ironworker

Ironworker is a professional who erects and dismantles the metal framework of structures like antennas, bridges, stadiums, buildings, and skyscrapers. Ironworkers erect the cranes and derricks; install/repair the elevators, fire escapes, catwalks, ladders, railings, and fences for commercial/industrial structures. They usually perform structural, reinforcing, and ornamental works.


Post Highlights:

  • Educational Qualifications
  • Certification/License
  • Work Experience
  • Duties/Responsibilities
  • Abilities/Skills
  • Work Environment
  • Physical Requirements
  • Top Industries
  • Job Types
  • Salary Information
  • Benefits/Perks

Educational Qualifications

Ironworkers require the following educational levels-

  • High School Diploma, GED, or Equivalent (minimum)
  • Associate Degree in Welding, Metals Fabrication, Structural Welding (advanced)
  • Certificate in Welding, Metals Fabrication, Structural Welding (recommended)

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Certification/License

Certification or license are as follows-

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Work Experience

They require some work-related experience. In some cases, employers do not demand it.

  • Related structural steel fabrication or steel erection work experience (recommended)
  • Apprenticeship program (advanced)
  • Rigging experience
  • Bolting/torquing experience
  • Masonry experience
  • Crane signaling experience

Duties/Responsibilities

Ironworkers do the following duties, and they may be given others as well depending on the local requirements-

  • Align, bolt or weld steel units in place
  • Analyze/interpret building codes, drawings, and blueprints
  • Assemble/erect prefabricated metal structures
  • Cooperate/assist other craft workers as needed
  • Erect architectural/structural precast concrete components
  • Erect/connect metal columns and beams for making structural skeletons
  • Examine equipment/structures for defects, deterioration, or non-compliance with specifications
  • Help to keep the work environment safe and clean
  • Install/erect scaffolding, rigging, and hoisting equipment
  • Lay out work as per blueprints and specifications
  • May dismantle equipment and structures
  • Perform multiple welding techniques, and construction processes
  • Position/tie bars, steel rods, or mesh as concrete support
  • Position/unload steel units so as to hoist them as needed
  • Use/follow proper hand signals to flag cranes (machine)

Abilities/Skills

  • Ability to communicate effectively with management/supervision
  • Ability to work with the heights
  • Able to use math/complete calculations
  • Concentrate amid distractions and work at various tempos
  • Detail-oriented mind/temperament
  • Knowledge of industry-standard concepts and procedures
  • Possess decision-making skills
  • Work away from home for varying durations

Work Environment

  • Ironworkers work both in shop environments and on active construction sites
  • They may be required to work in confined spaces

Physical Requirements

  • Able to perform sedentary to heavy work
  • Climb/maintain balance on a ladder, beams, etc.
  • Exposed to adverse weather conditions (rain, cold, heat, etc.)
  • Keep eye/hand coordination
  • Lift, carry, pull or push to 50-100 lbs.
  • May operate various types of power/hand tools
  • May require prolonged crawling, squatting, kneeling, twisting, bending, walking, pulling, reaching overhead, pushing, standing, and lifting
  • Require repetitive use of hands, arms, and legs
  • Use hands to lift, grasp, handle, and carry objects on a frequent basis
  • Walk on muddy conditions, loose/soft sand, uneven surfaces, and loose rock

Top Industries

Infrastructure-

  • Bridge/Highway Installation
  • Building/Structural Construction
  • Steel Structures

Industrial-

  • Heavy Equipment Installation
  • Manufacturing Facility Erection
  • Power Generation Shutdowns/Expansion

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Job Types

  • Ironworker
  • Ironworker Apprentice
  • Ironworker Helper
  • Ironworker Welder
  • Journeyman Ironworker
  • Ornamental Ironworker
  • Reinforcing Ironworker
  • Structural Steel Erector
  • Traveling Ironworker

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Salary Information

Ironworkers do not earn an equal salary due to their education level, work experience, and the volume of the company. On average, they earn $25.17 hourly and $58,697 yearly in the United States. Their hourly salary ranges from $25.17 to $34.05. Along with this, they receive overtime, bonuses, and non-cash benefits. Ironworkers with more work experience earn more than individuals with less or no experience.

Benefits/Perks

Almost all employers offer certain comprehensive benefits packages to their employees depending on job titles and duties. The most common benefits are as follows-

  • 401(k) Retirement Plan with a company match
  • Dental insurance
  • Employee Assistance Programs
  • Health insurance
  • Individual or teamwork rewards
  • Offer vacations yearly
  • Paid time off
  • Tuition assistance and annual scholarship awards to employees’ children

Related: Other Welding Professions

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