It takes nerves of steel and muscles of iron, to work hundreds of feet above the ground, building structures that push up to merge with the clouds. Ironworkers have what it takes to help build the supporting structures for bridges, large buildings, and roads. Consulting sketches and blueprints to guide their work, ironworkers move prefabricated iron and steel by hand and signal crane operators to lift and position it. Using a variety of tools, they cut and shape the iron and steel, then weld or bolt it into place. Getting these heavy materials into the right, level position is key to structural integrity, and requires specialized tools to ensure it. It takes good balance and coordination, strength and stamina to make it in any specialty in this field. Structural iron and steel workers connect steel columns and girders for tall structures. Although wet, icy, or windy conditions can stop work, work is outdoors in most types of weather. With the risk of falls, cuts, and muscle strain, precautions must be taken. Reinforcing iron and rebar workers use steel and iron to strengthen concrete for highways, buildings, and bridges. They must be able to carry, bend, cut, and connect rebar quickly to help keep projects on schedule. Most ironworkers work full time in the construction industry, and learn their trade through a 3-4 year apprenticeship. A high school diploma or equivalent is generally required.
What they do:
Raise, place, and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks. May erect metal storage tanks and assemble prefabricated metal buildings.
On the job, you would:
Read specifications or blueprints to determine the locations, quantities, or sizes of materials required.
Connect columns, beams, and girders with bolts, following blueprints and instructions from supervisors.
Bolt aligned structural steel members in position for permanent riveting, bolting, or welding into place.
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Safety and Government
public safety and security
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
hold or move items with your hands
keep your arm or hand steady
use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
exercise for a long time without getting out of breath
lift, push, pull, or carry
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Project management software
Cost estimating software
Project scheduling software
Turtle Creek Software Goldenseal
Computer aided design CAD software
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.