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Details for Structural Iron and Steel Workers


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.


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


  • 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.

Education, Training, Experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.


Related Careers

  • Aircraft Mechanics and Service Technicians
  • Commercial Divers
  • Construction Carpenters
  • Helpers--Carpenters
  • Pipelayers
  • Refractory Materials Repairers, Except Brickmasons
  • Riggers
Wages for this career
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