Is becoming a rigger right for me?
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How to become a Rigger
Becoming a rigger involves a combination of education, training, and on-the-job experience. Here are the general steps you can take to pursue a career as a rigger:
- Obtain a High School Diploma or Equivalent: A high school diploma or GED is usually the minimum educational requirement for entry-level positions in rigging. Focus on subjects like mathematics, physics, and mechanical technology, as they provide a foundation for understanding rigging principles.
- Seek Rigging Training Programs: Look for vocational or technical schools, community colleges, or trade organizations that offer rigging training programs. These programs can provide you with essential theoretical knowledge and practical skills needed for the job.
- Gain Hands-On Experience: Once you've completed a rigging training program, seek opportunities for hands-on experience. This can be through internships, apprenticeships, or entry-level positions in industries where riggers are employed, such as construction, maritime, or entertainment.
- Obtain Certifications: While not always mandatory, obtaining relevant certifications can significantly enhance your employability and demonstrate your expertise to employers (see below).
- Develop Technical Skills: As a rigger, you'll need to be proficient in various rigging techniques, knot tying, and the use of rigging equipment such as slings, hoists, and cranes. Continuous learning and staying up-to-date with industry advancements are crucial to improving your skills.
- Focus on Safety: Safety is paramount in rigging, so prioritize learning and implementing proper safety procedures and protocols. Understand OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations related to rigging operations.
- Build a Professional Network: Networking within the industry can help you discover job opportunities, gain valuable insights, and connect with experienced professionals who can mentor you.
- Apply for Rigging Jobs: Start applying for entry-level rigging positions in industries that require riggers. Emphasize your training, certifications, and any relevant experience you've gained during internships or apprenticeships.
- Continue Advancing Your Career: As you gain experience and expertise, you can progress to more advanced rigging positions, become a lead rigger, or specialize in specific industries or rigging techniques.
There are several well-recognized certifications for riggers that can enhance their employability and demonstrate their expertise in safe rigging practices. Some of the prominent rigging certifications include:
- NCCCO Rigger Level I and Level II Certifications: The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) offers two levels of rigger certifications. Rigger Level I is for individuals who can demonstrate basic rigging knowledge, while Rigger Level II is for more experienced riggers with advanced skills in rigging planning and execution.
- ITI Rigging Certifications: Industrial Training International (ITI) provides various rigging certifications, such as Rigging Gear Inspector, Rigging Engineering, and Master Rigger. These certifications cover different aspects of rigging, including inspection, engineering calculations, and advanced rigging techniques.
- CIC Rigging Certifications: Certification & Inspection Services (CIC) offers rigging certifications for basic riggers and signalpersons. These certifications assess candidates' knowledge of rigging principles, load calculations, and signaling techniques.
- Crane Institute Certification (CIC): Crane Institute Certification also provides rigger and signalperson certifications, which evaluate candidates' understanding of safe rigging practices and proper signaling methods.
- Qualified Rigger and Signalperson Certification: The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) doesn't mandate specific certifications for riggers; however, it does require employers to ensure that riggers and signalpersons are "qualified." This means they have the necessary training, experience, and knowledge to safely perform rigging operations. Employers often conduct their own assessments to ensure their riggers meet the qualification standards.
- ASME Rigging Certifications: The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) offers various rigging-related certifications, such as the ASME B30.26 Rigging Hardware Inspector Certification. These certifications focus on specific aspects of rigging equipment and hardware inspection.