Construction and building

Career outlook for scaffolder

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would put up scaffolding to help workers to reach the top parts of buildings during construction, cleaning or renovation. You would be part of a small team.

This job comes with a lot of responsibility, as the other workers would rely on you to make sure the scaffolding is completely safe for them to use. 

You would:

  • Unload scaffolding equipment at the site
  • Set base plates on the ground to stop the upright poles slipping
  • Put up the scaffolding poles and attach the horizontal tubes to them
  • Fix the scaffolding to the building to make it more stable
  • Lay planks across the scaffolding for workers to walk on
  • Fix guard rails and safety netting
  • Take down the scaffolding after the job is finished

You might also use scaffolding methods to put up temporary spectator stands, stages or gantries at public events. You could also build the scaffold around the formwork and shuttering that holds setting concrete in place on large structures like bridges.

An understanding of safe working practices would be important when doing this job.

Working conditions


You would usually work 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday.


Scaffolding is mainly an outdoor job that involves working in most weather conditions. The work can be physically demanding, with a lot of climbing and lifting of heavy equipment. Much of your work will be at heights, and you would wear a safety helmet, protective footwear and a safety harness.


You would travel from site to site, and some projects may involve overnight stays away from home. You would probably drive a van.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Cooperating
  • Resourceful
  • Problem solving
  • Managing resources
  • Risk taking
  • Taking initiative
  • Time management
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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


You would do Modern Apprenticeship which includes the Construction Industry Scaffolders Record Scheme (CISRS), the nationally-recognised training scheme for scaffolding.

There are no formal qualifications required to enter this apprenticeship but some employers may ask for qualifications at SCQF level 4/5. You may need to pass an aptitude test to start an apprenticeship.

Useful subjects

  • English
  • Maths
  • Technologies subjects

You will also need

You must hold a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card or equivalent and pass a health and safety test to train or work on construction sites.

A driving licence may be required for some jobs.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show practical skills such as Skills for Work Construction Crafts (SCQF level 4/5) may be of value.