Steel Worker

How to Become a Structural Iron and Steel Worker

Structural iron and steel workers are professionals who specialize in the installation and erection of steel structures and frameworks. This includes bridges, buildings, towers, stadiums, and other structures. Structural iron and steel workers use a combination of physical strength, mechanical aptitude, and technical knowledge to complete their tasks.

Structural metal fabricators and fitters make metal products in their own shops, away from construction sites. There is expected to be a rapid increase in structural iron and steel worker jobs throughout the years.

If you want to become a structural iron and steel worker, here’s what you need to consider:

  • Education

A high school diploma or equivalent is usually needed to become a structural iron and steel worker. It is beneficial to have taken courses in math, as well as courses in vocational topics such as reading blueprints and welding.

  • Training

Most people go through a three- or four-year apprenticeship program to become ironworkers. During these years, they must do at least 144 hours of related technical instruction and 2000 hours of paid work experience. Apprentices learn how to use the tools and equipment of the trade, such as how to measure, cut, lay rebar, and construct metal frameworks. They also learn mathematics, how to read blueprints, general construction techniques, safety practices, and first aid. These apprenticeship programs are usually sponsored by unions or contractor associations.

  • Certifications and Licenses

Some employers provide opportunities for employees to learn specific skills related to their job. This learning experience could be short or long and include teaching how to use special tools or safety protocols. Additionally, many certifications, licenses, or registrations are available to those in the ironworking industry, which can make them more attractive to employers. These include certifications for welding and rigging and for crane signaling.

  • Salary

Structural iron and steel workers are highly-compensated roles that don’t require advanced education. Starting salary is $34,364, while the median pay is $45,986, and experienced workers can earn up to $53,415.

  • Responsibilities

Ironworkers are responsible for assembling and connecting pieces of iron and steel to create support structures for buildings, bridges, and roads. They look at blueprints, diagrams, and instructions to determine the best way to assemble the pieces. They use shears, rod-bending machines, and welding equipment to cut, bend, and weld pieces together. They then use tag lines, plumb bobs, lasers, and levels to ensure that the pieces are aligned vertically and horizontally, then connect them using bolts, wire, or welds.

Ironworkers are responsible for constructing, erecting, and maintaining the steel frames and other components of buildings, bridges, roads, and other structures. They use tools such as shears, torches, welding equipment, and hand tools to connect precut steel columns, beams, and girders. 

Ironworkers may also be involved in demolishing, decommissioning, and rehabilitating older buildings and bridges. When constructing tall structures, they assemble the cranes and derricks that move materials and equipment around the site. They may also install precast walls or work with wood or composite materials.


Becoming a structural iron and steel worker is a challenging yet rewarding career path. It requires an individual to possess a wide range of skills and knowledge in welding, fabrication, and construction. The individual must also have a strong understanding of safety regulations and procedures and a strong attention to detail. The hard work and dedication of structural iron and steel workers help to build the world around us and create a lasting impact on our society.

KGS Steel Nashville is a full-line structural steel and carbon steel service center warehouse servicing the southeastern United States since 1985. We offer a full line of carbon steel products and processing, matched with the quality, commitment, and services demanded by today’s industrial sector. If you’re looking for a steel processor in Nashville, TN, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch with us today and let us know how we can help. 

Bessemer, AL

3725 Pine Ln,
Bessemer, AL 35022


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Sat - Sun: Closed 

Nashville, TN

310 Herron Dr,
Nashville, TN 37210


Mon - Fri7:30 AM–4:30 PM
Sat - Sun: Closed 

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