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Career and Education Opportunities for Riggers in Seattle, Washington

Riggers can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Seattle, Washington area. There are currently 690 working riggers in Washington; this should grow by 2% to 700 working riggers in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for riggers are expected to grow by about 0.3%. In general, riggers set up or repair rigging for construction projects, manufacturing plants, logging yards, ships and shipyards, or for the entertainment industry.

Riggers earn approximately $25 hourly or $52,650 annually on average in Washington. Nationally they average about $19 per hour or $41,130 yearly. Riggers earn more than people working in the category of Specialized Equipment generally in Washington and more than people in the Specialized Equipment category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Seattle where you can study to be a rigger, among sixty-five schools of higher education total in the Seattle area. Given that the most common education level for riggers is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a rigger if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Rigger

Rigger video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, riggers set up or repair rigging for construction projects, manufacturing plants, logging yards, ships and shipyards, or for the entertainment industry.

Riggers decide on gear such as cables and winches, in line with load weights and sizes and work schedules. They also attach loads to rigging to furnish support or ready them for moving, using hand and power tools. Equally important, riggers have to tilt and turn suspended loads to maneuver over and/or around obstacles, using multi-point suspension techniques. They are often called upon to control movement of heavy equipment through narrow openings or confined spaces, using chainfalls and other equipment. They are expected to test rigging to insure safety and reliability. Finally, riggers manipulate rigging lines and pulling gear to move or support materials such as heavy equipment or theatrical sets.

Every day, riggers are expected to be able to visualize how things come together and can be organized. They need to evaluate problems as they arise. It is also important that they judge how far and close objects are from one another and themselves.

It is important for riggers to align and anchor machinery. They are often called upon to fabricate and repair rigging, supporting structures and pulling gear, using hand and power tools. They also clean and dress machine surfaces and component parts. Somewhat less frequently, riggers are also expected to attach loads to rigging to furnish support or ready them for moving, using hand and power tools.

They also have to be able to set up ground rigging for yarding lines, attaching chokers to logs and then to the lines And finally, they sometimes have to tilt and turn suspended loads to maneuver over and/or around obstacles, using multi-point suspension techniques.

Like many other jobs, riggers must be reliable and be thorough and dependable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Seattle include:

  • Boat Mechanic. Repairs and adjusts electrical and mechanical equipment of gasoline or diesel powered inboard or inboard-outboard boat engines.
  • Commercial Diver. Work below surface of water, using scuba gear to inspect, repair, or install equipment and structures. May use a variety of power and hand tools, such as drills, sledgehammers, and welding equipment. May conduct tests or experiments, rig explosives, or photograph structures or marine life.
  • Industrial Machinery Mechanic. Repair, install, or maintain industrial production and processing machinery or refinery and pipeline distribution systems.
  • Machine Repairman. Lubricate machinery, change parts, or perform other routine machinery maintenance.
  • Mechanical Door Repairer. Install, service, or repair opening and closing mechanisms of automatic doors and hydraulic door closers. Includes garage door mechanics.
  • Medical Equipment Repairer. Test, adjust, or repair biomedical or electromedical equipment.
  • Millwright. Install, dismantle, or move machinery and heavy equipment according to layout plans, blueprints, or other drawings.
  • Musical Instrument Mechanic. Repair percussion, stringed, or wind instruments. May specialize in one area, such as piano tuning.
  • Outdoor Power Equipment Mechanic. Diagnose, adjust, or overhaul small engines used to power lawn mowers, chain saws, and related equipment.
  • Vending Machine Mechanic. Install, service, or repair coin, vending, or amusement machines including video games, juke boxes, or slot machines.
  • Watch and Clock Repairer. Repair, clean, and adjust mechanisms of timing instruments, such as watches and clocks.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Rigger Training

Bates Technical College - Tacoma, WA

Bates Technical College, 1101 S Yakima Ave, Tacoma, WA 98405. Bates Technical College is a medium sized college located in Tacoma, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,807 students. Bates Technical College has a less than one year program in Construction/Heavy Equipment/Earthmoving Equipment Operation which graduated seventy-nine students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington
Seattle, Washington photo by Dschwen

Seattle is located in King County, Washington. It has a population of over 598,541, which has grown by 6.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Seattle, 126, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Seattle are valued at $206,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, five hundred ninety-five new homes were built in Seattle, down from seven hundred seventy-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Seattle are health care, professional, scientific, and technical services, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and educational services. The average commute to work is about 25 minutes. More than 47.2% of Seattle residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 17.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Seattle is 7.8%, which is less than Washington's average of 8.7%.

The percentage of Seattle residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 37.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the LDS (Mormon) Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Seattle is home to the Berth 5 and the Akli Point Lighthouse as well as Lincoln Park and Myrtle Edwards Park. Shopping centers in the area include Lake City Shopping Center, Westwood Village Shopping Center and Oak Tree Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Seattle can choose from A-1 Motel, Arlington Suites and Marriott Sea-Tac Airport for temporary stays in the area.