How to Become a Rigger

What is it like to be a rigger?

Rigging for the entertainment industry is a rewarding and exciting career choice. Rigging is a vital part of every show, and offers a chance to climb around on beams 30m in the air above the arena floor. It usually requires working at height within venues, manual handling, extensive travel and working during antisocial hours.

What’s required?

It can be extremely tough to become a rigger and opportunities are limited. However if you are keen, hard working and willing to succeed, there are various ways.

A rigger needs:

  • Training – knowledge should be gained through learning and formal courses for example the Three Day Rigging for the Entertainment Industry Course.
  • Experience – practical skills through real life rigging work must be gained in order to become a competent rigger. We offer an experience scheme called Project X.
  • Qualification – in order to work as a rigger, most companies require that you hold the NRC rigging qualification.  Until that point, you will need to work as a trainee under supervision.
  • Contacts – many riggers work on a freelance basis, being a successful rigger relies upon building a good reputation with a variety of contacts.

There are currently a few routes to becoming a rigger:

  • Project X – a structured freelance experience scheme
  • Self learning, shadowing and the PLASA Trainee Rigger Scheme
  • Employment or apprentiship within the entertainment industry

Project X

Project X is a new experience scheme designed by UK Rigging to address the current rigger shortage. This structured scheme is designed to offer a supportive route for freelancers wishing to enter the rigging industry. The scheme offers financial support, planned training, mentoring and rare access to on the job experience. Places are limited, but more information and a link to the application form can be found here.

Self Learning

Through having good contacts and a good attitude to work (often for free!), some people are able to find their way into being a rigger without a structured learning scheme. This can also be supported by the PLASA Trainee Rigger Scheme.


This method of becoming a rigger is essentially candidate led but with the guidance of information sent to you by PLASA including the following:

  • Syllabus – to help you choose relevant training.
  • Log Book – provides a method of recording your rigging work experience.
  • Electronic booklet – gives you information about rigging as a career, using the Rigging Handbook, how to complete the Log Book, the equipment you will need, finding riggers to sign off your log book and preparation for the National Rigging Certificate (NRC).
  • Rigging Handbook – information on rigging theory, your responsibilities under the law, and if in due course you wish to be assessed at NRC Level 2, what you will be required to be competent in.

Registration costs £199 +VAT.

Click here to register with PLASA.

Employment & Apprenticeship

An employed position can offer an extra level of financial security on your journey into rigging. We offer our employees the chance to train and work as a rigger alonside their other duties. If you’re interested in an employed position at UK Rigging, send us your CV and introduce yourself by emailing the HR manager via [email protected]

Our apprenticeship scheme is currently being reviewed but we’re always looking for new talent. With an onsite warehouse, training centre, PPE shop, fabrication department and office, there’s plenty of room to grow within this expanding company. If you’re willing to work hard, be your best and learn something new then get in touch today.