If the thought of working on construction projects like tall skyscrapers or restoring historic bridges excites you, then you should consider becoming an ironworker. Here’s what you need to know about this day labor job.

The Skills You Need

How do you get started in this day labor job? The first step is to go through an apprenticeship program. There you’ll get paid to learn working alongside journeymen as well as attend classes. After completing this four-year program, you can officially start working as an ironworker. It isn’t necessary to be certified, however getting a certification in fields such as welding and rigging can yield a higher salary. Besides learning the technical side of ironwork, there are other skills you’ll need in order to be successful in this career. Since this day labor job requires walking on narrow beams safely, workers need to have a good sense of balance.  They also can’t be afraid of heights, especially since projects like skyscrapers and bridges require that these day laborers work very high off the ground. Good hand-eye coordination allows for ironwork to be done quickly and precisely while physical strength and stamina is needed to move heavy beams and tighten bolts throughout the workday.

Where They Work

Ironworkers can be found working in a number of blue collar industries and projects. Structural ironworkers are called on to build the iron frames for large projects such as towers and bridges. There are ironworkers who specialize in creating and placing rebar in concrete forms to reinforce structures on a construction site. Ornamental ironworkers are the day laborers responsible for installing metal into finishes like windows and doors as well as erecting railings, catwalks, and stairwells. For those who like to work with heavy equipment, they can take on the job of rigging and moving materials by operating cranes, hoists, and forklifts. Finally, ironworkers can work as welders after getting the proper certification.

An Ironworker’s Work Life

Remember, ironworkers often have to work at great heights, making the job physically demanding and dangerous. That’s why those in this day labor job must use their safety equipment at all times as well as stay aware of their surroundings. They also spend most of their day cutting, bending, and connecting heavy materials as well as working in awkward positions like stooping. As for work environment, ironworkers usually work outdoors but not in bad weather. Ironworkers normally work full time schedules.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of employed ironworkers is predicted to grow by nine percent by 2024. The employment of those who specialize in reinforcing concrete will grow by twenty-three percent in that same time period. This is due to the anticipated need to repair or replace old highways and bridges as well as the continued rise in new construction projects.

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