- Design the temporary structures needed to work on construction projects of all kinds
- This is a highly professional role that requires engineering qualifications
- Start as an engineer and specialise - or start as a scaffolder and undertake professional training
As a scaffold designer you'll be a professional engineer - usually with a background and training in either civil or structural engineering, and you'll focus your work on designing the scaffolding needed for major projects.
Most scaffold designers come from an engineering background, but they will also need a practical understanding of scaffolding and the ways in which scaffolders and the range of other trades involved in the project work.
- Make sure that the scaffolding structures needed for work on buildings or other structures is designed to be safe, effective, and cost-efficient
- Carry out site visits to survey the needs and challenges, developing design briefs
- Conduct risk assessments
- Select and plan the best methods and materials
- Calculate the requirements
- Design the structure and liaise with colleagues from various professions who are involved in the project
Work with a scaffold design team, and with people from a number of different trades. You may work in an office or on a construction site.
Most scaffolding designers start out as engineers - either civil or structural, and then specialise in scaffolding design, but you can also start out the other way and become a scaffolder then study for the qualifications you need to become a professional engineer.
So, you can start out by completing a structural or civil engineering degree - choosing maths, physics or other technical subjects at school or college will help you gain a place on a course - and then specialise in scaffolding design. Some scaffolding designers gain some experience working as a scaffolder or complete their 'part 1' scaffolding training to learn more about the practicalities of scaffolding to help them become better designers.
If you start out by working for a scaffolding firm you'll need to complete your part 1 scaffolding training, and then, when you're ready to start working towards becoming a scaffolding designer you can start your engineering studies - you might start out on a part time HNC, then work up to a HND, and finally a degree to become qualified. Some employers may support you financially or with time off during your training.
There are a number of different roles within this field and you can progress up through them with additional training and experience, from technical design draughts-person, through to design engineer, and principal engineer.