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Scaffolder

Scaffolding technician

Scaffolders erect and dismantle temporary metal scaffolding on structures and building sites, so that other people can work at height and carry out their jobs safely. Scaffolders may set up scaffolding around a structure, or inside a building undergoing construction, renovation or demolition.

Average salary*

£19000

-

£50000

Typical hours per week

43 - 45

How to become a scaffolder

While there are no formal qualifications needed to become a scaffolder, there are several routes you could take to help you pursue this career. You could complete a college course, an apprenticeship or apply directly to an employer for work.

You should explore these routes to becoming a scaffolder, to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

College/training provider

Although there are no set entry requirements, anyone considering a career as a scaffolder would benefit from achieving GCSE qualifications (or equivalent) in maths and English.

You could study for a Level 1 Certificate in Construction Skills or a Level 2 Certificate in Construction Operations to start you on your career path to becoming a scaffolder.

You'll need:

  • Up to 2 GCSEs at grades 3 to 1 (D to G), or equivalent (level 1 course)
  • 2 or more GCSEs at grades 9 to 3 (A* to D), or equivalent (level 2 course).

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship is a good way into the construction industry.

You could apply for an intermediate scaffolder apprenticeship with a construction or scaffolding company, which will take 18 months.

You'll need 2 - 3 GCSEs, usually including maths and English, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship.

It’s also possible to complete a part-time, 11-week training programme to become a scaffolder, which is completed over a two year period.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you‘ll be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships

Work

You could apply directly to an employer to become a scaffolder or construction labourer, especially if you have some previous onsite experience. This would give you the opportunity to develop your skills from more experienced members of the team, and your employer may provide training to help you progress.

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a scaffolder. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

> Find out more about work experience

Skills 

Desirable skills for a scaffolder include: 

  • Ability to work confidently at heights 
  • Excellent hand-eye coordination 
  • Good level of physical fitness
  • Awareness of health and safety
  • Ability to understand technical drawings and plans
  • Good written and verbal communication skills.

What does a scaffolder do?

Scaffolders are vital to the construction industry, as so many construction crews require access via scaffolds, rigs, guard rails and planks to carry out construction or restoration work. 

The responsibilities of a scaffolder include: 

  • Unloading scaffolding equipment on-site
  • Ensuring a stable base for scaffolding
  • Erecting scaffolding poles
  • Fixing scaffolding to buildings or structures
  • Laying planks for workers to walk on
  • Fixing guard rails and safety netting
  • Dismantling scaffolding when a project is complete
  • Creating different kinds of platforms, from simple scaffolding through to complex structures such as suspended scaffolding, cantilever drops and temporary roofs
  • Working on-site in all weather.

How much could you earn as a scaffolder?

The expected salary for a scaffolder varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained scaffolders can earn £19,000 - £25,000
  • Trained scaffolders with some experience can earn £25,000 - £40,000
  • Senior scaffolders can earn £40,000 - £50,000*
  • Self-employed scaffolders set their own pay rates.

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest scaffolder vacancies:  

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress into the role of a supervisor or team leader, or become project manager or construction manager.

You could also work as a self-employed scaffolder, or become a scaffolding consultant and draw complex scaffolds in detail, for upcoming projects.


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