Riggers Certification Requirements and Hiring Process

Jan 15, 2024

16 Min Read

1. What is a Riggers Certification?

A Riggers Certification is a certification program for individuals who work in rigging and lifting operations, typically in the construction or industrial sectors. This certification verifies that an individual has the necessary knowledge, skills, and experience to safely and effectively perform rigging tasks and operate lifting equipment. It may also include training on relevant safety regulations, proper use of rigging equipment, and specialized techniques for specific types of rigging projects. A Riggers Certification may be required by employers or regulatory agencies to ensure safety and compliance in the workplace.

2. Why is it important for riggers to be certified?

There are several reasons why it is important for riggers to be certified:

1. Safety: Rigging involves the use of heavy equipment and machinery, as well as lifting and moving heavy objects. Without proper training and certification, a rigger may not have the necessary knowledge and skills to safely operate this equipment, resulting in potential accidents and injuries.

2. Compliance with regulations: Many industries, such as construction and mining, require riggers to be certified in order to comply with safety regulations set by governing bodies. Failure to comply could result in fines or penalties.

3. Quality work: Rigging requires precise calculations and technical skill in order to properly lift and move objects without causing damage. Certified riggers have undergone extensive training and assessment to ensure they are able to perform their job at a high level of proficiency.

4. Risk management: Hiring a certified rigger can help mitigate the risk of accidents or damage occurring during rigging operations. This not only protects workers but also minimizes potential financial losses for companies.

5. Industry standard: Certification serves as a standard of competency within the industry. By hiring certified riggers, companies can ensure that they are receiving services from qualified professionals who adhere to industry standards.

6. Career advancement: For individuals working as riggers, certification can lead to career advancement opportunities such as higher pay, more challenging projects, and increased job stability.

Ultimately, being certified demonstrates that a rigger has met specific standards of competence and professionalism, which benefits both individuals and companies in terms of safety, compliance, quality of work, risk management, industry standards, and career advancement opportunities.

3. What are the different types of rigging certifications available?

1. Industrial Rigging Certification: This type of certification is designed for individuals who work in industrial settings such as construction sites, manufacturing plants, and warehouses. It covers topics such as crane operation, load calculations, rigging equipment and techniques, and safety procedures.

2. Entertainment Rigging Certification: This certification is specifically for professionals who work in the entertainment industry, such as riggers for concerts, events, and theatrical productions. It includes training on rigging in different venues and scenarios, stage rigging safety protocols, rope access techniques, and other relevant topics.

3. Crane Operator Certification: Crane operators need specialized training and certification to operate these powerful machines safely. This certification covers crane operations, load charts and calculations, hand signals, inspection procedures, safe lifting practices, and more.

4. Oil and Gas Rigging Certification: This certification is designed for individuals working in the oil and gas industry who are responsible for rigging tasks on offshore platforms or other drilling sites. It covers safety procedures specific to this industry and the use of specialized rigging equipment.

5. NCCCO Rigger Certification: The National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) offers a rigger certification program that covers various types of rigging equipment such as cranes, hoists, slings, shackles and more. It also includes training on load charts & calculations , inspection procedures standards set by OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration).

6. Rigging Inspector Certification: This type of certification is aimed at individuals who want to ensure that rigged loads comply with engineering design requirements. It includes training on visual inspections of lifting equipment as well as engineering principles related to lifting operations.

7.Rigging Design Engineer Certificate: This advanced level certificate requires extensive knowledge of engineering principles related to rigging systems design such as load analysis methods sling configurations in dynamic environments it contains large range o

f precise information about advanced ropework & materials.

4. Is a rigger certification necessary for every type of rigging job?

No, a rigger certification may not be necessary for every type of rigging job. It depends on the specific job requirements and regulations in the area where the job is taking place. Some jobs may only require a general knowledge of rigging and safety procedures, while others may require specialized training and certifications. It is important to always follow local regulations and consult with an experienced professional before undertaking any rigging job.

5. How do you obtain a riggers certification?

To obtain a rigger’s certification, you will need to complete the following steps:

1. Learn the skills and knowledge required for rigging: You can enroll in a training program at a trade school or vocational institute to learn the basics of rigging.

2. Gain practical experience: To become certified as a rigger, you must have practical hands-on experience in performing rigging tasks under the supervision of an experienced rigger.

3. Meet the minimum age requirement: Most certification programs require candidates to be at least 18 years old.

4. Complete a rigger’s certification program: There are various organizations that offer rigger certification programs, including trade unions, industry associations, and private companies. These programs typically involve completing coursework, passing exams and demonstrating proficiency in practical skills.

5. Pass written exams: Riggers must have knowledge of safety procedures, equipment setup and usage, load calculations, and load capacities. Written exams evaluate your understanding of these topics.

6. Pass practical assessments: Practical assessments test your ability to apply what you’ve learned in real-world scenarios. This could include setting up lifting devices, calculating loads and performing lifts under different conditions.

7. Apply for certification: After successfully completing all requirements of the program, you can apply for certification from the organization that administered your training and assessment.

8. Maintain your certification: Depending on the certifying organization, you may need to renew your riggers’ certification every few years by completing additional training or providing evidence of continued work experience in rigging jobs.

6. Is there any difference between a national, state, or industry-specific rigger certification?

Yes, there are differences between national, state, and industry-specific rigger certifications.

– National certifications are typically recognized across the entire country and are often required for rigging work on federal government projects. These certifications may also be accepted by states and specific industries as proof of competency.

– State certifications are issued by individual states and may be required for rigging work within that state. These certifications often involve passing a written exam and meeting state-specific requirements for training and experience.

– Industry-specific certifications are issued by organizations or associations within a particular industry and may be required for work within that industry. Examples include crane operator certification from the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) or wind turbine erection certification from the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA).

In general, all rigger certifications require individuals to demonstrate knowledge of rigging principles, equipment, load calculations, safety procedures, and other relevant topics. However, specific requirements may vary depending on the organization issuing the certification and the industry in which it is used.

7. What qualifications and skills are required to be eligible for a rigger certification?

The specific qualifications and skills required for a rigger certification may vary depending on the certifying organization, but some common requirements include:

1. Experience: Most certifying organizations require candidates to have a certain amount of experience in rigging operations, typically ranging from 2-5 years.

2. Knowledge and understanding of rigging principles: Candidates should have an in-depth understanding of rigging equipment, techniques, safety practices, and regulations.

3. Physical ability: Rigging can be physically demanding work, so candidates should be able to perform tasks that require lifting, carrying, and working at heights.

4. Communication skills: Effective communication is crucial in rigging operations as riggers must communicate clearly with team members to ensure safe and efficient work.

5. Technical knowledge: Candidates should have knowledge of various types of rigging equipment such as slings, hoists, winches, clamps, pulleys, etc., as well as how to inspect them for proper functionality.

6. Safety training: Riggers must be trained in relevant safety procedures and regulations such as OSHA guidelines for safe rigging practices.

7. Certification course completion: Candidates must complete a certified rigger training course approved by the certifying organization before taking the certification exam.

8. Pass written and practical examinations: Depending on the certifying body’s requirements, candidates may need to pass both a written knowledge exam and a practical hands-on demonstration of their rigging skills.

It’s essential to check with your local or national regulating board for specific requirements for obtaining a rigger certification in your area.

8. Are there any physical requirements for obtaining a rigger certification?

The specific physical requirements for obtaining a rigger certification may vary depending on the jurisdiction and type of certification being sought. However, in general, rigging work can be physically demanding and requires individuals to be in good physical condition to safely perform tasks such as lifting heavy objects, working at heights, and using power tools. Some jurisdictions may also have minimum age requirements for obtaining a rigger certification. It is best to check with the certifying organization or agency for the specific requirements for the certification you are seeking.

