High rigger


High riggers assemble and hoist temporary suspension structures on heights to support performance equipment. Their work is based on instruction, plans and calculations. Their job can include rope access, working above colleagues, assemble constructions to lift performers and lifting heavy loads, which makes it a high risk occupation. They work indoor as well as outdoor. They cooperate with ground riggers to unload and assemble constructions on ground level.

Includes circus rigging. Includes similar activities in event and rental companies. Excludes riggers who are not qualified to work at heights. Excludes industrial rigging

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to high rigger:

rope access rigger
bucket high rigger
height rigger
rigging crew memeber
level rigger
up rigger
climbing rigger
aerial rigger

Minimum qualifications

No formal educational credential is generally required to work as a high rigger.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

High rigger is a Skill level 2 occupation.

High rigger career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to high rigger.

ground rigger
tent installer
event electrician
event scaffolder

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of high rigger. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of high rigger with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

followspot operator
video technician
head of workshop

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of high rigger.

  • Work ergonomically: Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.
  • Provide first aid: Administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation or first aid in order to provide help to a sick or injured person until they receive more complete medical treatment.
  • Write risk assessment on performing arts production: Assess risks, propose improvements and describe measures to be taken on a production level in performing arts.
  • Hang chain hoists: Install chain hoists in building constructions.
  • Work safely with machines: Check and safely operate machines and equipment required for your work according to manuals and instructions.
  • Use personal protection equipment: Make use of protection equipment according to training, instruction and manuals. Inspect the equipment and use it consistently.
  • Use communication equipment: Set up, test and operate different types of communication equipment such as transmission equipment, digital network equipment, or telecommunications equipment.
  • Assemble performance equipment: Set up sound, light and video equipment on stage before performance event according to specifications.
  • Promote health and safety: Promote the importance of a safe working environment. Coach and support staff to participate actively in the continuous development of a safe working environment.
  • Maintain rigging equipment: Check rigging equipment before fitting up, and make small repairs if necessary.
  • Use rope access techniques: Apply ropework to work in elevated position. Safely ascend and descend ropes, wearing a harness.
  • Organise resources for artistic production: Coordinate human, material and capital resources within artistic productions, based on the given documentation e.g. scripts.
  • Manage personal professional development: Take responsibility for lifelong learning and continuous professional development. Engage in learning to support and update professional competence. Identify priority areas for professional development based on reflection about own practice and through contact with peers and stakeholders.
  • Work safely with mobile electrical systems under supervision: Take the necessary precautions while providing temporary power distribution for performance and art facility purposes under supervision.
  • Work with respect for own safety: Apply the safety rules according to training and instruction and based on a solid understanding of the prevention measures and risks to your own personal health and safety.
  • React to emergency situations in a live performance environment: Assess and react to an emergency (fire, threat, accident or another calamity), alerting emergency services and taking appropriate measures to safeguard or evacuate workers, participants, visitors or audience according to the established procedures.
  • Use technical documentation: Understand and use technical documentation in the overall technical process.
  • Assemble truss constructions: Use trusses, metal structures that derive strength from their construction involving triangular shapes, to construct stages for performances.
  • Store performance equipment: Safely dismantle sound, light and video equipment after a performance event. Make sure the equipment is correctly stored away.
  • Evacuate people from heights: Safely evacuate people from heights using rope access techniques.
  • Provide power distribution: Provide power distribution for light, stage, sound, video and recording purposes.
  • Follow safety procedures when working at heights: Take necessary precautions and follow a set of measures that assess, prevent and tackle risks when working at a high distance from the ground. Prevent endangering people working under these structures and avoid falls from ladders, mobile scaffolding, fixed working bridges, single person lifts etc. since they may cause fatalities or major injuries.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of high rigger. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

ISCO group and title

7215 – Riggers and cable splicers

  1. High rigger – ESCO
Last updated on September 21, 2022

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