Are you interested in a career as an ironworker? With the construction industry booming, there's a high demand for skilled ironworkers. In this blog post, we will explore exactly how to become an ironworker and build a profitable career.
Ironworkers play a crucial role in the construction industry, working with steel and other materials to build structures such as bridges, buildings, and highways. If you have a strong work ethic, physical strength, and a desire to work in a challenging and rewarding industry, then becoming an ironworker may be an ideal career path for you.
What is an ironworker?
An ironworker is a skilled tradesperson who works with structural iron and steel to construct buildings, bridges, and other large structures. They are responsible for lifting, carrying, and positioning heavy pieces of metal, as well as welding and bolting them together to form the structural framework.
Ironworkers and steel workers also play a crucial role in reading and interpreting blueprints and ensuring that construction projects meet safety standards. They often work in teams and are known for their physical strength, attention to detail, and ability to work at heights without fear.
Becoming an ironworker typically requires a combination of formal education and practical experience through apprenticeship programs. With the demand for structural steel and other metal workers expected to continue growing, pursuing a career in this field can offer rewarding job opportunities.
How much money do ironworkers earn?
The average salary for ironworkers in the United States is around $37,890 per year on the low end for beginners, $60,500 for journeymen on average, and $100,930 for masters. Also, it's worth mentioning that this profession often comes with overtime opportunities, which can significantly increase end-of-year income.
With the potential to earn a competitive salary, ironworking can be a rewarding career choice. If you're interested in this field, sign up for the SkillHero app so you can benefit from our educational materials, resume builder, and growing database of employers and opportunities in the skilled trades.
Is ironworking hard?
Ironworking is a physically demanding profession that comes with its own set of challenges. It requires individuals to have strength, endurance, and agility to handle heavy iron pieces and work at heights.
The physical demands of ironworking can be strenuous and can often test individuals both mentally and physically.
Safety equipment is required on most job sites. Safety goggles, hard hats, and harnesses are just a few of the essential pieces of equipment that skilled metal workers need to wear to reduce accidents and injuries.
While ironworking can be challenging, it is a rewarding profession with numerous opportunities for growth and development. With the right training, skills, and commitment to safety, individuals can excel in this field and contribute to the construction of impressive structures.
How to become an ironworker
This career requires a combination of physical strength, safety awareness, and technical skills. It offers rewarding opportunities and growth potential in the construction industry.
Acquire a high school diploma or equivalent
Acquiring a high school diploma or equivalent is the minimum educational requirement to start on this career path. If you didn't complete high school you can pursue a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, which is equivalent to a high school diploma for professional purposes.
Seek out an apprenticeship
Most skilled trade careers start with looking for a great apprenticeship. These opportunities are typically paid positions that provide a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on work experience.
Being in good physical condition is crucial, as ironworking involves lifting heavy materials and working in challenging conditions.
The simplest way to find an apprenticeship is to reach out to metalworker unions or construction companies that offer training. These organizations often have established apprenticeship programs that provide comprehensive training.
Joining an apprenticeship not only provides practical skills and knowledge but also offers the opportunity to network directly with professionals in the field. By actively seeking out an ironworker apprenticeship, individuals can lay the foundation for a successful and fulfilling career in this in-demand industry.
Acquire an ironworker associate degree
Acquiring an associate degree can be a valuable step towards advancing your career in ironworking. This degree offers a comprehensive understanding of techniques, construction practices, and safety protocols.
To obtain an ironworker associate degree, you should first research accredited institutions that offer relevant programs. Next, apply to the chosen program and ensure that you meet all admission requirements.
During your study you will gain practical knowledge and skills through hands-on training and coursework. You will learn about blueprint reading, welding techniques, structural frameworks, and more. You'll also develop a strong foundation in safety protocols to ensure your well-being and the well-being of others on construction sites.
Earning an associate degree can significantly enhance your job prospects. Many employers in the industry prefer candidates with formal education and a deeper understanding of the trade. With this degree, you will be more competitive in the job market and have access to a wider range of opportunities.
Continue ongoing education
Ironworkers can continue their education and further develop their skills in several ways. One important aspect is earning certifications. By obtaining certifications in specific areas such as structural ironworking or welding, apprentices and journeymen can demonstrate their expertise and enhance their professional credibility.
Staying updated on new developments in the field is also crucial. Techniques and safety protocols are constantly evolving, so it's important for metalworkers to stay informed about the latest industry standards. This can be done by attending workshops, conferences, or online courses that focus on current trends and advancements.
Who should become an ironworker?
Ironworking is a physically demanding profession that requires a certain set of qualifications and characteristics. If you have a strong work ethic, physical strength, and are comfortable working at heights, becoming an ironworker may be a great career path for you.
To succeed in this field, you should possess excellent balance and hand-eye coordination, as well as the ability to work with tools using precision and attention to detail. Good problem-solving skills and the ability to think on your feet when welding or rigging are also very valuable.
While formal education is not always a requirement, having a high school diploma or GED can be beneficial for improving your opportunities and wages. Previous work experience in construction or a related field can also give you a competitive edge.
Remember, becoming an ironworker is a commitment to ongoing learning and staying updated on industry standards. By continuously honing your skills and acquiring new knowledge, you can thrive in this dynamic profession.