9. Is there an age limit for getting certified as a rigger?

There is no specific age limit for getting certified as a rigger. However, most rigger certification programs require applicants to be 18 years old or older. It may also depend on the specific requirements of the certifying organization or program.

10. Do all companies require their riggers to have a certification?

Not all companies require their riggers to have a certification, but many do. Certification offers assurance that the rigger has been trained in safe rigging practices and can help mitigate potential hazards on the job site. Companies may also require certification as a way to ensure compliance with regulatory standards and to demonstrate a commitment to workplace safety. Additionally, some customers or clients may only hire riggers who are certified, so having a certification may open up more job opportunities for the rigger.

11. How does having a riggers certification improve safety on job sites?

Having a riggers certification improves safety on job sites in several ways:

1. Knowledge and Proper Use of Equipment: A certified rigger is trained to properly select, inspect and use all rigging equipment in a safe manner. They are also equipped with the knowledge and skills to determine the right equipment for different lifting tasks, ensuring that it is used correctly and safely.

2. Understanding of Load Limits: Riggers are educated on load limits, weight capacities, and center of gravity calculations, allowing them to make informed decisions about the safest ways to lift and transport heavy objects.

3. Risk Assessment: Certified riggers are trained to identify potential hazards before performing any rigging operations. They can also assess job sites for potential risks and take preventative measures to ensure a safe working environment.

4. Adherence to Industry Standards: Rigging certifications require rigorous training that is in line with industry standards set by organizations like OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers). This ensures that certified riggers adhere to the best practices in safety protocols and procedures.

5. Communication Skills: Riggers must be able to communicate effectively with other team members during lifting operations. This includes having thorough knowledge of hand signals, radio communication, or other means of communicating instructions clearly to ensure everyone on site is aware of what is happening at all times.

6. Incident Prevention: With their knowledge and training, certified riggers can proactively identify potential risks or mistakes during lifting operations, preventing accidents from occurring.

7. Compliance: Many construction sites or companies require certified riggers as part of their compliance with safety regulations. Having certified personnel on-site ensures compliance with these regulations, decreasing the likelihood of accidents or injuries occurring.

8. Continual Training: To maintain their certification, riggers must undergo regular training updates to stay current with new equipment technologies or changes in safety regulations. This continual learning process improves their skills and knowledge, making them better equipped to handle challenging rigging tasks and further improving safety on job sites.

12. Are there any specific industries that require their riggers to have a certification?

Yes, there are several industries that require riggers to have a certification, including construction, manufacturing, oil and gas, and mining. These industries often involve heavy lifting and moving of equipment or materials, making proper rigging techniques crucial for safety and efficiency. Employers in these industries may require riggers to hold a certain level of certification to ensure they have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their job duties effectively.

13. Can someone without a rigger certification still work as a rigger?

It depends on the specific job and company policies. Some companies may require a rigger certification for anyone working as a rigger, while others may allow non-certified workers to assist under the supervision of a certified rigger. It is always best to check with the employer to determine their specific requirements. Additionally, even if certification is not required for the job, it is important for rigging workers to properly train and educate themselves on safe rigging practices to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

14. Are certifications from other countries recognized in the United States?

In most cases, certifications from other countries are not automatically recognized in the United States. However, some certifications may have reciprocity agreements with certifying bodies in the US, which would allow for easier recognition of the certification. It is important to check with the specific organization or industry to determine if a foreign certification will be recognized in the US.

15. What are the consequences of hiring unqualified or uncertified riggers on projects?

1. Increased risk of accidents and injuries: Hiring unqualified or uncertified riggers can significantly increase the risk of accidents and injuries on a project. Rigging involves lifting heavy loads and requires specialized skills and knowledge to do it safely. Unqualified or uncertified riggers may not have the necessary training or experience to perform rigging operations safely, which can lead to accidents, injuries, and even fatalities.

