What is a Structural / Ornamental Ironworker?
Structural / Ornamental Ironworkers fabricate and construct structural steel buildings, bridges, pre-cast structures, ornamental ironwork and join scaffolding.
They erect structural steel and pre-cast components, install conveyors and other equipment, install miscellaneous and secondary steel, curtain wall and sometimes perform reconstructive work on existing structures.
In general, Structural / Ornamental Ironworkers:
- Read blueprints and specifications to lay out the work
- Unload and stack steel units so each piece can be hoisted as needed
- Erect and install scaffolding, construction cranes, derricks and other hoisting equipment
- Assemble rigging (cables, pulleys, hooks) to move heavy equipment and other materials
- Attach cables from a crane or derrick and direct crane operators with hand signals or radios
- Position steel units, align holes and insert temporary and permanent bolts
- Check the alignments and join steel parts by bolting or tack welding them with electric arc processes
- Assemble and erect pre-fabricated metal structures and related components
- Install ornamental/architectural and other structural metalwork such as curtain walls, metal stairways, railings and power doors
- Unload and install pre-cast structural and architectural components
Skills & Abilities
Successful Structural / Ornamental Ironworkers enjoy developing their expertise by doing precise work in a broad range of industries and locations. They enjoy the outdoors and often like travelling and working with different crews.
To be successful in their trade, Structural / Ornamental Ironworkers need:
- The ability to interpret blueprints
- An understanding of safe work practices and the knowledge to safely operate the tools and equipment of the trade
- To be able to work at heights
- The ability to lift in excess of 25 kilograms
- Very good muscular coordination, agility and balance
- A willingness to travel to various work sites
- An inclination to work cooperatively with others the ability to act quickly and decisively in emergencies
The term of apprenticeship for a Structural / Ornamental Ironworker is 3 years (three 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1500 hours of on-the-job training and 6 weeks of technical training each period.
Minimum requirements are, a pass mark in:
English 10-2 and Math 10-3
All five Canadian General Educational Development (GED) tests