Jobs in Welding


Ironworkers, sometimes referred to as The Cowboys of the Sky, erect and dismantle the metal framework of a wide range of structures, from bridges and antennas to skyscrapers and stadiums.

Ironworkers also often erect the cranes and derricks that are used in the construction of these structures, and install and repair the catwalks, elevators, ladders, fire escapes, railings, and fences for commercial and industrial structures.

The type of work that an Ironworker performs can usually be categorized into one of the following designations: reinforcing, structural, and ornamental.

Entry Level Salary
National Median Pay
Real Go-Getters Make
Sources:  Emsi, 2022



  • Apply multiple welding techniques, metalworking concepts, and construction processes.
  • Work at considerable heights safely and efficiently
  • Analyze and interpret drawings, blueprints, and building codes
  • Positioning and tying steel rods, bars or mesh as a support for concrete<
  • Erection and connecting of metal beams and columns to form structural skeleton

Education and training that can lead
to a successful career may include:


Minimum Education

High school diploma or equivalent


Recommended Education

Certificate in welding, metals fabrication, structural welding, etc.


Advanced Education

Associate degree in welding, metals fabrication, structural welding, etc


Recommended Training

Related structural steel fabrication or steel erection work experience


Advanced Training

Apprenticeship program


Recommended Certification

AWS Certified Welder

Career Spotlight 

Christian Gonzalez is an ironworker at Local 444 in Joliet, IL, and explains how he got his start in welding and it has unfolded into a successful career working as an ironworker. Click the video to see more.

Want to see more career spotlight videos? Check all of them out Here!

Essential Skills

  • Highly motivated and self-directed
  • Flexible and able to work in a team environment
  • Physically fit and manual dexterity
  • Comfortable working with heights
  • Mechanically inclined

Work Environment

Many ironworkers work in the field on active construction sites. Opportunities also exist in shop environments. 

The heat map below showcases the total number of job postings for Ironworkers in the last twelve months by state. As shown, the darker the color of the state, the higher the concentration of job postings. The heat map is intended to provide insight into areas where Ironworker careers are currently in demand.

Top Industries

  • Industrial

    Manufacturing Facility Erection, Power Generation Shutdowns and Expansion, Heavy Equipment Installation

  • Infrastructure

    Steel Structures, Bridge & Highway Installation, Building & Structural Construction