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The Work
Ironworkers assemble and erect steel framework and other metal parts in buildings, on bridges, dams and other steel structures. They raise, place and join steel girders and columns to form structural frameworks, including the welding of metal decking.

Working Conditions
Ironworkers generally work outside at construction sites. Work is conducted in all kinds of weather. Ironworkers often work at great heights erecting the steel frameworks of skyscrapers, stadiums and bridges. Work can also be confined to cramped quarters. Substantial physical strength is required to carry and place the reinforcing steel for concrete structures. "Tying iron" requires heavy lifting and bending. Workers may often move to different job sites over a large region. Between jobs, there are often periods of unemployment.

The Apprenticeship
This program requires 4,500-8,000 hours (three to four years) of on-the-job training, and 144-385 hours of classroom instruction on your own time to qualify for the journey level examination. Subjects taught include welding, math, rigging, blueprint reading, rebar, fabrication, caulking and sealant, and structural steel.

Apprenticeship Entry Requirements
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • High school or GED diploma.
  • Pass a standard physical exam.
  • Pass an aptitude test.
  • Be able to read, write and speak English.
  • Live within the geographic area of the program.
  • Be drug free.

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