What is an Ironworker?

Ironworking has many sectors. Each sector involves challenging and difficult work, often on tall structures at high elevations. Ironworkers must be willing to work as part of a team. They must be able to meet rigid standards and deadlines. They must have a good sense of balance and be alert to potential danger to themselves and others. 

Structural Ironworkers

  • Unload, erect and connect fabricated iron beams to form the project skeleton.

  • Work primarily on industrial, commercial and large residential buildings.

  • Build towers, bridges, stadiums and prefabricated metal buildings.

  • Erect and install pre-cast beams, columns and panels.

Ornamental Ironworkers

  • Install metal windows into a building’s masonry or wooden openings.

  • Erect curtain wall and window wall systems that cover the steel or reinforced concrete structure of a building.

  • Install and erect metal stairways, catwalks, gratings, doors, railings, fencing, elevator fronts and building entrances.

Reinforcing Ironworkers

  • Fabricate and place steel bars (rebar) in concrete forms to reinforce structures.

  • Place rebar on appropriate supports and tie them together with tie wire.

  • Install post-tensioning tendons (cables) to place in concrete forms along with reinforcing steel.

  • Stress the tendons using hydraulic jacks and pumps after the concrete is poured and hardened.

Rigging and Machinery Moving Ironworkers

  • Load, unload, move and set machinery, structural steel and curtain walls.

  • Operate power hoists, cranes, derricks, forklifts and aerial lifts.

  • Have knowledge of fiber line, wire rope, hoisting equipment and proper hand signals.

Welding and Burning Equipment

  • Are considered tools of the trade and performed by structural, reinforcing, ornamental and rigging ironworkers to secure their work to the structure. Ironworkers can be tested to be designated a certified welder.