School leavers contemplating a career in steel construction are often pleasantly surprised at how fulfilling and rewarding this can be. There is great satisfaction in being able to look at a building that people use every day and know that you had a hand in erecting it.
- Practical: in his day to day work, a steel erector has to know about
- Erecting steel structures
- Erecting non-notifiable scaffolding
- Calculating & slinging regular loads
- Working with cranes
- Hand signals & two-way radio communications with crane operator
- Setting up & using winches for load placement
- Fall arrest systems
- Maintaining rigging plant & equipment
- Maintaining rigging hand & power tools
- Workplace first aid
- Theory: a certain amount of study is essential so that the steel erector understands
- Loading goods & services vehicles
- Working with cranes
- Plan reading
- Trade drawings & calculations
- Taking levels on steel construction sites & leveling steel structures
- Basic mathematical calculations
- How to use Pythagoras's Theorem and trigonometry
- Solving problems involving right-angled triangles
- Planning, preparing and completion of basic rigging work
- Welding steel structures using a manual metal arc
- General purpose welding using a gas metal arc
- Interpreting rigging industry health & safety legislation
- Managing first aid & providing resuscitation in he workplace
- Protecting health & safety in the workplace
- Communicating in the workplace
If this kind of career interests you, you will need to be physically fit and enjoy working in a team. Having a head for heights helps, though that can sometimes be learned. Probably the most important criterion is your strong desire to succeed.
If you can demonstrate these attributes, there is a part-time course that you can take over two years with Tai Poutini Polytechnic. On successful completion of the course, usually over two years, you will have gained the Tai Poutini Polytechnic Certificate in Steel Construction and the National Certificate in Rigging (Basic).
During the two years, you will be required to attend eight one-week "block courses" or an equivalent of 40 days. Clearly the emphasis is on the development of practical skills, with plenty of hands-on activity.