What Does A Rigger Do? (With Duties, Skills And Salary)

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 18 March 2023

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Construction labourers perform a variety of tasks on the construction site. A rigger is responsible for fastening heavy loads to transportation equipment and controlling, supervising and directing the equipment's operators. Knowing the duties and skills required can help you decide if this is the right career path for you. In this article, we discuss the answer to "What does a rigger do?", understand the roles and responsibilities, explore the skills required and find out their salaries.

What does a rigger do?

To better understand the answer to "What does a rigger do?", it is beneficial to review their job duties. A rigger uses pulleys, cranes and winches to move heavy materials and equipment around the worksite. The mishandling of rigs can cause heavy damage, so this position requires significant responsibility. In addition to oil and gas and construction sites, every other industry that utilises cranes with large tonnage capacity requires riggers. Here are some of the responsibilities that they undertake:

  • make sure that the machinery is aligned, levelled and anchored

  • prepare loads for transport by inspecting and preparing them

  • operate cable, rope, pulley, winch, winches and other lifting equipment

  • select the right pulleys, booms, braces and cables for various jobs

  • assess the risks associated with lifting and moving heavy equipment through confined spaces

  • ensure that safety procedures comply with state laws and company policies

  • work closely with the rigging and construction teams

  • clean, dismantle and store rigging equipment after the job is complete

Related: What Is A Labourer? A Complete Guide To Understanding The Role

How much does a rigger make?

The national average salary of a rigger is ₹2,16,359 per year. Through experience, riggers can advance to levels such as master rigger and rigging equipment inspector. The salary can depend on multiple factors, such as the employer, location, educational qualifications, experience and skills.

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Requirements to become a rigger

Riggers do not typically need any special certifications to work. The Industrial Training Institute (ITI) offers a variety of vocational courses to labourers who have completed Class 8 or Class 10. You can follow these steps to become a rigger:

Completion of class 8 or 10

While formal education may not be necessary for employment as a rigger, it may offer long-term benefits. Completing Class 8 or a Class 10 can equip you for government jobs or pursue private employment opportunities. To improve your career prospects, you can also take advantage of a different online or offline formal training program.

Choosing the industry

Construction, manufacturing, oil, mining or any other relevant industry is a good place to work as a rigger. Understanding the requirements of the field in which you are interested and assessing if you possess the necessary skills or abilities may help you decide whether you want to pursue it. The task of a rigger is demanding, requires physical strength and requires you to be healthy and strong. Working outdoors in any weather condition is also a requirement.

Undergo vocational training

Several short- and long-term vocational training courses and skill development programs are available to help you gain skills that can help you find a good job. The Ministry of Skill Development And Entrepreneurship in India offers a range of courses to guidance, counselling, training and internships for career development and job placement. In ITIs skills can be acquired in various sectors such as construction, agriculture, production, manufacturing, automotive and electronics. These can be used to gain the needed skills and to find employment.

Industry experience

After completing the vocational training, you can apply for jobs in the industry of your choice. Performing the work duties assigned to you can provide you with work training and experience. Be sure to follow your instructor's safety instructions and wear protective gear if necessary. After gaining the necessary experience in the industry, you can apply directly to employers for employment.

Advancement in career

Once you gain experience in the industry, you can choose to advance your career. You can advance to levels such as master rigger and rigging equipment inspector. As part of their duties, they oversee operations at the construction site, manage people at the site and ensure quality assurance and safety standards.

Related: Utilise Your Aptitude To Find The Right Career

Skills requirements of a rigger

The following are some skills and characteristics that make a rigger successful:

Good communication skills

Using a crane to lift heavy materials is part of rigging. It is crucial for riggers and those around them to be aware of the dangers when operating a crane. It is essential for these professionals to have good verbal communication so that they can give clear instructions to the surrounding people. This ensures the safety of all the individuals working at the site.

Maintenance of equipment

The heavy equipment used at construction sites needs constant maintenance. These professionals establish how often and what type of maintenance equipment needs to be performed. Understanding the working of the machinery and the type of maintenance required for its smooth functioning ensures that the machines do not malfunction during critical tasks.

Reading and writing skills

The ability to read and comprehend basic content to read labels, charts and operation manuals is essential in this job role. It is also necessary for them to write incident reports in the local language or English. Having good reading and writing skills adds to their competency.

Technical knowledge

Since these professionals work with heavy equipment, they require expertise in the design, use, repair and maintenance of machines and tools. It is also necessary for them to have sound knowledge of plans, blueprints, drawings and models. The ability to understand raw materials, production processes and other techniques can help them excel at their job.

Attention to detail

Riggers have a multitude of responsibilities due to the nature of their work, which requires very close attention to detail. It is necessary for them to make sure the rigging is safe and reliable. In oil industries, the drilling process requires knowledge of the mechanical and hydraulic systems. It is crucial to set up the rig properly in order for the oil to flow smoothly and at the recommended pressure. This requires a high level of precision.

Related: Attention To Detail: Definition, Examples And Tips

Where do riggers work?

Riggers have varying working conditions, depending on the type of job they perform and have a wide range of employment opportunities ranging from self-employment to contractual employment to industrial jobs. There is a wide variety of employment opportunities for riggers, although some move to find work if they are working for contractors. Those working for industrial plants and similar organisations are typically not faced with this problem.

Based on the demand and prior experience, they may also work in the oil or mining industry. Riggers work on drilling rigs in the oil and gas industry and operate all aspects of the machinery used in drilling and monitor the rig's performance. In the maritime industry, marine riggers install, repair and maintain the ropes, cables, winches and pulleys that are carried by ships.

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Jobs similar to a rigger

You can also consider the following jobs similar to a rigger:

1. Forklift Operator

National average salary: ₹2,32,895 per year

Primary duties: In warehouses and other industrial sites, a forklift operator moves goods with the help of a forklift. In addition, they load and unload deliveries from storage areas into trucks or railroad cars, stack boxes for storage and move wooden pallets within the warehouse. They also ensure that the inventory records are up-to-date, follow company guidelines and maintain a safe working environment.

2. Material Handler

National average salary: ₹1,69,020 per year

Primary duties: It is the responsibility of a material handler to store, move and manage hazardous and non-hazardous materials. Their responsibilities include moving stock, recording deliveries and handling deliveries. It is also their responsibility to maintain inventory levels and submit purchasing recommendations regularly.

Related: 6 Material Handler Skills: Examples, How To Improve And Tips

3. Cable Technician

National average salary: ₹2,54,815 per year

Primary duties: In the cable system maintenance department, these professionals install, repair, program and upgrade the infrastructure. They also troubleshoot cabling system issues and perform major and minor preventive maintenance. Some other duties include installing and maintaining structured cabling systems in collaboration with co-workers, keeping track of time and materials spent and following established procedures when testing newly installed or relocated cables.

Salary figures reflect data listed on Indeed Salaries at the time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate's experience, academic background and location.

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