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Ironworkers often work high in the sky, perched on the metal skeletons of skyscrapers and bridges. They are skilled tradespeople who put together the iron or steel framework of buildings.
Many ironworkers get their start in the trade by becoming apprentices at their local unions. Apprentices must be at least 18 years old and in good physical shape. They must be strong and agile, and they must have an excellent sense of balance.
Ironworker apprenticeships take approximately three to four years to complete. During this time, apprentices receive training in the classroom, in the shop, and on the job. They learn how to use and take care of their tools and equipment, and they become proficient at the many skills required for ironworkers to do their jobs, including welding, rigging, and reinforcing.
After they finish their apprenticeships, they become journey-level workers. They may be promoted to supervisory positions or go into business for themselves. The overall outlook for employment is good, although the number of available jobs will fluctuate with changes in the economy.
Ironworkers played an important role at Ground Zero after the attacks of 9/11. They were among the first responders who worked in the rescue and recovery efforts on the site, along with police and firefighters.
A Guide to Ironworkers
Iron is a common material in construction, used to create and reinforce buildings and structures. Many buildings and landmarks are made from iron, from the average office building to the beautiful Eiffel Tower. A number of structures seen today would not exist without iron, such as skyscrapers, stadiums, bridges, and railroads. In addition, iron plays a major role in construing transportation vehicles, such as ships, trains, and other mobile equipment.
In order to effectively handle and complete construction projects, project managers require the services of skilled ironworkers. An ironworker is a tradesman predominantly works in the ironworking profession. Some of the common tasks that are performed by an ironworker include erecting frameworks for structures, and unloading and reinforcing steel bars. In addition, ironworkers must be able to handle machinery equipment, such as hoists and forklifts. Finally, ironworkers must possess an extensive knowledge of safety processes related to construction projects and the workplace. Given the number of crucial tasks performed by ironworkers, it is important to make sure that the individual is well-trained and qualified for the job.
How to Become an Ironworker
In order to pursue a career as an ironworker, the applicant must possess a variety of qualities suited for the position. The following listed are common qualities that many ironworkers own. To find out more, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers possess resources for aspiring applicants.
In order to handle iron and other metals, ironworkers must possess a great deal of physical strength and endurance. The labors of metalworking and construction demands that the individual is able to perform physically demanding work.
Most construction projects are conducted outdoors, frequently in high places or other potentially dangerous conditions. Ironworkers are often subjected to the elements, such as rain, humidity, and bright sunshine. Therefore, applicants must be able to work in potentially uncomfortable situations.
Ironworkers must often work with other individuals and team members in a construction project. In order to successfully complete a project, it is important that the individual be able to effectively communicate with others.
A construction project will take days, even weeks to complete. In order to work with iron, and handle the daily rigors of construction, the individual will need a great deal of patience. Therefore, applicants should make sure that they possess the correct temperament for the profession.