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Common Construction Occupations – Scaffolder

ScaffolderWith over 700 construction related occupations available the industry certainly has plenty of job roles to choose from.

Here we will detail the popular site based construction role, the Scaffolder, noting what the job involves, the salary opportunities and what you need to pursue the occupation.

Working as a Scaffolder: The Training

Candidates wishing to pursue a career in Scaffolding normally begin as a trainee gaining both work experience and qualifications on the job.

Many people who have basic experience in a site labour role will be eligible to apply as a trainee Scaffolder, alternatively you may be able to gain a position through an apprenticeship scheme. Whilst you are working as a trainee you will need to gain a qualification in order to progress in your career, the most popular on the job qualification is the NVQ. After sourcing some work experience and completing a basic Health, Safety & Environment test, trainees will be eligible to take an level 2 NVQ in Accessing Operations and Rigging.

The level 2 NVQ qualification will allow you apply for a Scaffolder card (CISRS) and you will be able to carry out basic scaffolding work such as erecting, dismantling and altering scaffolding as part of a team or gang. After a further 12 months of experience Scaffolders will be able to attend the advanced NVQ level 3 course and gain an advanced Scaffolder card enabling you to carry out more complex scaffolding duties. There is also a course and card available for candidates wishing to pursue a supervisory role in scaffolding.

Employment Opportunities

As a Scaffolder you will be able to work for small and large building contractors as well as oil, power and utility firms. Alternatively you could seek employment with a specialist-scaffolding firm where you will work on various sites as part of a sub-contractor team.

With the right qualifications and experience you can gain employment as a supervisor and even branch out into site management or construction management.

There is also the option to set up your own business in scaffolding.

Scaffolding is a key part of any construction or restoration project therefore there will be plentiful opportunities to work in this occupation on multiple sites across the UK.

Possible Income

Trainee Scaffolders can earn up to £13k per annum whilst they complete their training.  Once qualified, Scaffolders can earn anything from £17k to £38k per annum depending upon job role, experience and qualifications. Overtime and allowances can increase a Scaffolders income and of course if you are a self employed or run your own scaffolding firm you can negotiate and stipulate your own rates.

The Work

Scaffolders duties primarily include erecting and dismantling scaffolding on construction and restoration projects.

As a Scaffolder you will work as part of a small team and undertake the following duties; the unloading and reloading of scaffold equipment, setting up base plates and attaching scaffolding poles (standards) and tubes (ledgers) to them, fixing scaffolding to a building or structure, laying planks (battens) across the scaffold to enable access for site workers, fixing guard rails, fixing safety netting, and dismantling the scaffold at the end of the job.

Your working week will usually be 40 hours with the possibility of working nights and weekends. As you will be working at height it is important to wear a harness at all times whilst on site.

Card Schemes

Gold CISRS CardAs a Scaffolder you can apply for the CSCS affiliate card for scaffolding known as the CISRS Card (Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme). This will ensure you are eligible to work on all UK sites currently complying with the scheme; this figure currently stands at over 80%.

Scaffolders are eligible for several types of CISRS card depending upon their experience and qualifications. Most candidates wishing to apply to the CISRS will be required to pass the Working at Heights CSCS Test.


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