Ironworkers, also known as erectors, help construct highways, large buildings, bridges and other construction projects. An aspiring ironworker may start this career with on-the-job training or an apprenticeship.

Inside Ironworking

Ironworkers most often work with steel, but they may also work in ornamental lead, iron, copper and other metals. Ironworkers make crane runways and more by erecting steel columns or girders as the framework. They also install steel bars to reinforce concrete in foundations and floors for garages and other types of buildings. Ornamental ironworkers build the nonstructural external surfaces of buildings. Stairways and railings are some examples of other ironworker jobs.

Education Information

To prepare for this career, an apprenticeship of 3-4 years is usually desired among employers. Apprenticeship programs allow ironworkers to gain significant expertise in their trade and gain a journeyman position. A committee of local union representatives or contractors' associations often supervises the apprenticeship.

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