Although numerous factors go into determining a rigger’s salary, the median wage nationally is $19.99 an hour. Individuals who are just beginning their careers will most likely make less than that, but as you become better at your craft, you can expect to make your way closer to the top tenth percentile of riggers who make $33.70/hour.
Riggers Jobs by Geography
The highest employment levels for this line of work can be found in the states of Louisiana, Texas and California. Some states have a higher mean wage than others, and the top paying states include Minnesota, Hawaii and New Jersey. Various mining and boat building companies have a great need for skilled riggers, so look into what opportunities are available in your area.