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Structural Iron and Steel Workers
SOC Code: 47-2221.00

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.

Sample of reported job titles: Fitter, Fitter / Welder, Iron Worker, Iron Worker Foreman, Ironworker, Rigger, Steel Fabricator, Steel Worker, Structural Steel Erector, Tower Hand


  • Read specifications or blueprints to determine the locations, quantities, or sizes of materials required.
  • Connect columns, beams, and girders with bolts, following blueprints and instructions from supervisors.
  • Bolt aligned structural steel members in position for permanent riveting, bolting, or welding into place.
  • Fasten structural steel members to hoist cables, using chains, cables, or rope.
  • Hoist steel beams, girders, or columns into place, using cranes or signaling hoisting equipment operators to lift and position structural steel members.
  • Verify vertical and horizontal alignment of structural steel members, using plumb bobs, laser equipment, transits, or levels.
  • Cut, bend, or weld steel pieces, using metal shears, torches, or welding equipment.
  • Erect metal or precast concrete components for structures, such as buildings, bridges, dams, towers, storage tanks, fences, or highway guard rails.
  • Force structural steel members into final positions, using turnbuckles, crowbars, jacks, or hand tools.
  • Pull, push, or pry structural steel members into approximate positions for bolting into place.
  • Unload and position prefabricated steel units for hoisting as needed.
  • Drive drift pins through rivet holes to align rivet holes in structural steel members with corresponding holes in previously placed members.
  • Assemble hoisting equipment or rigging, such as cables, pulleys, or hooks, to move heavy equipment or materials.
  • Fabricate metal parts, such as steel frames, columns, beams, or girders, according to blueprints or instructions from supervisors.
  • Dismantle structures or equipment.
  • Ride on girders or other structural steel members to position them or use rope to guide them into position.
  • Hold rivets while riveters use air hammers to form heads on rivets.
  • Insert sealing strips, wiring, insulating material, ladders, flanges, gauges, or valves, depending on types of structures being assembled.

Technology Skills

  • Accounting software - Turtle Creek Software Goldenseal
  • Computer aided design CAD software
  • Inventory management software - Inventory tracking software
  • Project management software - Cost estimating software; Project scheduling software

Tools Used

  • Adjustable widemouth pliers
  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Air compressors
  • Below the hook device - Spreader beams
  • Blow torch - Blow torches
  • Bolt cutters
  • C clamps
  • Chalk lines
  • Cold chisels
  • Drive pins - Bull pins
  • Ear plugs
  • End cut pliers - Side cutting pliers
  • Fall protection lanyard - Safety lanyards
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Forge die - Forging dies
  • Gas welding or brazing or cutting apparatus - Rod ovens
  • Hacksaw - Hacksaws
  • Hammers
  • Hard hats
  • Hoists - Tuggers
  • Hydraulic pumps
  • Jacks - Stressing jacks
  • Ladders
  • Levels - Laser levels; Torpedo levels
  • Life vests or preservers - Life preservers
  • Lifts - Power lifts
  • Lighters - Strikers
  • Locking pliers - Vise grip pliers
  • Manlift or personnel lift - Swing stages
  • Mill saw file - Single-cut mill saw files
  • Notebook computers
  • Open end wrenches
  • Personal computers
  • Pipe wrenches
  • Plasma arc welding machine - Plasma cutters
  • Plaster or mortar mixers - Grout mixers
  • Plumb bobs
  • Pneumatic hammer - Pneumatic hammers
  • Power drills - Electric drills
  • Power grinders
  • Power riveter - Rivet guns
  • Power saws - Cutoff saws
  • Protective coveralls
  • Protective gloves - Safety gloves
  • Pry bars - Crowbars
  • Punches or nail sets or drifts - Center punches; Drift pins
  • Respirators
  • Rivet tools - Rivet busters
  • Rubber mallet - Rubber mallets
  • Safety boots
  • Safety glasses
  • Safety harnesses or belts - Protective harnesses; Safety belts
  • Scaffolding
  • Screwdrivers - Flat head screwdrivers; Phillips head screwdrivers; Robertson screwdrivers
  • Scribers
  • Sheet metal forming machine - Decoilers
  • Sledge hammer - Sledgehammers
  • Slings
  • Socket sets - Socket wrench sets
  • Specialty wrenches - Spud wrenches
  • Spot welding machine - Portable welding machines
  • Squares - Combination squares
  • Staple guns
  • Tape measures
  • Tinners snips - Tin snips
  • Tongs - Rivet tongs
  • Two way radios
  • Utility knives
  • Welder gloves - Welding gloves
  • Welding masks - Welding helmets; Welding hoods
  • Welding or cutting tip - Welding tips
  • Winches
  • Wire brushes
  • Workshop cranes


