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Rigger Qualifications & Certifications: What You Need to Know


The world of rigging demands a unique blend of technical skills, knowledge, and experience. This guide explores the qualifications needed to become a rigger, explores training options, and clarifies licensing requirements.

Essential Rigging Skills:

  • Weight Distribution & Structural Considerations: Riggers must calculate weight distribution and understand the structural limitations of loads, floors, and surrounding areas.
  • Problem-Solving & Adaptability: Every rigging job presents unique challenges. Riggers need to think critically and adapt their approach to ensure safe and efficient operations.
  • Blueprint & Drawing Interpretation: Some rigging jobs require interpreting architectural and engineering drawings to ensure proper load handling.
  • Equipment Expertise: Riggers need proficiency in using various tools and load-moving equipment specific to the rigging industry.

Rigger Training Pathways:

Rigging expertise can be acquired through various routes:

  • On-the-Job Training: Many companies provide hands-on training under the guidance of experienced riggers.
  • Apprenticeships: Structured programs offered by unions or companies combine on-the-job training with formal education.
  • Technical Training Programs: CTE programs (Career and Technical Education) and other technical courses offer dedicated rigging education.

Formal Education vs. Experience:

While some riggers enter the field through informal on-the-job training or experience in related fields like construction, formal education can enhance career prospects.

Licensing & Certifications:

  • Important Note: Licensing requirements for riggers vary depending on location and project complexity.
  • General Rigging: For smaller, less complex projects, formal licensing might not be mandatory.
  • Specialized Rigging: Riggers working with heavy machinery like cranes or operating in hazardous environments often require specific licenses and certifications (e.g., crane operator certification, commercial driver's license).