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Also known as:
Bridge Ironworker, Construction Ironworker, Iron Guardrail Installer, Metal Tank Erector, Ornamental Ironworker, Pre-Engineered Metal Building Ironworker, Precast Concrete Ironworker, Steel Fabricator, Steel Fitter, Structural Steel Erector
If ever there was a career that combined specialized skill with job diversity, this is it. Experienced structural iron workers build everything from bridges to highways, office buildings to factories. From the frames that support a building to the railings that surround its stairs, structural iron w ...
orkers are involved in almost every facet of construction. They may even fabricate and install the lampposts.
Cranes and derricks that lift materials to the tops of high-rises are also assembled by structural metal workers. So is the intricate array of steel rods embedded in concrete floor slabs that give them their strength.
For some iron workers, construction begins in a fabricating shop, where raw steel is bent, cut, welded, and drilled to the specifications required for a particular job. Here, and on the site, workers may be required to read blueprints and accurately lay out dimensions. On location, structural iron workers may direct crane operators to lift huge steel beams into position while other workers bolt them together.
Whether in the factory or on the site, structural iron workers have to be in good physical condition and have great strength. Because this type of work is frequently done at great heights on narrow beams and girders, agility, balance, and good eyesight are essential. Individuals who choose this career should not be afraid of heights or suffer from dizziness.
Classroom training is as important as on-the-job training in this career, because apprentices must learn the principles of structural reinforcing, blueprint reading, mathematics, and welding. Novices may begin on the job by carrying materials and other simple tasks. They will then work their way up to cutting and parts-fitting. With enough experience, structural iron workers may eventually become supervisors or go into business for themselves.
Raise, place, and unite iron or steel girders, columns, and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks. May erect metal storage tanks and assemble prefabricated metal buildings.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Dismantle structures or equipment.
Assemble hoisting equipment or rigging, such as cables, pulleys, or hooks, to move heavy equipment or materials.
Erect metal or precast concrete components for structures, such as buildings, bridges, dams, towers, storage tanks, fences, or highway guard rails.
Unload and position prefabricated steel units for hoisting as needed.
Cut, bend, or weld steel pieces, using metal shears, torches, or welding equipment.
Fabricate metal parts, such as steel frames, columns, beams, or girders, according to blueprints or instructions from supervisors.
Hoist steel beams, girders, and columns into place, using cranes, or signal hoisting equipment operators to lift and position structural-steel members.
Read specifications or blueprints to determine the locations, quantities, or sizes of materials required.
Ride on girders or other structural steel members to position them or use rope to guide them into position.
Verify vertical and horizontal alignment of structural steel members, using plumb bobs, laser equipment, transits, or levels.
Fasten structural steel members to hoist cables, using chains, cables, or rope.
Performing General Physical Activities
Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology
Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
The ability to judge which of several objects is closer or farther away from you, or to judge the distance between you and an object.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Operation and Control
Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.