A reference list of accessibility keys Careers New Zealand home page Sitemap Search the website About us Contact us govt.nz Jump to content Jump to site navigation main-menu Left column sub navigation menu Jump to page header Jump to page footer Jump to right-hand column

ScaffolderAlternative titles

Kaihanga Rangitupu

This job is sometimes referred to as:

Scaffolding Rigger

Scaffolders put up and take down scaffolding for building, painting, repairing, seating and industrial purposes.

Contact us

Call us on 0800 222 733

What are the chances of getting a job?


Chances of getting a job as a scaffolder are good, especially for experienced scaffolders.

Opportunities for scaffolders are good due to:

  • a strong residential building sector - the value of consents issued in 2013 was 28% up on the previous year
  • a stable commercial (non-residential) building sector - year on year consents increased 7%.
  • too few people achieving qualifications, especially at the advanced level.

The building and construction industry is expected to continue to strengthen in 2014. Much of this work will be in Auckland and Christchurch. However, work is also picking up in other regions, such as Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, and Nelson.

In some regions the building and construction industry is performing less well and opportunities for scaffolders may be harder to come by.

Opportunities best for qualified scaffolders

Although demand is improving for all scaffolders, it is particularly good for people who hold a scaffolding certificate, particularly at an advanced level. As a result, advanced scaffolder appears on Immigration New Zealand's immediate skill shortage list. This means the Government is actively encouraging highly skilled scaffolders to come to New Zealand who:

  • hold a National Certificate in Scaffolding (Level 4) with strands in advanced scaffolding, or an equivalent qualification
  • have completed at least five years' work experience since obtaining this level.

Having a heavy vehicle licence will also improve your chances of getting a job.

Scaffolders needed to rebuild after Canterbury earthquakes

Construction in Canterbury picked up significantly in 2013 and further growth is expected in 2014.

High demand for their skills has seen scaffolder included on Immigration New Zealand's Canterbury Skill Shortage List, which highlights occupations expected to be in shortage during the rebuild of the region.

Need for scaffolders on offshore oil and gas platforms

Scaffolders are also in good demand to work on offshore oil and gas platforms, such as those that exploit Taranaki's Maui gas field.

Scaffolders mainly work for private companies

Most scaffolders work for private scaffolding companies. These range from businesses with just a few workers to nationwide companies that employ hundreds of staff.


  • Birkby, L, Scaffolding, administrator, Access and Rigging Association of New Zealand, Careers New Zealand interiew, April 2014.
  • Department of Building and Housing, New Zealand Housing and Construction Quarterly, December 2013, accessed March 2014, (www.dbh.govt.nz).
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Canterbury Skill Shortage List', accessed March 2014, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
  • Immigration New Zealand, 'Immediate Skill Shortage List', accessed April 2014, (www.immigration.govt.nz).
  • McClintock, J, operations manager, Certified Builders Association, Careers New Zealand interview, February 2014.
  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2013 Occupational Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2014.
  • Statistics New Zealand, 'Building Consents Issued January 2014', accessed April 2014, (www.stats.govt.nz).
  • Verkerk, M, communications, Scaffolding, Access and Rigging New Zealand, Careers New Zealand interview, February 2013.

Current vacancies

Qualified Scaffolders Listed: 16 Dec 2014 Wellington
Scaffolders Listed: 28 Nov 2014 Canterbury
Riggers/Scaffolders Listed: 19 Dec 2014 Taranaki
SCAFFOLDERS REQUIRED! Listed: 28 Nov 2014 Wellington
Ticketed scaffolders needed ASAP!!! Listed: 16 Dec 2014 Auckland
Ticketed Scaffolder - Make Queenstown your home! Listed: 02 Dec 2014 Canterbury
Ticketed scaffolders required - all levels! Listed: 21 Nov 2014 Canterbury

Other vacancy websites

Progression and specialisations

Scaffolders usually start in a general scaffolding role and later move into a supervisory role. They may progress to start their own businesses.

How many people are doing this job?

Year 2012
Year 2011
Year 2010
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, '2003-2012 Occupation Data' (prepared for Careers New Zealand), 2012.

Scaffolding covered in blue see-through cloth netting at a building site

Demand for scaffolders is likely to rise as building activity increases

Updated 7 May 2014