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Occupational Statistics

Structural Ironworkers

Structural Ironworkers place and join steel girders, columns, and other pieces to form structural frameworks. They also may assemble precut metal buildings and the cranes and derricks that move materials and equipment around the construction site. Some ironworkers install precast walls or work with wood or composite materials.

Career Outlook

Employment estimate and mean wages estimates are provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and O*Net OnLine sponsored by U.S. Department of Labor

Annual Salary (mean)

Annual wages do not include overtime or benefits


Total estimated number of jobs in the United States

Projected Job Growth

Estimated number of new job openings between 2020 to 2030

Apprenticeship Statistics

On-the-Job Learning

Structural Ironworkers Apprenticeships provide 5,600 to 6,000 hours of paid on-the-job learning.

Related Instruction

A minimum of 537 hours of related instruction that includes OSHA, lift training, first aid/CPR, NCCER Core, Level One and additional NCCER Ironworker modules.

Credentials & Certifications

Apprentices earn industry-recognized credentials and certifications including NCCER, OSHA, lift operator, first aid/CPR certifications.

Tasks Performed

  • Read specifications or blueprints to determine the locations, quantities, or sizes of materials required
  • Connect columns, beams, and girders with bolts, following blueprints and instructions from supervisors
  • Bolt aligned structural steel members in position for permanent riveting, bolting, or welding into place
  • Fasten structural steel members to hoist cables, using chains, cables, or rope
  • Hoist steel beams, girders, or columns into place, using cranes or signaling hoisting equipment operators to lift and position structural steel members
  • Verify vertical and horizontal alignment of structural steel members, using plumb bobs, laser equipment, transits, or levels
  • Cut, bend, or weld steel pieces, using metal shears, torches, or welding equipment
  • Erect metal or precast concrete components for structures, such as buildings, bridges, dams, towers, storage tanks, fences, or highway guard rails
  • Force structural steel members into final positions, using turnbuckles, crowbars, jacks, or hand tools
  • Pull, push, or pry structural steel members into approximate positions for bolting into place

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations
  • Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges

Work Skills

  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems
  • Bolt aligned structural steel members in position for permanent riveting, bolting, or welding into place
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions