Ironworkers

Ironworkers erect structural steel, install reinforcing steel, metal floor and roof decking, and they assemble and install decorative curtain wall. They also move heavy machinery and assemble pre-engineered buildings.

What an ironworker does

The ironworker fabricates, erects, assembles and installs fabrication structural products, usually large steel beams, in the erection of industrial, commercial or large residential buildings. The structural ironworker erects the framework of bridges, buildings and other structures, including metal storage buildings and overhead-crane runways that support heavy equipment. The reinforcing ironworker (rodman) sets bars or mesh in concrete in building and bridges. The ornamental ironworker installs stairways, catwalks, gratings, grills, screens, fences and decorative iron work.

Working conditions

Structural and reinforcing iron and metal workers usually work outside in all kinds of weather. However, those who work at great heights do not work during wet, icy, or extremely windy conditions. Because the danger of injuries from falls is great, ironworkers use safety devices such as safety harnesses, scaffolding and nets to reduce risk.

General qualifications

  • Age - minimum age is 18.
  • Education - high school graduate or equivalent.
  • Good physical condition - must be able to perform the work of the trade.
  • Drug test.

Admission requirements

  • Birth certificate.
  • Official transcripts (high school) or GED scores.
  • Personal interview.
  • General aptitude test- administered by a local professor at the apprenticeship school.
  • $10 tiling fee.

Terms of apprenticeship training

  • Length of program - 3 years.
  • Related training - minimum of 252 hours of annual classroom instruction.

Recommended high school courses

  • General mathematics.
  • Algebra.
  • English and speech.
  • Mechanical drawing.
  • Shop class (mechanical and welding).