Ironworkers are responsible for laying and fabricating the structural steel framework of pre-engineered metal buildings, stadiums, bridges, hospitals, towers, and single- and multi-story buildings, and also weld and cut steel, interpret blueprints, and work with concrete reinforcing steel bars. They are highly-skilled tradesmen/women who possess high technical and manual skills; most go through an apprenticeship program in addition to graduating from a trade school.
Skills of ironworkers include installation, selection, and operation of equipment and monitoring of materials, events, and the environment to detect and assess problems. Among the tools they use are wire cutters, bull pins, sleever bars, heavy hammers, wrenches, and safety belts.
The work is very strenuous, so individuals must be in very good health to perform their duties. Physical requirements include sitting, standing, climbing, bending, squatting, and heavy lifting. Specific abilities that are advantageous for the job include gross body equilibrium, trunk strength, depth perception, spatial orientation, finger dexterity, and overall stamina.
Cooperation is vital for success in this position. Ironworkers must be able to work well within a team and communicate with supervisors, peers, and subordinates via e-mail, telephone, in-person, and in writing.
The working environment of an ironworker can be indoors or outdoors and includes many potentially-hazardous conditions. Thus, adherence to safety protocols is essential at all times. Ironworkers often work in noisy environments due to the presence of heavy machinery, such as compressors and welding machines, and ironwork is often done in adverse weather conditions, as well.
Raise, place and unite iron or steel girders and columns.
Erect metal storage tanks and assemble prefabricated metal buildings.
Form completed structures or structural frameworks.