  • 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.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Public Safety and Security - Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.


  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.


  • Multilimb Coordination - 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.
  • Static Strength - The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Control Precision - The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Depth Perception - 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.
  • Extent Flexibility - The ability to bend, stretch, twist, or reach with your body, arms, and/or legs.
  • Gross Body Equilibrium - The ability to keep or regain your body balance or stay upright when in an unstable position.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Dynamic Strength - The ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue.
  • Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Rate Control - The ability to time your movements or the movement of a piece of equipment in anticipation of changes in the speed and/or direction of a moving object or scene.
  • Reaction Time - The ability to quickly respond (with the hand, finger, or foot) to a signal (sound, light, picture) when it appears.
  • Stamina - The ability to exert yourself physically over long periods of time without getting winded or out of breath.
  • Auditory Attention - The ability to focus on a single source of sound in the presence of other distracting sounds.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Hearing Sensitivity - The ability to detect or tell the differences between sounds that vary in pitch and loudness.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Gross Body Coordination - The ability to coordinate the movement of your arms, legs, and torso together when the whole body is in motion.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Response Orientation - The ability to choose quickly between two or more movements in response to two or more different signals (lights, sounds, pictures). It includes the speed with which the correct response is started with the hand, foot, or other body part.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Glare Sensitivity - The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Time Sharing - The ability to shift back and forth between two or more activities or sources of information (such as speech, sounds, touch, or other sources).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.


  • Interest code: RIC
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
    • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Work Context

  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 100% responded “Every day.”
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable - 82% responded “Every day.”
  • Outdoors, Exposed to Weather - 86% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 74% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Exposed to High Places - 79% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Standing - 64% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 69% responded “Every day.”
  • Physical Proximity - 59% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Wear Specialized Protective or Safety Equipment such as Breathing Apparatus, Safety Harness, Full Protection Suits, or Radiation Protection - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 63% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 66% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Exposed to Contaminants - 70% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Equipment - 60% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 71% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 60% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Time Pressure - 57% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 49% responded “Very important.”
  • Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting - 50% responded “Every day.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 44% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • In an Open Vehicle or Equipment - 37% responded “Every day.”
  • Cramped Work Space, Awkward Positions - 35% responded “Every day.”
  • Frequency of Decision Making - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 43% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 44% responded “Important results.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 37% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 39% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 33% responded “Very important.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 57% responded “40 hours.”
  • Level of Competition - 41% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Consequence of Error - 32% responded “Very serious.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 35% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 30% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Exposed to Hazardous Conditions - 42% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled - 43% responded “Every day.”
  • Telephone - 47% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Climbing Ladders, Scaffolds, or Poles - 31% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Spend Time Keeping or Regaining Balance - 32% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 34% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”
  • Outdoors, Under Cover - 34% responded “Every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 37% responded “Important.”
  • Spend Time Kneeling, Crouching, Stooping, or Crawling - 53% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 27% responded “Once a year or more but not every month.”


Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
42%High school diploma or equivalent
34%Less than high school diploma
19%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $25.30 hourly, $52,610 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 70,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 8,700

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