Career Development

Becoming An Ironworker Within The Construction Industry

Ironworkers are extremely well paid within the construction industry – according to, the average annual salary for ironworkers is $49,100. If you’re a structural steel and ironworker, the average salary is $55,100 a year.

Ironworking is a niche career in construction, and there is always a high demand for services.

Generally, ironworkers install and make repairs to steel and iron, which helps to support roads, bridges, and buildings. This is a physically demanding job, for which you have to be extremely knowledgeable in construction, which is why the career attracts a higher salary than general laboring work.

Through an apprenticeship and working on the job, you can easily learn the trade and become a valuable part of a construction team. 

Training to Be an Ironworker

Many ironworkers head into their career by doing a vocational apprenticeship. This will cover the basics of the job and give you the opportunity to work on many different types of projects.

The Department of Apprenticeship and Training is a good first call if you want to get an apprenticeship place. There are training centers all over America.

Alternatively, you may already be working within the construction industry, and know an experienced ironworker who will take you on.

Ironworkers need to be able to expertly read sketches and blueprints so that they’re confident in following the right specifications on a project.

It’s always worth doing a college course or an online course to broaden your knowledge of blueprints. You can also take a vocational course to improve your welding technique. 

Safety Aspects

Ironworkers do a physically demanding job that can be dangerous, particularly when you’re working at a great height.

A construction accident lawyer can advise you of the importance of always following site safety rules, as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).

You will need to have adequate protective equipment for repairs and welding, as well as a securely fitting safety harness when you’re working high up. All your equipment will need to be properly maintained to prevent the risk of an accident, either to you or your colleagues.

It is important for an ironworker to take personal responsibility for this. 

The Career Path

Becoming an ironworker can give you a varied career path within the construction industry. You could choose to focus on heavy and civil engineering, non-residential building construction, or foundations and structure.

Building equipment contractors specializing in ironwork average over $60,000 every year.

As an ironworker, you may also choose to branch out into crane operating and rigging – two skills that are extremely useful, especially if you’re working on structures that are extremely high.

You could also lead your own team of ironworkers, even offering apprenticeships to those wanting to get into the construction industry. 


Being an ironworker is a physically active career that will be different every day. It is well-paid within the construction industry, and has great future job prospects

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