Aerial Rigging Specialist Job Description [Updated for 2024]

aerial rigging specialist job description

In the world of high-flying performances, the focus on aerial rigging specialists is more crucial than ever.

As entertainment ascends to new heights, the demand for skilled professionals who can safely erect, adjust, and maintain our aerial systems is growing.

But let’s delve deeper: What’s really expected from an aerial rigging specialist?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker trying to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager crafting the perfect candidate profile,
  • Or simply fascinated by the nuances of aerial rigging,

You’re in the right place.

Today, we present a flexible aerial rigging specialist job description template, designed for straightforward posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s dive right into it.

Aerial Rigging Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

Aerial Rigging Specialists are responsible for the installation, maintenance, and operation of all rigging aspects related to aerial performances and events.

They are typically involved in performing arts productions, concerts, film shoots, circuses, and other venues that require aerial rigging expertise.

The duties and responsibilities of an Aerial Rigging Specialist include:

  • Consulting with event planners, directors, and performers to understand the specific rigging needs of a project
  • Designing, installing, and testing all rigging systems to ensure they meet safety standards and performance requirements
  • Inspecting all rigging equipment prior to use, including ropes, pulleys, harnesses, and other rigging hardware
  • Assessing and mitigating any potential risks associated with the rigging setup
  • Training performers and crew members on the safe use of rigging systems
  • Maintaining all rigging equipment, including regular servicing and repairs to ensure optimal operation
  • Disassembling and storing all rigging equipment after use, ensuring it is kept in good condition
  • Staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and safety regulations


Aerial Rigging Specialist Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are searching for a skilled and detail-oriented Aerial Rigging Specialist to set up and ensure the safety of rigging systems for performances and events.

Aerial Rigging Specialist responsibilities include inspecting and setting up rigging equipment, ensuring the safety and functionality of the rigging, and coordinating with performance directors to accomplish their artistic vision.

Our ideal candidate possesses a thorough knowledge of rigging equipment and safety protocols, and has experience working with performers and crews in the entertainment industry.

The role of the Aerial Rigging Specialist is to provide a safe and effective rigging system that enhances the quality of performances and events.



  • Inspect and set up rigging equipment for performances and events.
  • Ensure safety and functionality of the rigging.
  • Coordinate with performance directors to accomplish their artistic vision.
  • Monitor and adjust rigging during performances as needed.
  • Adhere to safety and industry standards at all times.
  • Maintain rigging equipment and recommend upgrades when necessary.
  • Conduct training for other crew members on rigging safety and operation.
  • Coordinate with other technical departments as required.
  • Document and report any incidents or malfunctions.
  • Participate in regular safety and protocol training.



  • Proven experience as an Aerial Rigging Specialist or similar role.
  • Extensive knowledge of rigging equipment and safety protocols.
  • Ability to work in high-stress, physically demanding environments.
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills.
  • Ability to follow artistic and technical instructions precisely.
  • Certification in Rigging or a related field is preferred.
  • Must be comfortable working at great heights.



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities
  • Opportunity to work in a unique and dynamic environment


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Aerial Rigging Specialist
  • Work Environment: The work environment is often physically demanding and at great heights. The nature of the job often requires weekend and evening work.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Technical Director or Production Manager.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $40,000 minimum to $80,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What Does an Aerial Rigging Specialist Do?

Aerial Rigging Specialists primarily work in the entertainment industry, for circuses, concert productions, film and television productions, theatrical performances, and more.

They are often employed by production companies, theaters, or they may work as freelancers.

Their main job is to design, install, maintain, and operate rigging systems.

These systems are used to safely suspend performers, props, lighting, and other equipment in the air.

Aerial Rigging Specialists need to have a detailed understanding of various rigging equipment and techniques.

They need to ensure that all equipment is safely secured and meets health and safety regulations.

Additionally, they work closely with performers and directors to ensure the aerial elements of a production meet creative visions while maintaining the highest level of safety.

They may also be responsible for troubleshooting any issues that may arise with the rigging equipment and conducting regular safety checks and maintenance to ensure all equipment is in good working order.

The Aerial Rigging Specialist plays a crucial role in the success and safety of any production involving aerial components.


Aerial Rigging Specialist Qualifications and Skills

An Aerial Rigging Specialist should have a unique blend of technical knowledge, practical skills, and safety awareness, including:

  • Deep understanding of rigging principles, practices, and safety procedures to ensure all equipment is properly installed and maintained.
  • Practical abilities to climb and work at heights with excellent balance and hand-eye coordination.
  • Strong technical aptitude to understand and operate a variety of rigging equipment and tools, including hoists, pulleys, and winches.
  • Physical stamina and strength to lift and maneuver heavy equipment and handle the physical demands of the job.
  • Ability to read and understand technical diagrams, blueprints and manuals to set up equipment correctly.
  • Effective communication and teamworking skills to coordinate with other crew members and ensure everyone’s safety.
  • Problem-solving skills to identify and resolve potential issues that could compromise the safety or effectiveness of the rigging.
  • Attention to detail to ensure all rigging is set up accurately and safely, and all equipment is in good working order.
  • Experience with safety equipment and procedures, including harnesses, fall arrest systems, and safety inspections.


