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Become An Iron Worker

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Working As An Iron Worker

  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Stressful

  • $51,200

    Average Salary

What Does An Iron Worker Do

The duties of an Iron Worker involve heating, cutting, bending, and installing metal components for structural work. Their productions can include rods, beams, and trusses that are used in bridges, skyscrapers, and highways.

How To Become An Iron Worker

Although most ironworkers learn through an apprenticeship, some learn on the job. Certifications in welding, rigging, and signaling can be helpful for new entrants.


A high school diploma or equivalent is generally required. Courses in math, as well as training in vocational subjects such as blueprint reading and welding, can be particularly useful.


Most ironworkers learn their trade through a 3- or 4-year apprenticeship. For each year of the program, apprentices must have at least 144 hours of related technical training and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training. Nearly all apprenticeship programs teach both reinforcing and structural ironworking. On the job, apprentices learn to use the tools and equipment of the trade; handle, measure, cut, and lay rebar; and construct metal frameworks. In technical training, they are taught mathematics, blueprint reading and sketching, general construction techniques, safety practices, and first aid.

A few groups, including unions and contractor associations, sponsor apprenticeship programs. Some programs have preferred entry for veterans. The basic qualifications required for entering an apprenticeship program are as follows:

  • Minimum age of 18
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Physical ability to perform the work
  • Pass substance abuse screening

After completing an apprenticeship program, they are considered to be journeymen who perform tasks without direct supervision.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Certifications in welding, rigging, and crane signaling may increase a worker’s usefulness on the jobsite and result in higher pay. Many ironworkers become welders certified by the American Welding Society. Several organizations offer rigging certifications, including the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, and the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO).

Important Qualities

Balance. Ironworkers often walk on narrow beams, so a good sense of balance is important to keep them from falling while doing their job.

Depth perception. Ironworkers must be able to judge the distance between objects and themselves in order to work safely. Ironworkers often signal crane operators who move beams and bundles of rebar.

Hand-eye coordination. Ironworkers must be able to tie rebar together quickly and precisely. An experienced worker can tie rebar together in seconds and move on to the next spot; a beginner may take much longer.

Physical stamina. Ironworkers must have physical endurance because they spend many hours performing physically demanding tasks, such as moving rebar, each day.

Physical strength. Ironworkers must be strong enough to guide heavy beams into place and tighten bolts.

Unafraid of heights. Ironworkers must not be afraid to work at great heights. For example, as they erect skyscrapers, workers must walk on narrow beams—sometimes over 50 stories high—while connecting girders.

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Iron Worker jobs

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Real Iron Worker Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Supervisor, Reinforcing Iron Work Genesis Steel Service Baltimore, MD Jul 13, 2010 $57,539
Structural Iron and Still Worker Iron Workers Local #372 Cincinnati, OH Aug 27, 2008 $53,511 -
Iron Workers Valley Forge Iron Works, Inc. Yonkers, NY Feb 14, 2012 $50,067
Reinforcing Iron Worker Elilacon Company, Inc. LA Jan 01, 2014 $41,657
Reinforcing Iron Worker Maxum Industries, LLC. LA May 10, 2013 $39,653
Structural Iron Worker Phalanx Enterprises, Inc. Chantilly, VA Jul 20, 2009 $38,522
Structure Iron Worker PAU Construction TX Jan 24, 2014 $37,900
Iron Worker Jag Premier, Inc. LA Mar 01, 2014 $37,796
Structure Iron Worker PAU Construction TX Jan 01, 2015 $37,587
Iron Worker Jag Premier, Inc. LA May 29, 2013 $37,420
Iron Worker La Jomac Group, Inc. LA Mar 26, 2014 $37,169
Structural Iron Worker Blue Point Solutions TX Mar 13, 2014 $36,815
Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers Tarrasco Steel Company MS Apr 14, 2014 $36,731
Reinforcing Iron Worker Genesis Steel Service Baltimore, MD Jan 29, 2008 $36,731
Iron Worker Southland Energy Services, LLC. LA Oct 01, 2013 $36,439
Iron Worker La Jomac Group, Inc. LA May 29, 2013 $36,439
Structural Iron Worker Superior Shipyard & Fabrication, Inc. LA Apr 16, 2014 $36,293
Iron Worker Mid Atlantic Steel Erectors Motley, VA Jan 14, 2016 $36,130
Iron Worker Mid Atlantic Steel Erectors Motley, VA Jan 27, 2016 $36,130
Iron Worker Mid Atlantic Steel Erectors Motley, VA Feb 02, 2016 $36,130
Structural Iron Worker Fence Menders Santa Ana, CA May 02, 2008 $34,456
Structural Iron Worker Fence Menders Santa Ana, CA Apr 22, 2008 $34,456
Iron Worker Mid Atlantic Steel Erectors Motley, VA Feb 02, 2016 $32,947
Iron Worker Mid Atlantic Steel Erectors Motley, VA Jan 15, 2016 $32,947
Iron Worker Mid Atlantic Steel Erectors Motley, VA Jan 14, 2016 $32,947

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Top Skills for An Iron Worker


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Top Iron Worker Skills

  1. Safety Procedures
  2. Tie Rebar
  3. Hand Tools
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Train workers in construction methods, operation of equipment, safety procedures, and company policies.
  • Prepared footing, tie rebar, level and build form, pour and finish concrete.
  • Force structural steel members into final positions, using turnbuckles, crowbars, jacks, or hand tools.
  • Connected heavy beams (stick welded), cut steel with torches, and lifted steel beams with a crane.
  • Assemble hoisting equipment and rigging, such as cables, pulleys, and hooks, to move heavy equipment and materials.

Top Iron Worker Employers

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