Marine riggers set up temporary structures and operate equipment and machinery such as anchors, pulley systems and sails on boats and other maritime vessels. Someone wishing to become a Marine rigger usually must have graduated from high school. Typically, riggers do not have to complete a college degree although some companies require riggers to have completed non-degree level vocational training courses.
Generally, rigger positions are entry-level jobs. Anyone who has reached legal adulthood can apply to become a Marine rigger. Some firms conduct criminal background checks and subject new recruits to drug and substance abuse tests. Normally, riggers are not responsible for steering or operating water crafts although some firms do require job applicants to have some experience operating such vessels.
Rigging work can be physically demanding because people employed in these roles must have sufficient strength to carry heavy equipment and climb masts and scaffolding. Therefore, someone with physical disabilities in certain kinds of medical conditions may be unable to become a marine rigger. Additionally, many employers only offer rigging jobs to individuals who can swim.
Some firms prefer to hire people who have prior experience in the construction field since these individuals have to assemble scaffolding and operate machinery such as cranes and winches. Furthermore, construction workers like riggers are engaged in a physically demanding occupation and so people who have worked as builders are often able to transition to physically demanding marine based roles. In instances where workers have to handle and maintain complex equipment, employers often prefer to hire workers with prior experience as engineers and mechanics.
Crane operators and people who operate similar types of vehicles often have to obtain licenses. In many instances, maritime companies provide on the job training for new recruits. After the training period comes to an end the recruits are able to take the regional or national licensing exams. Those who successfully pass this examination are able to operate machinery without being under the direct supervision of a foreman or experienced rigger. Some community colleges offer classes that prepare individuals for these examinations.
Oil rig workers and commercial boat crew members often spend weeks or months at sea. Consequently, someone wishing to become a marine rigger may have to undergo some basic first aid training since medical providers are often unable to attend to the needs of the sick and injured who are at sea. When ships arrive at port, riggers have to interact with dockworkers many of whom speak foreign languages. Therefore, some firms require riggers to have some rudimentary knowledge of at least one language beside their native tongue.