Become a Scaffolder

Scaffolders play a crucial role in the construction and maintenance of buildings and structures by erecting and dismantling scaffolding. This provides safe working platforms for various trades on construction sites. Scaffolders need to understand complex diagrams and must adhere to strict safety standards to construct stable and secure scaffolding structures. This role requires physical strength, a head for heights, and the ability to work as part of a team.


What Do Scaffolders Do?

  • Scaffolding Planning: Interpret plans and specifications to determine the type and layout of scaffolding required.
  • Erecting Scaffolding: Assemble tubes, boards, and couplers to create scaffolding structures, ensuring they are stable and secure.
  • Safety Checks: Conduct regular inspections of scaffolding to ensure it remains safe for use, adjusting as necessary to accommodate changes in the work environment.
  • Dismantling: Carefully dismantle scaffolding structures upon completion of work, ensuring materials are stored safely for future use.
  • Compliance: Adhere to health and safety regulations and industry standards, ensuring scaffolding is erected in line with legal and safety requirements.

Could I Be a Scaffolder?

This role is suited to individuals who enjoy physical, outdoor work and are comfortable with heights. Suitable candidates should have good physical fitness, an understanding of construction principles, and the ability to work well in a team. Attention to safety and the ability to follow detailed instructions are also crucial.

What Skills Do I Need?

  • Physical Fitness

    The strength and stamina to handle heavy materials and equipment.

  • Attention to Detail

    Precision in following plans and specifications to erect safe and secure scaffolding.

  • Safety Awareness

    A strong understanding of health and safety practices, particularly for working at heights.

  • Teamwork

    The ability to work effectively as part of a team to assemble and dismantle scaffolding structures.

Scaffolder Pay

How Much Do Scaffolders Get Paid UK?

Earnings for scaffolders can vary based on experience, qualifications, and location. Trainee scaffolders may start with salaries in the range of £14,000 to £20,000 annually. Qualified scaffolders with experience can expect to earn between £25,000 and £40,000 per year, with advanced scaffolders and those in supervisory roles potentially earning more.

How Do I Get Started?

  • CSCS Card

    To work on construction sites, scaffolders in the UK need a CSCS card. For skilled workers, the Blue CSCS Skilled Worker card is relevant. Obtaining this card requires passing the CITB Health, Safety and Environment Test and having an NVQ or SVQ Level 2 in Accessing Operations and Rigging (Scaffolding).

  • Basic Scaffold Training

    Enrol in a Basic Scaffold Inspection Awareness Course. Designed to equip attendees with the knowledge and skills necessary for conducting safety inspections of scaffolding. It's an ideal stepping stone for individuals aiming to advance in the scaffolding sector, especially for those aspiring to become skilled scaffolders. By focusing on safety standards and inspection protocols, this course not only enhances on-site safety awareness but also fosters a deep understanding of scaffolding structures, which is crucial for career progression in this field.

  • Vocational Training

    Enrol in a training program accredited by the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS) to learn the basics of scaffolding.

  • Apprenticeships

    An apprenticeship in scaffolding offers on-the-job training combined with classroom learning, leading to recognised qualifications.

  • Gain Experience

    Start by working as a scaffolder's labourer to gain practical experience. Progress to a trainee scaffolder position as you develop your skills and knowledge.

  • Specialise

    Over time, consider specialising in areas like complex or suspended scaffolding to enhance your skills and marketability.

Career Progression

Starting your career as a scaffolder, there are various paths for advancement. With experience and additional training, you could progress to a lead scaffolder or scaffolding supervisor role, overseeing projects and teams. Further qualifications can lead to roles in scaffolding design or safety inspection.

Entrepreneurial individuals might start their own scaffolding business, while those interested in education could move into training roles, sharing their expertise with new entrants to the field.

Continuous professional development, including staying updated on the latest safety regulations, scaffolding technologies, and materials, is key to a successful career in scaffolding.