What does a scaffolder do?

Scaffolders are required to perform their duties for a variety of different purposes, for example, erecting a catwalk at a fashion show, or providing scaffolding to work on the facade of a building. Each job will require the use of different skills, equipment and techniques. Scaffolders need to be able to be adaptable to perform the task at hand, working out solutions for the designated space and requirements while remaining mindful of health and safety requirements and risk minimisation. Most often, they will work from plans to assemble support braces, guardrails, planks and safety nets using a system of pulleys and platforms. They may be required to extend or alter scaffolding as work on a construction project progresses and plan for these changes in their initial work.

Tasks:

  • Fitting together pipes, braces and clamps
  • Laying planks to create flooring
  • Positioning and securing scaffolding sections
  • Working from blueprints

What skills do I need to be a scaffolder?

Scaffolding is a demanding job, both fulfilling and physically draining. Scaffolding is considered to be a high-risk profession, due to the nature of working at heights coupled with the normal risks of construction work with tools, chemicals and other heavy or sharp objects. To work in the scaffolding industry, you must have an exceptional awareness of health and safety issues, be able to concentrate on completing your work to a very high standard. Erecting a scaffold must be performed with accuracy, as this will determine how safe a work site is for all workers onsite.

Skills/attributes
  • Ability to work at heights
  • Keen awareness of health and safety hazards
  • Capable of meeting the physical demands of the job
  • Ability to adapt skills to varying job demands

Specialisations

Becoming a qualified scaffolder opens up many doors in an industry that enables you to work in a diverse range of environments. Deciding on a specialisation will help you on your way to understanding what experience, accreditations and job specific skills you will need. 

Rigger

Although becoming a rigger requires additional training and education, a background in scaffolding will lend itself conveniently to many of the skills required to be a rigger. Rigging involves using mechanical systems such as jibs and derricks to move heavy structural objects.

Music and Entertainment Scaffolder

Some scaffolders find permanent employment with companies that specifically service the entertainment industry. This covers a huge range of event types, including fashion shows, music concerts and industry awards nights. If you have a love for music or simply enjoy a varied schedule, this may be the career option for you.

Construction Scaffolding

Scaffolding on construction sites requires industry and job specific skills. Although relying on basic scaffolding principles, the ability to tailor your craft to the requirements and restrictions of each construction site is a must. A scaffold may be use to repair the facade of a building, providing a safe platform for other skilled labourers to work at great heights.

Study pathways for scaffolders

There are a number of different pathways you can take to tailor your career path and target your scaffolding qualifications.

Getting Started

Start your career with knowledge of the construction industry’s standards and practices.

Skill Building

Gain important skills and trade knowledge as you complete your studies

Professional Development

Hone your professional abilities with hands-on experience backed by technical understanding

Industry Recognition

Obtaining a High Risk working permit in addition to a Construction Induction Card is a must for this industry. Some states may require you to take undertake a short course focussed on safely working at heights.

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your scaffolding career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

There is expected to be some growth in employment levels in the next five years with future job openings projected to be higher than average.