<< Back

International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers

The following information is provided as a general overview/guideline and it subject to change. Information as to earnings and benefits should be verified with the trade office in your geographical area as it can vary from province to province.

International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers
1750 New York Avenue NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20006

Top Officer:
Walter Wise, General President

Members of the Ironworkers assemble and erect steel framework and other metal parts in buildings and on bridges, dams, skyscrapers, factories and other steel structures. They raise, place and join steel girders and columns to form structural frameworks, including the welding for metal decking.

What do Iron Workers Do?

Assemble and erect steel framework in/on:

  • Buildings
  • Bridges
  • Dams
  • Skyscrapers
  • Factories
  • Other steel structures

What is a Iron Worker's Apprenticeship Program?

Apprenticeship training in the Ironworking industry is a formal arrangement involving: the Joint Apprenticeship Committees (Trade Improvement Committees in Canada), federal government and/or state government, Ironworkers schools, employers and the individual wanting to learn the trade. The apprenticeship program is a combination of on-the-job training supervised by highly skilled journey persons at a job site and related classroom instruction. Apprenticeship training provides a lifetime skill and knowledge that can be transferred from one employer to another and from one area of the country to another. Depending on the program, the term of apprenticeship is three or four years. A graduated apprentice (journey person) is a proven worker with advancement opportunities as foreman, general foreman and superintendent. Owning one's business is a realistic goal of an experienced journey person.

How much will I earn?

You earn while you learn the trade. Union journeymen Ironworkers wages and fringe benefits are negotiated on their behalf by the union through collective bargaining with signatory contractors. Some apprenticeship programs partner with community colleges to offer college credit for apprenticeship classes.

Wages vary according to the geographic location of the local union. The average starting wage for 1st year apprentices is 40 - 50% of the Journeyman's wage rate plus fringe benefits. Your earnings are adjusted annually to reflect your advancing skills and increasing knowledge of the trade.

What type of work will I do?

Ironworkers are employed in the construction of industrial, commercial and residential buildings, powerhouses, dams, bridges and highway structures. Ironworkers fabricate, erect, assemble and install iron, steel, brass, bronze, aluminum, glass, composite materials, fiberglass, fence, reinforced concrete materials, pre-cast/pre-stressed concrete, metal buildings, stairs, ladders, platforms, catwalks, curtain wall, windows, window wall, metal siding and metal roof materials, fencing, guardrails, tanks and vessels. Ironworkers also move machinery and do a variety of maintenance work in industrial plans. Ironworkers use a variety of hand and power-operated tools. Ironwork consists of several sub-trades: Rigging, Structural, Ornamental, Reinforcing, Fencing, Metal Buildings and Welding. Most Ironworkers are skilled in all of these sub-trades which offer versatility and value in the job market.