Are you curious about a career as an Ironworker in the United States of America? Now you can learn what Ironworkers do, the work environment, how to become one, salary, and job outlook. 

What is an iron worker?

The job title of an ironworker is derived from the materials that they use: the tools, rigging equipment and materials that they use to build bridges. The ironworker can be thought of as a tradesman who has been given the responsibility to construct and maintain a bridge.

To be called an ironworker, an individual must have completed a formal apprenticeship and passed a test to demonstrate their knowledge of the trade. It is not required that individuals have experience with bridges or be familiar with construction techniques.

Ironworkers are members of a group of skilled tradespeople that perform the duties of the bridge building. They have the responsibility to erect, install and maintain all of the components of a bridge, including the columns, beams, trusses, decking and the superstructure.

Ironworkers are workers who operate cranes and hoists, and other heavy equipment to build large structures such as skyscrapers and bridges. They also work with other tradesmen to erect steel frameworks for construction projects.

A typical ironworker works in a team of at least two to four people, often more.


The majority of ironworkers work on the construction site. A smaller percentage perform rigging work (setting up and taking down scaffolding, crane rigging, or towers), and a smaller percentage are construction managers (supervising the work of others). Many ironworkers are union members and must adhere to strict safety standards.  

Construction Ironworkers

The construction ironworker is responsible for installing all of the components of a bridge. This includes setting up and taking down scaffolding, hoists, cranes, and towers. The construction ironworker is also responsible for ensuring that the bridge is safe for traffic by ensuring that it meets all required codes. Construction ironworkers work on various types of bridges, including: Concrete bridges Steel bridges Masonry bridges

Rigging Ironworkers

Rigging ironworkers work with other tradesmen to set up and take down scaffolding and towers, rigging, hoists, and cranes. Rigging ironworkers also operate and maintain rigging equipment such as crawler cranes.

Construction Ironworker Salary

Ironworkers are paid according to their skill level and years of experience. A skilled ironworker can earn $60,000 per year. Ironworkers with 10 to 15 years of experience can earn between $40,000 and $60,000 annually. Ironworkers with over 15 years of experience can earn between $35,000 and $55,000 per year.

Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of construction ironworkers is projected to grow by 9 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.

Construction ironworkers build the superstructure of bridges, such as the columns, beams and trusses that form the frame of the bridge. They also erect temporary support structures like scaffolding, towers, or forms.

A construction ironworker typically works in a team of at least two to four people, often more. They perform the duties of a tradesman, such as using a crane to lift heavy materials into position and using heavy equipment to erect or remove scaffolding, towers or other structures.

A construction ironworker can be referred to as a framing or erector. A framing ironworker is responsible for constructing the framework of the structure, including columns, beams, and trusses, and for making sure they are safe. An erector is responsible for erecting the structures, such as the superstructure. The erector may also be referred to as a tower ironworker or tower erection ironworker.

Work hours

A typical ironworker will work long days and hours. Ironworkers are usually required to work seven days a week and overtime is often required. However, many ironworkers work different shifts so that they do not have to work the same number of hours every day.


The annual salary for an ironworker varies based on the location of the company that employs them. The average pay for ironworkers is between $36,000 and $56,000 per year.

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