Steel Erection


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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.