Ironworker Job Description


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 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


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)


  • 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


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


  • 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.


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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