2. Non-compliance with safety regulations: Hiring unqualified or uncertified riggers can also lead to non-compliance with safety regulations. In many countries, there are strict regulations in place regarding the use of qualified and certified riggers for certain types of projects. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in penalties, fines, and legal consequences for the company.

3. Delays and disruptions on the project: Unqualified or uncertified riggers may not have a good understanding of safe rigging practices and techniques, which can result in delays and disruptions on the project. These delays can be costly as they can impact the timeline of the project, leading to increased expenses and potential loss of revenue.

4. Damage to equipment or materials: Improper rigging procedures can cause damage to equipment or materials being lifted. This can result in costly repairs or replacements, affecting the overall budget of the project.

5. Negative impact on company reputation: If an accident occurs due to hiring unqualified or uncertified riggers, it can damage the company’s reputation among clients and stakeholders. This could result in a loss of business opportunities and trust from existing clients.

6. Legal liabilities: In case of accidents resulting from hiring unqualified or uncertified riggers, companies may face legal liabilities such as lawsuits from injured workers or their families.

7. Higher insurance premiums: Companies that hire unqualified or uncertified riggers may face higher insurance premiums due to increased risk exposure.

8. Decreased productivity: Unqualified or uncertified riggers may take longer to complete tasks or require supervision, leading to decreased productivity on the project.

9. Extra costs for training and certification: If unqualified or uncertified riggers are hired, companies will need to invest in additional training and certification programs to ensure their workforce meets the necessary industry standards. This can result in increased expenses for the company.

10. Inconsistent work quality: Hiring unqualified or uncertified riggers can lead to inconsistent work quality as they may not have the necessary knowledge and skills to maintain consistent standards of work. This can affect the overall quality of the project and client satisfaction.

11. Difficulty in obtaining project permits: Some projects may require permits from authorities that mandate the use of qualified and certified riggers. Not having properly trained and certified riggers on staff can make it challenging or even impossible to obtain these permits, leading to delays and disruptions on the project.

12. Loss of experienced workers: Hiring unqualified or uncertified riggers can also result in the loss of experienced workers who do not want to work with inexperienced or unsafe team members. This could result in a shortage of skilled workers, affecting future projects.

13. Potential penalties from clients: Clients may impose penalties or seek compensation if they discover that unqualified or uncertified riggers were used on their project, putting added financial pressure on a company.

14. Safety culture decline: Hiring unqualified or uncertified riggers goes against creating a safe and compliant work culture within a company. It can set a precedent for disregarding safety protocols and negatively impact employee morale.

15. Higher risk during critical lifts: Critical lifts require specialized skills, experience, and certifications due to their complex nature and potential hazards involved. Using unqualified or uncertified riggers for critical lifts significantly increases the risk of accidents and injuries, making them even more dangerous than they already are.

16. How often do riggers need to renew their certifications?

Riggers typically need to renew their certifications every 1-3 years, depending on the certification program and industry standards. However, some certifications may only require renewal every 5 years or have no expiration date. It is important for riggers to regularly check their certification expiration dates and complete any necessary renewal requirements in order to maintain a valid and up-to-date certification.

17 .How can someone prove they have obtained their certification if they misplace their certificate?

If someone misplaces their certification, they can typically contact the organization or agency that issued the certificate and request a duplicate copy. Many organizations keep records of certified individuals and will issue a new certificate upon request.

Alternatively, if the certification can be verified through an online database or registry, the individual may be able to provide their name and other identifying information to confirm their certification.

Additionally, some certifications may come with a digital badge or credential that can be shared on professional networking sites, making it easy for others to verify the individual’s credentials.

18 .Are there different levels of rigging certifications based on experience or expertise?

Yes, there are different levels of rigging certifications based on experience and expertise. These levels may vary depending on the certifying organization or country, but generally include:

1. Basic Rigging Certification: This level is for entry-level riggers who have completed basic training and demonstrated knowledge in basic rigging practices such as equipment selection, load calculations, and safe lifting procedures.

