Ironworkers—What Do They Do In A Construction Project?

Have you ever heard of the term “cowboys of the sky?” If so, that term is used to refer to ironworkers. Their job is to build and even dismantle a wide range of structures which can include skyscrapers to bridges. They also take care of other things, such as setting up cranes, installing catwalks and elevators, and even implementing fire escapes and fences for various structures. Put simply, an ironworker’s job can include many things, and it certainly entails more than what a normal person would expect.

That said, let’s talk about these ironworkers to help you understand exactly what they do:

What Types Of Ironworkers Are There?

Ironworkers are classified into different categories based on the work they are given and the jobs they will be performing. You’ll find that some ironworkers are in charge of site construction, while others are in charge of site dismantling. The latter will often start with the construction of a structure and will have to dismantle it once it is already completed. That is their job, and they do it often, usually with the help of their co-workers.

In any case, let’s talk about two types of ironworkers to give you a brief idea of how ironworkers can differ from one the other:

Structural Ironworkers

Structural ironworkers are those who are in charge of building structures. As they are often the ones who are in charge of construction, they are also commonly referred to as construction workers. These ironworkers can be found on the construction site, and they are the ones who are in charge of the most complex aspects of the construction. They receive instructions from the foreman, and they will deal with the structural aspect of the building.

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Ornamental Ironworkers

These are ironworkers who are in charge of building things that are less permanent. Take, for example, fixtures at a hotel or in commercial spaces. Fixtures are often portable and easy to dismantle, which is why it makes more sense to have ornamental ironworkers that can do the job.

There are other types of ironworkers out there, but the above are just two examples of the common ironworkers you’ll find out there.

What Exactly Do Ironworkers Do?

The work of ironworkers can vary greatly, contrary to what a lot of people think. Their job can include a lot of things, from construction to dismantling. They might even be the ones in charge of lighting or even finishing the interior works for certain spaces. The work can vary greatly, which is why it is important to know exactly what type of ironworker you are dealing with.

In short, an ironworker can be the one who is in charge of the structural part of the construction, as well as the one who is in charge of the finishing touches. It all depends on the project, and the ironworker’s job can range in scope, from the small to the big ones.

What Are The Career Requirements For Ironworkers?

The career requirements for an ironworker will vary as per the employer, as well as the country you are applying in. That said, the career requirements might include a high school diploma and a valid driver’s license. It might also consist of taking a number of apprenticeship classes and workshops. In the US, however, you’ll need a high school diploma, things you can gain through various apprenticeship programs, and a valid license.

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It is common for some employers to require their workers to be licensed in certain aspects of their work. It is a matter of knowing what you will be doing and what licenses you need on top of that.


All in all, an ironworker can do many things for you, whether it be building up cranes for your next construction project or dismantling the rigging that was once used to hold up a piece of a structure. Regardless, working with the right ironworkers is vital to ensure that your construction project happens smoothly and successfully.

KGS Steel Nashville provides full-line structural and carbon steel services. If you are looking for structural steel and more for your projects in Nashville, get in touch with us today!

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