Marine Rigger

Hoist the sails and secure on-deck cargo on the open ocean.
picture of Marine Rigger

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$25,000 – $66,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Marine Riggers do?

Without Marine Riggers, sailboats wouldn’t sail, cargo would rot on ports, and Sailors would gnash their teeth in frustration. Marine Riggers truly make the shipping industry functional, as they’re the ones who pick up and lower heavy cargo, sails, and equipment using systems of ropes and pulleys.

When you’re a Marine Rigger, you start your shift by inspecting the ropes and pulleys attached to the ship. If you spot worn equipment of any sort, you replace it on the spot. Similarly, if you find that a bigger pulley or a stronger winch will do the job more efficiently, you swap out equipment.

Throughout the entire journey, you periodically inspect the sails and make necessary replacements. On long trips, the salt of the sea can erode your metal equipment, so you may make repairs many, many times.

If the Captain or First Mate wants to make changes to the speed or direction of the boat, you raise or lower the sails using your rigging system. Once the sails are in the new position, you secure them tightly so they’ll stay in place.

You also use rigging to load and unload cargo from the ship. Before you begin, you inspect the cargo and determine how much it weighs. Then, you build a system of winches, pulleys, cranes, and rope to pick up and move the item. Once the item is secure, you dismantle the system and pack it away until it’s needed once more.

Should I be a Marine Rigger?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Rig Manager

    How to become a Marine Rigger

    Most Marine Riggers have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9iaaaa&chl=no+college+%2887%25%29|certificate+%2812%25%29||||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,87,87
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