Iron and Metal Worker Job Description

The Iron and Metal Worker are the ones who do structural and reinforcing on skyscrapers, large industrial facilities, bridges and other buildings. They are also responsible for the repairing and maintenance of old structures.

Primary Responsibilities:

  • Iron and Metal Workers are responsible for the structural and reinforcement of skyscrapers, large industrial facilities, bridges and other buildings.
  • Iron and Metal Workers are responsible for repairing of old structures.
  • Iron and Metal Workers are the ones who usually do the maintenance of old structures.
  • The Iron and Metal Workers are the key part of construction projects.

The Iron and Metal Workers being the key part of construction projects put up the initial steel framework. The Iron and Metal Workers work with beams, pillars, and other iron and steel supports. The Iron and Metal Worker takes care of the support systems or main frames when a building or bridge is about to be constructed. Their work is highly valuable because it protects us all from having a severe accident when we are using these structures after their completion. The workers in this occupation are primary known as Iron Workers even though they work with steel. They differ from the steel worker in that they do not shape the steel as much as prepare it for the larger structures.

Steel Workers specialize in various areas and are capable of performing different jobs. For instance, reinforcing iron and rebar workers specialize in installing reinforcing bars into concrete. Ornamental ironworkers primarily handle the installing of handrails, stairs, curtain walls, and other such metal products once the basic construction of a building is complete. In order to specialize in this profession you might find one of the numerous apprenticeship programs that are available for structural and reinforcing Iron and Metal Workers. Most Iron and Metal Workers opt for a certification in welding and rigging in order to be able to be a part of an apprenticeship program that may last for three to four years. These apprenticeship programs include some classroom instruction along with on-the-job training. If you are looking forward to finding an apprenticeship program you might want to check out the International Association of Bridge, the Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers, as well as, various contractors’ associations offer such programs.

Iron and Metal Workers must be rugged because they work outdoors in all sorts of weather conditions. The Iron and Metal Workers work at great heights so they must not have a fear of heights and must be able to climb so they must have the strength and agility it requires to climb tall buildings and other structures. Iron and Metal Workers are prone to physical injuries like cuts and bruises from their work around the steel. There is safety equipment in place to help protect them from major accidents and injuries such as scaffolding and harnesses. These items help to decrease the risk of major accidents while they are working at great heights on the metal works. Other equipment like safety glasses, helmets, etc. are required to be worn and are the responsibility of the Iron and Metal Worker to provide for them. The growth in their employment opportunities depends on the both the geographic locations and seasons. It is predicted that those in the South and in the West are likely to have better opportunities since they have a longer season of warm weather. Just as important the seasons do make a difference in how much work is available. The spring and summer months are best for the northern region of the United States for Iron and Metal Workers.

Since most Iron and Metal Workers are working with beams, pillars, and other iron and steel supports they must have good skills in math. They must be able to make sure that they are making the right sizes so that there is a proper fit when the rest of the structure is being constructed. It would not do to have a beam or pillar that is not properly sized the roadway, bridge etc. would collapse. That is why most Iron and Metal Workers are apprentices for at least four years. Afterwards they can work themselves up to being supervisors in the profession training others and overseeing the whole construction job.

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