Interested in becoming an Ironworker? Here are a few things you can expect when moving into this field.
If you don’t know already, Ironworkers typically do the following:
- Use a crane to lift steel beams, girders and columns into place.
- Signal crane operators for positioning of the structural steel.
- Stand on beams or girders to help position steel pieces that are being lifted.
- Unload and stack prefabricated steel so that it can be lifted easily with slings.
- Verify vertical and horizontal alignment of the structural steel.
- Use metal shears, torches and welding equipment to cut, bend and weld the steel.
- Align beams and girders into position
- Connect columns, beams and girders with bolts or by welding them into place.
As far as the workplace goes for an Ironworker, they must have a good sense of balance and being able to working in high places. They spend their days working on new buildings, repairing and restoring structures that are undergoing renovation or fixing bridges. Being an Ironworker you will most likely perform physically demanding and dangerous work. When working at great heights ironworkers must wear safety devices such as harnesses to reduce the risk of falling. Even though safety is always first, Ironworkers have one of the highest rates of injuries of all occupations. When building tall structures such as a skyscraper, ironworkers erect steel frames and assemble the cranes and derricks that move structural steel, reinforcing bars, buckets of concrete, lumber and other materials and equipment around the construction site. Once this job has been completed, workers begin to connect steel columns, beams and girders according to blueprints and instructions from construction supervisors.
If you are extremely new in this field you would want to get the appropriate training such as an apprentice program. Being an apprentice you get paid while you are being trained, as well as being on the live job site alongside the journeyman which is a great experience. Alongside with the on-site training, future ironworkers will also be attending classes. Ironworking is a great career to have, due to their demand in the construction industry. You will have many opportunities to work as an ironworker, as well as grow in the construction industry.