Do Riggers Make Good Money

Riggers play a crucial role in construction, shipbuilding, and other industries by setting up and dismantling rigging systems. Their responsibilities involve ensuring the safe and efficient movement of heavy equipment, structures, and materials. As a result, riggers are in high demand, and their skills are essential for the smooth operation of various construction projects.

Rigger Job Description and Responsibilities

Riggers are skilled tradespeople responsible for erecting, dismantling, and maintaining various structures, including scaffolding, rigging, and suspended equipment. They play a vital role in construction, entertainment, and industrial settings.

Their responsibilities encompass:

  • Assembling and installing scaffolding, hoists, and cranes
  • Inspecting and maintaining rigging equipment
  • Operating cranes and other lifting devices
  • Coordinating with other workers to ensure safe and efficient operations
  • Troubleshooting and repairing equipment
  • Following safety protocols and industry regulations

To become a rigger, individuals typically complete a formal apprenticeship program or receive on-the-job training. They must demonstrate proficiency in knot tying, rigging techniques, and equipment handling. Additionally, certification from recognized organizations such as the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) is often required.

Knot tyingExpertise in tying various knots for securing equipment
Rigging techniquesUnderstanding of safe and efficient rigging methods
Equipment handlingSkillful operation of cranes and lifting devices
TroubleshootingAbility to identify and resolve equipment issues
Safety protocolsAdherence to safety regulations and industry best practices

Salary and Wage Expectations in the Rigging Industry

Riggers are responsible for the safe and efficient assembly and disassembly of complex structures, such as stages, lighting systems, and audio equipment. They work in a variety of settings, including concerts, sporting events, and corporate functions.

The salary and wage expectations for riggers vary depending on a number of factors, including experience, location, and the type of work they perform. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for riggers was $48,130 in May 2021.

  • Entry-level riggers typically earn between $25,000 and $35,000 per year.
  • Experienced riggers with 5-10 years of experience can earn between $40,000 and $55,000 per year.
  • Lead riggers and those with specialized skills, such as climbing and welding, can earn up to $75,000 per year or more.

The location of a rigger’s work also affects their salary expectations. Riggers who work in large metropolitan areas, such as New York City or Los Angeles, typically earn more than those who work in rural areas.

The type of work that a rigger performs also influences their salary expectations. Riggers who work on large-scale projects, such as concerts or sporting events, typically earn more than those who work on smaller projects.

Experience LevelAnnual Salary Range
Experienced (5-10 years)$40,000-$55,000
Lead rigger/Specialized skillsUp to $75,000 or more

Factors Influencing Rigger Salaries

The salary of a rigger can vary widely depending on several factors. Here are the key elements that influence rigger compensation:

  • Experience: Riggers with more experience typically earn higher salaries.
  • Certification: Certified riggers with specialized training and skills command higher pay.
  • Industry: Riggers working in high-paying industries, such as oil and gas, construction, and entertainment, earn more.
  • Location: The cost of living in the area where a rigger works can impact their salary.
  • Union Membership: Unionized riggers typically have higher salaries and benefits.
Average Rigger Salaries by Experience Level
Experience LevelAverage Salary
Entry-Level$50,000 – $65,000
Mid-Level$65,000 – $85,000
Senior-Level$85,000 – $120,000

Advancements and Career Opportunities in Rigging

Riggers are skilled professionals who specialize in the safe and efficient installation and dismantling of scaffolding, cranes, and other structures used in construction and industrial settings. With the growing demand for skilled tradespeople, riggers can enjoy a rewarding career with excellent earning potential and advancement opportunities.

Career Opportunities

  • Rigger: Entry-level position responsible for installing and dismantling scaffolding, cranes, and other structures.
  • Lead Rigger: Supervises and coordinates a team of riggers, ensuring safety and efficiency.
  • Project Manager: Manages large-scale projects, including planning, coordinating, and executing the installation and dismantling of structures.
  • Safety Manager: Ensures compliance with safety regulations and develops and implements safety programs.


  1. On-the-job training: Riggers can gain experience and advance their skills through hands-on training and mentoring.
  2. Certifications: Riggers can obtain industry certifications, such as the Certified Rigger Level I from the Crane Industry Council of America, to demonstrate their competence and enhance their career prospects.
  3. Specialized training: Riggers can specialize in specific areas, such as heavy lifting, crane operation, or structural inspection, to expand their skillset and increase their earning potential.


The earning potential for riggers varies depending on factors such as experience, level of certification, and location. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for riggers was $49,450 as of May 2021.

Rigger Salary by Experience
Experience LevelMedian Annual Salary
Less than 1 year$35,000
1-3 years$45,000
4-9 years$55,000
10+ years$65,000

Welp, there you have it, folks! Riggers can indeed make a pretty penny, especially those with experience and specialized skills. If you’re considering a career in rigging, do your research, get certified, and be prepared to work hard. And hey, thanks for sticking around until the end! Be sure to check back later for more industry insights and career advice. Until then, take care and stay safe out there.