Rigger  What They Do

Just the Facts


Sets up or repairs rigging for construction projects, manufacturing plants, logging yards, ships and shipyards, or for the entertainment industry.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Signals or verbally directs workers engaged in hoisting and moving loads to ensure safety of workers and materials.
  • Tests rigging to ensure safety and reliability.
  • Attaches loads to rigging to provide support or prepare them for moving, using hand and power tools.
  • Selects gear such as cables, pulleys, and winches, according to load weights and sizes, facilities, and work schedules.
  • Controls movement of heavy equipment through narrow openings or confined spaces, using chainfalls, gin poles, gallows frames, and other equipment.
  • Tilts, dips, and turns suspended loads to maneuver over, under, or around obstacles, using multi-point suspension techniques.
  • Aligns, levels, and anchors machinery.
  • Fabricates, sets up, and repairs rigging, supporting structures, hoists, and pulling gear, using hand and power tools.
  • Manipulates rigging lines, hoists, and pulling gear to move or support materials such as heavy equipment, ships, or theatrical sets.
  • Attaches pulleys and blocks to fixed overhead structures such as beams, ceilings, and gin pole booms, using bolts and clamps.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Requires getting into awkward positions
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation requires being outside most of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of special protective items such as a breathing apparatus, safety harness, full protection suit, or radiation protection
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time
  • Work at heights above 8 feet more than once a month on structures such as ladders, poles, scaffolding, and catwalks

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Judging how far away an object is, or which of several objects is closer or farther away
  • Bending, stretching, twisting, or reaching
  • Seeing clearly at a distance
  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Overnight travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Hook Tender -- Supervises and coordinates activities of workers engaged in yarding and loading logs in high lead, slack line, or similar cable yarding system.
  • Marine Rigger --
  • Parachute Rigger --