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Scaffolding Profile


This Section of the site details information that you might find useful if you are looking to secure employment or require further details regarding working in Scaffolding. This page details the following Information:-

  • Finding Suitable Work in Scaffolding
  • Working Duties Expected
  • Hours and Environment
  • Working Skills Required
  • Training Requirements
  • Salary Expectations
  • Trade Information
  • Other useful Scaffolding Work Information

Finding Suitable Work

This website features a volume of Job vacancies advertised on behalf of a number of different employers and specialist recruiters that post vacancies on a regular basis so you can start your search for work right here:-

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Working Duties Expected

Scaffolders erect and dismantle working platforms which allow construction workers access to higher levels on existing buildings and structures during renovation or maintenance work, and to upper levels on new-build projects.

Jobs can range from putting up scaffold around a house to allow for re-roofing, through to large-scale construction of new commercial developments, external cleaning of office blocks, and repair of historical monuments. Scaffolders also use scaffolding techniques to erect permanent or semi-permanent structures for spectator stands, stages and other uses.

The scaffold itself is made up of a series of upright metal tubes (standards) joined with couplers to horizontal poles (ledgers). At right angles to these are transoms, usually much shorter in length, on which the wooden working platforms (battens) rest. To add strength to the scaffold, cross-braces are placed at diagonals and where possible, clamps are used to ''tie in'' the scaffold to the building or structure. Guard rails and safety nets are added to minimise dangers for the workers using it and for anybody passing below.

Falsework scaffolding involves providing a framework to support the formwork or shuttering and reinforcement bars used in making large concrete structures, such as bridges. The scaffolding is removed once the concrete has set.

All scaffolders work within strict safety regulations and use a variety of hand tools and safety equipment including swivel spanners, spirit-levels, harnesses and hoists.

Hours and Environment

The usual working week is 39 hours, but this varies when deadlines must be met.

Scaffolders work indoors and outdoors, and at heights. The work is physically demanding and scaffolders may have to work in cold, dirty or windy conditions. The work involves a lot of climbing, carrying and lifting of heavy equipment.

Protective helmets and safety harnesses are required. Travel from site to site is common, as is working away from home for short or long periods. A driving licence would be useful.

Skills and Interests

To be a scaffolder you should:

  • be able to follow instructions and plans carefully and accurately
  • have good hand-to-eye co-ordination
  • be fit, agile and active for climbing and handling heavy equipment
  • enjoy working outdoors and be comfortable working at heights
  • be able to work as part of a team
  • be fully aware of health and safety issues.


There are no set entry requirements, but you may need some GCSEs (A-E)/S grades (1-5) in maths, English science and technology, or equivalent vocational qualifications such as Foundation/Intermediate GNVQ/GSVQs in Construction and the Built Environment.

In addition, for those outside the industry, there may be the option to undertake a Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Intermediate Construction Award (Accessing Operations and Rigging - Scaffolding Route) at a further education college. Check with CITB-ConstructionSkills and local colleges for details.

A background in more general construction as a labourer or trades person, may be helpful in gaining an initial position with a company, although this is not essential.

To gain entry to an apprenticeship or training scheme, you may have to pass a selection test.


As a trainee scaffolder, you work towards a joint qualification under the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record (card) Scheme (CISRS) and NVQ/SVQ Accessing Operations and Rigging - Scaffolding (Construction and Offshore) at levels 2 and 3.

There are two schemes available leading to the joint qualification and Basic Card:

Scheme A - involves a combination of on-site working interspersed with several two- to three-week block releases to a CITB training centre. You will be assessed for NVQ level 2 at around 24 months and awarded the Basic Card.

Scheme B - is a 42-week, full-time residential course (28 weeks in year one, 14 weeks in year two) at the National Construction College, Bircham Newton, Norfolk. This also includes on-site work experience, and leads to the Basic Card and NVQ level 2.

To obtain the Advanced Card, you will need a Basic Card and have had 12 months experience beyond the initial training outlined above, two weeks advanced training or be assessed for eligibility, and achieved NVQ level 3.

If you already have five years practical scaffolding experience, a one-week assessment and NVQ level 2 leads to the Basic Card. If you have five years̢۪ experience and already have the Basic Card, you just need a one-week advanced assessment and NVQ level 3 to qualify for the Advanced Card.

A Construction Apprenticeship Scheme (CAS) is open to people in England and Wales, or a four-year apprenticeship in Scotland registered with the Scottish Building Apprenticeship and Training Council.

For details on all training schemes, contact CITB-ConstructionSkills and the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation listed below.

Foundation and Advanced Modern Apprenticeships (MAPPs) may be available for people aged 16-24.
For details see: MAPPs (England); Skillseekers MAPPs (Scotland); National Traineeships MAPPs (Wales); and MAPPs (Northern Ireland).


Scaffolders work for specialist scaffolding firms, building contractors and oil and power companies. There may be opportunities to work abroad on contracts, and it may be possible to progress to supervisory, estimating or construction management roles. With appropriate computer-aided design (CAD) skills, a scaffolder could move into project design and planning.There are opportunities to become self-employed.

Annual Income

Figures are intended as a guideline only. The Building and Allied Trades Joint Industrial Council (BATJIC) agrees minimum wage rates annually.

For trainees, depending on the stage of training they are at, salaries range between £7,100 to £13,000.
With qualifications, scaffolders can earn around £16,600 a year.
Experienced scaffolders can earn up to £25,000 a year.

Overtime and shift allowances will supplement income, while self-employed scaffolders negotiate their own rates.

Further information

Bircham Newton
Kings Lynn
PE31 6RH
Tel: 01485 577577

National Access and Scaffolding Confederation
Carthusian Court
12 Carthusian St
Tel: 020 7397 8120

Other Useful Scaffolding Work Information

We have a section available at this site on Scaffolding job interview tips that you may find of interest should you wish to brush up your skills in this area and we also have number of career articles that may also be of use to you from within our guides and documents section.

Locations where we feature Jobs include:-
Aberdeen, Berkshire, Aberdeen, Bath, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cambridgeshire, Cardiff, Central London, Cheltenham, Cornwall, Coventry, Derby, Devon, Docklands, Dorset, Dundee, Durham, East Midlands, East Sussex, Edinburgh, Essex, Glasgow, Gloucester, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Lancashire, Leeds, Leicester, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Midlands and in various parts of the West Midlands

Details of other Scaffolding Jobs can also be found in other UK wide areas including:-
Milton Keynes, Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Norfolk, North London, North Midlands, Northampton, Northamptonshire, Northern Ireland, Northumberland, Norwich, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, Oxford, Oxfordshire, Plymouth, Salisbury, Scotland, Sheffield, Shropshire, Somerset, South East, South London, South Midlands, Southampton, Staffordshire Surrey, Swansea, Swindon, Telford, Wales, Warwickshire, West End, West London, West Midlands, Worcestershire, York and throughout Yorkshire.

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