Aerial Rigging Specialist Experience Requirements

Those interested in becoming an Aerial Rigging Specialist often start their careers in entry-level roles in the entertainment industry, theater, or construction.

This could be as a stagehand, rigger, or an assistant to experienced rigging professionals.

This way, they gain first-hand experience and a solid understanding of the basics of rigging, safety procedures, and equipment handling.

Having 1 to 2 years of experience in these roles, they can move into more specific positions such as Aerial Rigging Assistant or Junior Aerial Rigger.

These positions involve more complex rigging tasks, set designs, and equipment installations.

With 3 to 5 years of hands-on experience, individuals may qualify for the role of an Aerial Rigging Specialist, where they are expected to have comprehensive knowledge of all aspects of rigging, including planning, installation, and maintenance of aerial structures.

For those with more than 5 years of experience, they may have advanced to roles such as Aerial Rigging Supervisor or Manager, where they oversee rigging teams and coordinate large-scale projects.

They are expected to have a high level of technical expertise, and also strong leadership and project management skills.

Certain roles may require specific certifications, like the Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) for riggers, to ensure they are competent and able to maintain safety standards.


Aerial Rigging Specialist Education and Training Requirements

Aerial Rigging Specialists usually have a high school diploma or equivalent as a minimum education requirement.

They typically receive on-the-job training, but many also attend specialized training programs or courses, which offer certification in rigging, safety protocols, and equipment usage.

It’s beneficial to have a background in fields such as construction, theatre, or mechanical engineering.

Knowledge of physics and mechanical systems is also helpful.

In terms of licenses and certifications, aerial rigging specialists can pursue certification from recognized organizations like the Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) or the Associated Wire Rope Fabricators (AWRF).

Specialists who work at heights often need to complete fall protection and rescue training.

Those who use heavy machinery may need a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or similar certifications.

Continuous education and training are important in this field due to the constant evolution of equipment and safety standards.

Some positions might require experience in specific types of rigging, such as for concerts, theatre productions, or sporting events.

As such, many aerial rigging specialists gain experience and skills through apprenticeships or internships in these areas.

Lastly, due to the physical nature of the job, a good level of physical fitness and comfort with heights is often necessary.


Aerial Rigging Specialist Salary Expectations

The average salary for an Aerial Rigging Specialist is around $52,000 (USD) per year.

However, this can vary significantly depending on experience, certification, location, and the specific industry in which they are employed.

Those with extensive experience and higher levels of certification can earn over $70,000 (USD) per year.


Aerial Rigging Specialist Job Description FAQs

What skills does an Aerial Rigging Specialist need?

An Aerial Rigging Specialist should have a strong understanding of rigging principles and procedures.

They should be skilled in knot tying, using various rigging equipment, and ensuring safety measures are followed.

They also need good physical strength, balance, and hand-eye coordination.

Knowledge of the arts, particularly performances that involve aerial acts, can be beneficial.


Do Aerial Rigging Specialists need a degree?

While a degree is not required to become an Aerial Rigging Specialist, training in rigging is a must.

This can be obtained through vocational schools, workshops, or on-the-job training.

Some may also have a degree in theater technology or a similar field which may cover rigging.


What should you look for in an Aerial Rigging Specialist resume?

The first thing to look for in an Aerial Rigging Specialist resume is relevant experience.

This can be in the form of prior work experience, training programs or apprenticeships.

Certifications in rigging or safety can also be an advantage.

Look for evidence of physical fitness and manual dexterity, as these are crucial to the role.


What qualities make a good Aerial Rigging Specialist?

A good Aerial Rigging Specialist is precise, vigilant, and pays close attention to detail.

This is important for maintaining safety standards and ensuring that all equipment is correctly installed and secured.

They should also have good problem-solving skills, as they will often need to adapt to changing circumstances and troubleshoot issues that arise during a performance.


Is it difficult to hire Aerial Rigging Specialists?

Hiring an Aerial Rigging Specialist can be challenging as it is a specialized field with a limited pool of qualified candidates.

It’s important to look for candidates who have the necessary skills and experience, as well as a strong commitment to safety.

Offering competitive pay and ongoing training opportunities can help attract the right candidates.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve taken a deep dive into the intricate world of an aerial rigging specialist.

Surprise, surprise, it’s not just about hanging things up high.

It’s about orchestrating gravity-defying displays, one rigging point at a time.

Equipped with our spot-on aerial rigging specialist job description template and real-life examples, you’re ready for your next step.

But don’t just stop there.

Venture further with our job description generator. It’s your ultimate guide to precision-optimized job listings or for refining your resume to flawlessness.


Every rigging point contributes to a mesmerizing spectacle.

Let’s create that spectacle. Together.

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