Learn About the Iron-Worker Job Description, Salary, and Requirements.
Iron-Worker Job Description & Definition
What Does an Iron-Worker Do?
In this profile, we’ll break down the Iron-Worker job description, salary, requirements, and more. Iron-workers install structural and reinforcing iron and steel to form and support bridges, roads, and other structures.
Structural and reinforcing iron and steel are important components of buildings, bridges, roads, and other structures. Even though the primary metal involved in this work is steel, workers often are known as iron-workers or erectors. Most of the work involves erecting new structures, but some iron-workers also help in the demolition, decommissioning, and rehabilitation of older buildings and bridges. (1) Along with the construction of new buildings, iron-workers also assist in the reinforcement of existing structures. (2)
An iron-worker uses blueprints to determine how to assemble the structure. Since the most of the metal an iron-worker works with are extremely heavy, a crane is usually necessary to lift and position the pieces into place and need to be safely guided to the desired location. The separate pieces of steel are then either bolted or welded into place. (2)
- Build and install iron or steel girders, columns, and other construction materials to form buildings, bridges and other structures.
- Cut, position, and bold down steel bars to reinforce concrete.
- Erect steel frames.
- Number steel according to assembly instructions.
- Drill holes into steel for bolts.
- Bolt or weld pieces in place.
- Set reinforcing bars into forms to hold concrete.
- Tighten cables with jacking equipment.
- Work with driftpins to align holes in the steel with holes in the framework.
- Install stairs, handrails, or curtain walls.
- Read and follow blueprints, sketches and other instructions.
- Ability to unload and stack prefabricated iron and steel.
- Ability to properly signal crane operators who lift and position steel.
- Use of shears, rod-bending machines, torches, hand tools and welding equipment.
- Ability to ensure all pieces are fitted properly.
- Use plumb bobs, levels, and laser equipment to check alignment.
- Must be able to work in high places and have a good sense of balance.
- Materials for iron-working are heavy so one must be in good physical condition.
There are no specific educational requirements for this position. However, employers may require you to have a high school diploma or G.E.D. Most iron-workers will learn on-the-job through apprenticeship programs that can take 3 to 4 years to complete. When on-the-job, apprentices learn how to weld, read blueprints, construction techniques, and how to use the tools required to work with metal. Along with these tasks, they would also learn important safety precautions to take.
Apprenticeships require a high school degree.
If you enter the trade through a formal apprenticeship, you’ll have to meet the various qualifications that specific apprenticeship has. If you decide to enter the trade of iron-worker through an informal training, such as learning on the job and working for a private company, then there are no explicit qualifications needed. (2)
How Much Does an Iron-Worker Make?
Iron-Worker Career Paths
Where Can You Go From Here?
You can become an iron-worker either by working for a company who will informally train you, as you learn over time, or you can enter into a formal apprenticeship. From that position, you can take on a number of positions, including ornamental iron-workers, welder, structural iron worker, or production supervisor.
This career page is sponsored by:
U.S. Rigging Supply is a certified ISO 9001:2015 standard company. We are the United States leading producer of custom designed cable and wire rope assemblies.
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Learn construction job skills online.
- (1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition, Cement & Concrete Finishers,
on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/structural-iron-and-steel-workers.htm (visited August 12, 2020).
- (2) YourFreeCareerTest.com: “What Does an IronWorker Do?”, on the Internet at https://www.yourfreecareertest.com/ironworker/ (visited August 12, 2020).
- Payscale, Iron-Worker, on the Internet at https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Ironworker/Hourly_Rate (visited August 12, 2020).