Scaffolding Jobs – Young Jobseeker Info
Scaffolding jobs… did you know?
Have you got a good head for heights? If so, your scaffolding job skills could take you all kinds of places. You could be putting up scaffolding on mega construction projects like London’s Shard, or adding to your skills and knowledge to become part of event crews putting up stages at festivals.
Scaffolder job trends
How much money can you make as a scaffolder?
£14,000 – £30,000 (UK average)
Recent labour market information says you can earn on average between £14,000 and £30,000 a year as a scaffolder in the UK.
Your starting salary can vary because of factors like level of experience, training, location or the size of the company. Your salary as a scaffolder will increase over time as you build skills, knowledge and experience. Your salary can also increase with shift allowances, and if you do overtime.
You can also become self-employed, start your own business and set your own pay rates.
What entry qualifications and training do you need for this job?
School, college and training
You can usually start training as a scaffolder straight after school. You don’t need any qualifications to get started as a trainee scaffolder, although you will need a Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) card which proves you understand the health and safety aspects of the job.
You can start straight from school. Professional scaffolders often leave school and build experience by training on the job with an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship gives you an industry-recognised qualification while you’re learning on the job. Becoming an apprentice scaffolder is a way to build skills, knowledge, and experience – while getting paid for it.
While at school or college, speak to your careers advisor about useful training and/or courses for you to take and find out more about the types of career routes available.
Career progression and further qualifications
Want to climb up the ladder in your scaffolding career? In time you could become a team leader, known as a scaffolding gang supervisor. You could also become a construction manager or scaffolding designer.
You additionally have the option to become self-employed – once you’ve learned the ins and outs of the job – and set up your own business.
What experience do you need for scaffolding jobs?
You can start training as a scaffolder after you leave school.
Aim to get scaffolding and construction work experience to build your CV. This can involve:
- Work shadowing (even if it’s just for a day)
- Work placements in a company
Ask any friends or family in the building trade if you can help them out on projects as a labourer’s mate. Test out your head for heights with projects that involve ladders, like window cleaning. Be sure to have a professional on hand to guide you through the process. Always put health and safety first, just like you would in a professional job.
Look for volunteering opportunities that involve scaffolding and rigging work – like setting up a temporary music stage. See if you can get part-time work or volunteering positions as festival event crew.
What skills do you need for scaffolding jobs?
Useful skills to highlight to your employer when applying for jobs as a scaffolder include:
- A good head for heights
- Practical skills – scaffolding is physical work involving good balance, quick reactions and the strength to lift equipment
- Teamwork skills – you’ll often work in teams of three and trust and communication is vital
- Being able to follow instructions
- Understanding of health and safety – you know it’s important not to put yourself, your team or your clients at risk.
- Being able to drive and having a driver’s licence is a plus because you might be asked to travel and transport equipmen.t
Vocational qualifications and work experience will help you build these skills over time.
What does a scaffolder do?
Knowing a little more about scaffolding will help you show employers that you understand what this job is about. It can also help you decide if it’s right for you.
Scaffolding is the name for supports and working platforms which are put up around a building so that construction operatives can work on it, even at great heights. They help people work on the outside of buildings.
Who would want to hire you? Potential employers include scaffolding firms, building contractors and oil, gas and power companies.
You’ll most likely work on a construction site, but there are all kinds of tall structures where your scaffolding skills will be in demand. You could build offshore scaffolding on oil rigs, for example. You could also erect stands at gigs, festivals and sports events.
You’ll often work in a team of three. The chargehand in your group puts down timber (wooden) boards as a foundation. Then the fixer and the labourer lay out and construct the scaffolding. You all need to work well as a team, being able to trust each other to do the job safely without putting anyone at risk.
Example job responsibilities:
- Transporting heavy equipment (e.g. unload scaffolding from a lorry)
- Using equipment including hoists and winches to lift timber and scaffolding poles
- Creating a stable base for the scaffolding so it has strong foundations on the ground
- Following instructions to put up scaffolding poles and link them with horizontal tubes
- Fixing the scaffolding to a building so it won’t topple over
- Putting down planks across the scaffolding for people to walk on
- Adding guard rails and safety nets – this keeps workers safe and also protects anyone walking underneath the scaffold walkways
- Taking down all the scaffolding after the job is done
Your first steps into scaffolder jobs
To find jobs for young people in this role, search on job boards for positions with these words in the title:
- Trainee scaffolder
- Apprentice scaffolder
- Scaffold helper
- Entry level scaffold technician
Useful organisations and links
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View job descriptions with average UK salary, useful qualifications and a variety of routes into this career. Or see our full list of careers in construction!