What they do
Scaffolders plan, build and erect scaffolding and working platforms for construction projects, as well as building stands and tiered seating for public events such as concerts or sporting events. They inspect the area that requires scaffolding and make calculations to determine what kind of scaffolding is required, unload it, fit its tubing and braces together to form frameworks, and fix ladders, rails and other attachments to the scaffolding. They are also responsible for checking and maintaining scaffolding equipment, inspecting scaffolding structures for safety, and taking down scaffolding when the job is done. Scaffolders work all over the state, assisting and enabling the construction of everything from schools to skyscrapers.
Scaffolders work on a wide variety of building projects where construction processes need to be undertaken at heights. Because they construct and erect the scaffolding, scaffolders themselves work at heights, which may be dangerous. They work in most weather conditions. Scaffolders usually work regular hours but may be required to work longer hours if working to a deadline.
Tools and technologies
Scaffolders work primarily with scaffolding, which is usually comprised of metal pipes or tubes connected with couplers, and boards or other platforms on which workers stand. They use hand tools such as scaffolding spanners, socket wrenches and hammers, and ladders to get up and down the scaffolding. They often drive trucks or utility vehicles to transport scaffolding equipment to and from the building site, and are usually required to wear safety gear such as helmets, harnesses, workboots and tool belts.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a scaffolder, you usually need to gain a qualification in scaffolding.
Short courses in basic, intermediate and advanced scaffolding are available at registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. Browse courses through Jobs and Skills WA and search on the My Skills website to find a registered provider near you.
You can also undertake a traineeship in scaffolding (level 3). The traineeship usually takes 12 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing
To work as a scaffolder in Western Australia, you must obtain a High Risk Work Licence from WorkSafe.
Scaffolders working in the construction industry must undergo safety induction training and be issued with a Construction Induction Training Card (commonly known as a "White Card"). In WA, training is conducted by registered training organisations authorised by WorkSafe.