Career Development

What Does a Scaffolder Do?

Find out what a scaffolder does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a scaffolder.

Scaffolding is a temporary structure used to support workers and materials while they complete construction projects. Scaffolders are responsible for assembling, disassembling, and maintaining these structures as needed. They must be extremely careful when working with scaffolding due to the inherent risks involved in this type of work.

Scaffolder Job Duties

Scaffolders have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Installing handrails, guardrails, and other fall protection equipment as needed according to OSHA guidelines
  • Inspecting scaffolding for safety defects such as cracks, breaks, missing bolts, loose boards, etc.
  • Calculating the amount of materials needed to complete a job, such as lumber and nails
  • Operating cranes, forklifts, pulleys, hoists, and other machinery used to lift materials into place
  • Inspecting scaffolds for damage and replacing boards as needed
  • Installing wood forms and pouring concrete for structures such as sidewalks, patios, basement walls, and swimming pools
  • Following safety regulations for scaffolding, including wearing safety helmets and using safety harnesses
  • Determining where to place scaffolding based on blueprint plans provided by a construction manager
  • Installing scaffolding supports, including posts, crossbeams, and braces

Scaffolder Salary & Outlook

Scaffolders’ salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the company size and geographic location.

  • Median Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)

The employment of scaffolders is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for scaffolding services depends largely on the construction industry. As buildings and other structures are either renovated or constructed, scaffolding will be needed to allow workers to access higher levels safely.

Related: In-Depth Scaffolder Salary Guide

Scaffolder Job Requirements

A scaffolder typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: While there are no specific education requirements for a scaffolder, many employers prefer to hire candidates who have completed a high school diploma or GED program. Some scaffolders choose to pursue a two-year associate’s degree in construction or building science.

Training & Experience: Scaffolders receive on-the-job training from experienced scaffolders or scaffolders’ helpers. This training teaches the new employee how to set up and dismantle scaffolding, how to use the equipment and how to work safely. The training also covers how to communicate with other workers and how to communicate with the ground crew.

Scaffolders can also receive training from a vocational school or through a technical college. These programs can last from a few months to a year and teach students the basics of scaffolding. Students learn how to set up and dismantle scaffolding, how to use the equipment and how to work safely.

Certifications & Licenses: Scaffolders are required to have a valid OSHA-approved climbing certificate before climbing a scaffolding. The certificate shows that the scaffolder has been trained in the safe use of a scaffolding system and understands the risks involved in the work.

Scaffolder Skills

Scaffolders need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is another necessary skill for scaffolders. They often work in teams, so they need to be able to clearly convey information to their coworkers. They also need to be able to listen to instructions from their supervisors and follow them precisely.

Dexterity and coordination: Scaffolding requires precise movements and the ability to use tools and equipment with accuracy. Having good dexterity and coordination can help you work more efficiently and avoid accidents.

Problem-solving: Scaffolders often work in teams, so they need to be able to solve problems together. They also need to be able to solve problems that arise while working on a scaffold. For example, if a scaffold is not level, a scaffolder might need to find a way to level it. This could involve using a level or adjusting the scaffold’s legs.

Physical stamina: Physical stamina refers to the ability to sustain prolonged periods of physical activity. Scaffolders often work in high places and may be required to climb to the top of a structure. They may also be required to lift heavy materials and equipment. Physical stamina is important for scaffolders to maintain their safety and productivity.

Attention to detail: Scaffolders need to pay attention to detail when reading blueprints, measuring materials and constructing scaffolds. Attention to detail can help ensure the safety of the scaffold and the people working on it. It can also help ensure the scaffold is built correctly and meets building and safety codes.

Scaffolder Work Environment

Scaffolders work outdoors on construction sites, often in inclement weather. They must be able to climb ladders and work at heights, and they must have the strength and stamina to lift and carry heavy materials. Because scaffolders work on construction sites, they are exposed to the noise, dust, and dirt of the construction process. They may also be exposed to hazardous materials, such as lead paint, asbestos, and silica. Scaffolders typically work a forty-hour week, but they may work overtime, weekends, and holidays to meet deadlines.

Scaffolder Trends

Here are three trends influencing how scaffolders work. Scaffolders will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Use of Robotics in Construction

As construction becomes more automated, the need for scaffolders will decrease. This is because robots can be used to do many of the tasks that are traditionally done by scaffolders, such as installing windows and drywall.

However, this does not mean that scaffolders are no longer needed. In fact, they will still be essential in many areas of construction, such as bricklaying and roofing. Additionally, scaffolders will need to be familiar with robotics in order to work safely alongside them.

The Importance of Safety Training

The importance of safety training is becoming increasingly clear in the construction industry. This is due to the increasing number of accidents and injuries that occur on job sites each year.

Scaffolders can play a key role in ensuring that everyone on the job site is safe by providing training and education on proper safety procedures. In addition, they can also help to create a culture of safety within their company.

A Greater Focus on Green Building Practices

Green building practices are becoming increasingly popular in the construction industry. This is due to the numerous benefits that these practices offer, such as reduced energy costs and improved indoor air quality.

As green building practices become more common, scaffolders will need to learn how to install materials that are environmentally friendly. This includes learning about products that are made from recycled materials and those that contain low-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints.

How to Become a Scaffolder

There are many different paths you can take to become a scaffolder. You could start as a laborer and work your way up the ladder, or you could go straight into an apprenticeship program. No matter which path you choose, it’s important to have a strong foundation in math and science. You’ll also need to be able to read blueprints and understand construction drawings.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can specialize in areas such as steel erection, concrete formwork, or timber scaffolding. You can also expand your skills by learning how to build scaffolds using different materials, such as aluminum, steel, or wood.

Related: How to Write a Scaffolder Resume

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance in the field of scaffolding. One of the best is to get more training and education. There are many different types of scaffolding, and the more you know about them, the more valuable you will be to your employer. There are also many safety regulations that scaffolders must follow, and the more you know about safety, the more likely you are to be promoted.

Another way to advance in this field is to become a certified scaffolder. There are many different certification programs available, and becoming certified will show your employer that you are serious about your career.

Finally, you can advance in this field by simply gaining more experience. The more experience you have, the more likely you are to be promoted to a higher position.

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