• Qualified Riggers vs. Certified Riggers: What is the Difference?

The terms “qualified” and “certified” are often used interchangeably in the rigging industry, but OSHA standards and qualifications for each role are very different. OSHA standards require that qualified riggers must be used during hoisting activities for assembly and disassembly work, or when workers are within the fall zone and hooking, unhooking, or guiding a load, or connecting a load to a component or structure.  However, OSHA does not require that riggers be “certified,” which is another level of achievement in the rigging industry.

  • Qualified Rigger:

OSHA only loosely specifies who meets the criteria of a qualified rigger, leaving the final determination up to the employer.  A qualified rigger “possesses a recognized degree, certificate, or professional standing, OR who by extensive knowledge, training and experience, can successfully demonstrate the ability to solve problems related to rigging loads. Qualified riggers do not, however have to be certified by an accredited organization or third party.  Under these criteria, a rigger with extensive hands-on experience, but no formal training or certifications, may be considered a qualified rigger. To become a Qualified Rigger, a 2-hour exam is required with 100 questions.

Certified Rigger:

A certified rigger is a person who has passed stringent written and practical exams related to rigging and can be certified at a Level 1 or 2.   Accredited organizations such as NCCCO (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators) and many training programs offer rigger certification testing for various levels. 

  • NCCCO Certified Rigger Level I:

The Certified Rigger Level I Written Examination consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. Candidates are allowed 60 minutes to complete the test. The successful completion demonstrates a candidate’s basic rigging competency.

  • NCCCO Certified Rigger Level II:

The Certified Rigger Level II Written Examination consists of 40 multiple-choice questions, completed in 60 minutes.  The successful completion demonstrates a candidate’s competency in rigging a load for a level lift and for rotating a load.

  • Professionally Certified Rigger:
  • The strictest requirements are in place to be designated as a Professionally Certified Rigger, including:
  • A total of 6,000 hours to become a journeyman.
  • Individuals complete an Accredited Apprentice and re-training Journeyman School (the only school in the nation certified by the Department of Labor (D.O.L.) for rigging, machinery moving, and machinery erecting.
  • OSHA 30 hours is required 
  • IMPACT (Ironworker International Program) Drug and Alcohol random testing with 3rd party medical screening
  • OSHA Forklift Operation
  • OSHA Ariel Lift Operation
  • OSHA First Aid and CAD
  • OSHA Crane Signal and Hoisting Person
  • Lift Director (Foreman training)
  • Certified Welding in Stick, Tig, and Mig.

OSHA Regulations

By using ARS Contracting, Inc. certified riggers for all of your rigging and machinery moving projects, you’ll be in compliance with OSHA “Qualified Rigger & Signal Person” criteria. You can depend on our superior training and certification program to take the uncertainty out of any project. 


ARS Contracting, Inc. is fully insured for everything we handle for every project. Your equipment will be insured during all aspects of the project, from start to finish, which includes: dismantling, transfer at our warehouse, rigging, loading, transit, unloading and re-erecting. We can also arrange for additional insurance, if needed.




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