A rigger operates machinery that is used to lift and haul heavy construction materials such as steel beams, platforms and drilling towers. Additionally, these professionals guide crane operators as objects are being moved.
While not always required, a high school diploma or its equivalent is recommended, as the role of a rigger requires extensive use of mathematical, reading and communication skills.
Most riggers enter the field by participating in formal apprenticeship programs administered by local trade unions, which consist of on-the-job training under the tutelage of a senior rigger.
The hourly wage earned by a rigger employed in the United States in 2012 was $21.44, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 2012, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there were 14,690 riggers employed nationally. That number is not expected to change much between 2006 and 2016.
United States Department of Labor Office
Those seeking a career as a rigger should first visit the website of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship Training, Employer and Labor Services, which provides an updated list of apprenticeship opportunities nationwide.