How to become a scaffolder

For you to be a scaffolder, you need to undergo intense health and safety training especially since you’ll be entrusted with the vital task of putting up and dismantling safe and efficient scaffolding systems to be used by other workers.

2 men working on a scaffold

Scaffolders are a crucial part of the construction industry. Be it a simple repair job, or a house extension, scaffolding services may be necessary at some point. As the construction industry continues to grow, so does the demand for these skilled construction workers. Here is what it takes to become a great scaffolder and get hired.

Becoming a scaffolder isn’t something you can achieve overnight, it takes time and commitment. If you are passionate about working outdoors, scaffolding could be a suitable career path for you. It can be physically demanding hence the need for excellent personal health and fitness. Here are some of the essential things you should know about becoming a scaffolder.

What do scaffolders do

Scaffolders help in putting up safe scaffolding structures that provide easy and safe access to other construction workers when undertaking building projects at height. They’re also responsible for dismantling the scaffolding structure. Depending on the project in progress, a qualified scaffolder should be able to select the best option from the various types of scaffolding available.

scaffolder climbing up the stairs

Here are some of the things a scaffolder does

  • Transporting scaffolding equipment to the construction site
  • Ensuring there’s stable base to errect the scaffolding
  • Erecting and securing the scaffolding
  • Laying boards to provide a safe platfrom for workers
  • Attaching guard rails and safety nets
  • Adhering to the health and safety guidelines
  • Safely dismantling the scaffolding structure once the project is done
  • Ensuring proper storage and maintenance of the scaffolding equipment

How long does it take to become a scaffolder

It takes three years to become a professional scaffolder. This includes the 18 months it takes to complete an apprenticeship. 18 Months is enough to gain the expertise, knowledge, and training to become a qualified scaffolder.

Scaffolder walking down the ladder

What qualifications do I need to be a scaffolder

There are no specific entry qualifications toward becoming a qualified scaffolder. However, there are several things you can do to acquire the necessary training to work as a professional in the field. You need to understand scaffolding safety tips and any other necessary skills.

An apprenticeship, which takes approximately 18 months, is a great place to start as it gives you the exposure and experience needed. All you need are GCSEs which can include maths and English or any equivalent. It’s an ideal opportunity to acquire skills, knowledge and also learn the trade.

There’s also the option of undertaking a college course like Construction Operations to acquire the skills needed for a trainee position at a scaffolding company. For this, you’ll need several GCSEs to undertake either a Level 1 or 2 college course.

You can also acquire professional training from the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme CISRC which is a recognised training scheme for scaffolders. The training will vary depending on what you intend to focus on in the scaffolding field. The different areas of focus include the following:

  • A site supervisor
  • An advanced scaffolder
  • A scaffolding designer
  • A construction site manager
  • A scaffold inspection specialist

Each area requires different skills and qualifications but the entry-level scaffolding experience will give you some of the qualities and skills needed to progress. Once you have successfully completed your training and you can efficiently work without any supervision, you’re issued with a CISRC card detailing your level of ability.

How much do scaffolders make

Experienced scaffolders make £40,000 per annum. Budding scaffolders starts from £14,000 a year. Once you work without supervision, your salary gets to £17,000 per annum.

Your expertise in the field determines how much you earn. The salary gets better once you level up your skills and are able to work effectively by yourself. It can be a pretty rewarding career path if you’re committed and dedicated.

If you were at crossroads trying to determine whether a scaffolding career would be suitable for you, or how to become a scaffolding expert, the details above should help you make the best decision. From the qualifications needed, the duration it takes, scaffolding responsibilities, to the approximate earnings, you get to understand what to expect in the scaffolding industry.