Riggers – The Skilled Heavy Lifters

Rigger jobs are found in a number of industries. From construction jobs to the mining industry, Riggers form an important part of any team they join. Today the Job Mail team wanted to take a closer look at what a Rigger is and what Rigger jobs in South Africa entails.


What is a Rigger?

Highly skilled, Riggers specialise in rope work. This allows specialists to reach those difficult places without having to rely on scaffolding. From ensuring that all the necessary safety precautions are followed, to minting the needed equipment to get the job done, Riggers are an active and important part of many teams across a wide range of industries.

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A ‘physical’ job, Riggers jobs can be dangerous, demanding and extremely fulfilling.

Rigger Jobs and the Industries they are found in

While Rigging jobs can be found in the military as well as the marine industry, Riggers more commonly find employment in the mining, oil and construction industries. From operating lifting equipment to maintaining the equipment used, Riggers perform a magnitude of duties.


In the heavy construction industry, riggers are in charge of setting up all the cables and the pulley systems that are required to move heavy and large objects, all the while working with crane operators to ensure that objects are moved and placed correctly.

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Within the mining industry, rigger job can involve everything from assembling equipment to scaffolding. Riggers are very often used within this industry and even more so during the start or shutdown of operations. Playing an important part within the industry, these types of Rigger jobs in South Africa entails everything from assembling equipment, moving these equipment pieces and even tearing equipment down for safe transport and storage (making it easy to assemble and use again).

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Riggers that find employment in the oil industries (also sometimes referred to as rig technicians) have different levels of expertise and experience – from drillers to derrick hands. These type of professionals will be responsible for things that range to include the attachment of pieces of heavy machinery, anchoring parts and pieces to fixed structures and connecting various parts of machinery and equipment. Riggers active within this part of the industry also manages the movement of all the machinery while they are being used and are also responsible for the disassembly of machinery.


The other industries where Rigger jobs can be found include theatres (where they are in charge of prop and scene movement), the military (where riggers are involved in airdrop equipment such as parachutes) and the marine industry (where their responsibilities range to include setting up equipment that involves the ship’s functioning).

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The road to becoming a Rigger

If you are interested in successfully applying for Rigging jobs in South Africa you will have to become a qualified artisan. Regulated by DHET (Department of Higher Education and Training) through the NAMB (National Artisan Moderation Body) you will be required to pass a trade test, which will take place at a centre which is accredited by the QCTO (Quality Council for Trade and Occupations).


The minimum entry requirements to become a qualified artisan in this trade includes a minimum of 40% in maths (excluding math literacy) at the Grade 9 level. A Level 2 Vocational National Certificate will also allow you to meet the minimum entry requirements.

If you would like to go into the field associated with mechanical, civil or electrical trades, you will need a minimum of 40% in a relevant N2 Trade Theory. Another way of meeting entry requirements for these specific fields include having the relevant Level 2 Vocational National Certificate subjects.

From construction jobs to working at a mine, you can achieve your qualification and successfully pursuing Rigger jobs in South Africa by following one of four different routes.

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The first entails an apprenticeship under a qualified artisan. This apprenticeship will usually consist of both a workplace and a practical component.

The second route to obtaining your qualification is completing a learnership (or a series of learnerships) during which practical, knowledge and workplace experience forms part of your learning journey.

The third path you can choose is completing a learning programme. These learning programmes usually include prescribed work experience. This is usually in the form of an internship after you have completed the practical and knowledge components of the learning programme.


The fourth option is accumulating the needed knowledge over a period of time in order to receive recognition for prior learning (RPL).

Where you can complete training

There are a number of TVET Colleges that offer training programmes if you are interested in pursuing a Rigger job.

The Artisan Training Institute (ATI) is one of the training academies you can choose from. Accredited by the Mining Qualifications Authority (MQA), ATI offers training in the engineering trades ranging to include everything from boiler making and welding, to rigging and Auto Electricians.

Sappi also offers a basic rigging course that will enable you to perform basic rigging duties as required by standards in the industries. This course is recommended for everyone from artisans that are not that familiar with rigging, to apprentices and artisan aids. During this short course you will tackle both theory and practical exercises.

When you do choose a training institution, always be sure that the programmes on offer will cater to your needs. Also ensure that the institution you do choose, carries all the necessary accreditations.


Rigger Jobs currently listed on Job Mail

Looking for exciting opportunities and new adventures? Why not browse through the current Rigging jobs in South Africa.

Rigger in Kimberley

If you are looking for Rigger jobs in the Western Cape, this vacancy in Kimberley might interest you. Requiring that you hold a Rigger Trade Certificate and have at least six years’ experience in a similar position within the mining industry, your duties will range to include the support and the movement of heavy equipment through narrow openings and rigging repair, to name but a few examples.


Underground Rigger

Working in the mining industry in Limpopo, these vacancies require candidates to have at least five years’ of rigging experience, a valid first aid certificate and an extensive knowledge of winches and friction winches. Other requirements include a knowledge of the legal requirements in regard to winders and shafts, and an extensive knowledge of winders and shafts. If you hold a valid LMI Certificate, it can also work to your advantage.


Rigger in Gauteng

A vacancy for a Rigger in the construction industry is available in Gauteng. If you have the relevant qualifications and a minimum of five years’ experience, this position might be perfect for you.


Ready to start applying for Rigger jobs in your industry of expertise? With Rigging jobs in South Africa listed on Job Mail, registering your CV on www.JobMail.co.za is the only logical step.

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