2. Intermediate Rigging Certification: This level is for riggers with a higher level of experience and training. They have demonstrated proficiency in advanced rigging techniques, including using multiple-piece slings, determining center of gravity, and understanding load dynamics.

3. Advanced Rigging Certification: This level is for experienced riggers who have extensive knowledge of complex rigging operations, specialized equipment usage, and advanced mathematics used in engineering calculations.

4. Site-Specific Rigging Certification: This level is specific to the requirements of a particular worksite or industry. It covers regulations, policies, and procedures unique to that site or industry.

5. Master Rigger Certification: This is the highest level of certification for riggers who have many years of experience and demonstrated mastery in all aspects of rigging operations.

In addition to these levels, some organizations may offer specialized certifications in areas such as crane signaling or tower crane dismantling. It’s important to research the specific certifications offered by each organization to determine which one best suits your needs and goals.

19 .What role do employers play in the process of obtaining and maintaining rigger certifications for their employees?

Employers play a crucial role in the process of obtaining and maintaining rigger certifications for their employees.

1. Assessing Training Needs: Employers need to assess the training needs of their employees and determine if they require rigger certification to perform their job duties.

2. Providing Training: Employers can organize or provide training programs for their employees to prepare them for the rigger certification exam. They may also cover the costs associated with the training, such as course fees, study materials, and exam fees.

3. Encouraging Certification: Employers should promote and encourage their employees to obtain rigger certifications as it not only benefits the individual but also enhances the overall safety and efficiency of the workplace.

4. Maintaining Records: Employers are responsible for keeping records of employee’s certifications and ensuring that they are up-to-date.

5. Monitoring Performance: It is important for employers to monitor the performance of their certified riggers on an ongoing basis to ensure they are adhering to all safety regulations and guidelines.

6. Providing Continued Education: Employers can facilitate continued education opportunities for their riggers, helping them stay abreast of any changes or updates in safety standards and regulations.

7. Ensuring Compliance: It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure that all riggers working on their site have proper certification as per state or federal regulations.

8. Renewal Process: When it comes time for re-certification, employers should assist their employees in completing any necessary paperwork, assembling documentation, and paying renewal fees.

Overall, employers play a key role in supporting their employees’ achievement and maintenance of rigger certifications by providing resources, encouragement, monitoring, and compliance assistance. This helps create a safer work environment while also promoting professional development within the company.

20 .What resources are available for individuals who want to learn more about the process and requirements for becoming certified as a rigger?

1. Online courses or tutorials: There are many online training resources available that provide comprehensive information about rigging certification. These may include video tutorials, interactive quizzes, and reading materials.

2. Industry organizations and associations: You can also consult with industry associations such as the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO) or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) to learn more about the certification process.

3. Official government websites: Government agencies that regulate crane and rigging operations, such as OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), have information on their websites about certifications and requirements for becoming a rigger.

4. Training schools and institutes: Look for accredited training schools that offer specific courses in rigging and lifting operations. They can provide hands-on training on equipment and prepare you for the certification exams.

5. Locally sourced knowledge: You could also reach out to experienced riggers and crane operators in your area who can share their insights and expertise with you.

6. Books and manuals: There are several books and manuals written specifically for those seeking to become certified riggers. These resources offer detailed explanations of rigging principles, safety guidelines, standards, calculations, etc.

7. Job sites or employers: If you’re currently employed in a related field, your employer may have information or training programs available for employees interested in pursuing certification as a rigger.

8. Certification exam preparation guides: Many organizations offering rigging certification have study guides or practice tests available for purchase to help individuals prepare for the exam.

9. Rigging forums or online communities: Participating in online forums or communities dedicated to rigging can also be a helpful resource as members often share tips, advice, and updates on industry trends related to certifications.

10.Regional Occupational Centers & Programs (ROCPs): These centers offer vocational education programs geared towards professional development in trades like construction, engineering & manufacturing — which includes rigging certification training.


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