Ironworkers

(NOC 7236)

in All Trades and Transportation

Ironworkers fabricate, erect, hoist, install, repair and service structural ironwork, precast concrete, concrete reinforcing materials, curtain walls, ornamental iron and other metals used in the construction of buildings, bridges, highways, dams and other structures and equipment. They are employed by construction ironwork contractors. A generalist ironworker builds, erects, constructs, and joins structural steel used in buildings, bridges, and towers. Reinforcing ironworkers cut, bend, lay out, place, and weld reinforcing steel rods, welded wire fabric and composite materials in poured concrete products and structures. They place and stress post-tensioning systems. A structural/ornamental ironworker installs and reinforces components, precast concrete and glued laminated timber products. They erect pre-engineered buildings, scaffolds, cranes, hoists, and derricks.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 45 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate Decline slightly employment change, 2017-2019
  • Estimate 3400 openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2016

The employment outlook over the next few years for this occupational group is “average”, which indicates the chances of a qualified individual finding work is comparable to the average for all occupations in Nova Scotia. This is not a large occupation in Nova Scotia so job opportunities may not be that frequent. The number employed in this occupation is expected to grow moderately over the next few years, which will likely provide some additional opportunities for employment. With a large percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to be a key contributor to employment opportunities over the coming years. Ironworkers most commonly work full-time hours. Also, a fair portion of the workforce is self-employed, so having the option to "work for yourself" may appeal to some individuals’ interests/motivations.

The median employment income for 36% of Ironworkers who worked full-time, year-round in 2015 was $73,837. Across all occupations in Nova Scotia, 59% of those who worked full-time year round had a median employment income of $43,600.
(Source: 2016 Census)

Hourly Pay

$18.50

Minimum

$33.00

Median

$44.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$23,141

Minimum

$59,017

Median

$123,127

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.00

Minimum

$20.35

Median

$34.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Ironworkers fabricate, erect, hoist, install, repair and service structural ironwork, precast concrete, concrete reinforcing materials, curtain walls, ornamental iron and other metals used in the construction of buildings, bridges, highways, dams and other structures and equipment. They are employed by construction ironwork contractors.

A generalist ironworker builds, erects, constructs, and joins structural steel used in buildings, bridges, and towers. Reinforcing ironworkers cut, bend, lay out, place, and weld reinforcing steel rods, welded wire fabric and composite materials in poured concrete products and structures. They place and stress post-tensioning systems. A structural/ornamental ironworker installs and reinforces components, precast concrete and glued laminated timber products. They erect pre-engineered buildings, scaffolds, cranes, hoists, and derricks.

Job duties

Ironworkers perform some or all of the following duties:

  • Read blueprints and specifications to lay out work.
  • Unload and position steel units so each piece can be hoisted as needed.
  • Erect and install scaffolding, hoisting equipment and rigging.
  • Signal crane operator to position steel units according to blueprints.
  • Align and weld or bolt steel units in place.
  • Erect structural and architectural precast concrete components for buildings, bridges, towers and other structures.
  • Assemble and erect prefabricated metal structures.
  • Position and secure steel bars or metal mesh in concrete forms to reinforce concrete structures.
  • Install ornamental and other structural metalwork such as curtain walls, metal stairways, railings and power doors.
  • Examine structures and equipment for deterioration, defects or non-compliance with specifications.
  • May dismantle structures and equipment.

Sample job titles

  • apprentice ironworker
  • bridge construction ironworker
  • ironworker
  • metal structure erector
  • ornamental-metal worker
  • reinforcing ironworker
  • reinforcing steel ironworker
  • structural ironworker
  • structural metal erector
  • tower crane erector

Skills

To work as an ironworker you should have an interest in machines, precision techniques, and processes. You should be capable of working at heights and under exposure to noise and vibration. Physical strength, coordination, and agility are needed. You must have the ability to work systematically, think analytically, and perform basic mathematical calculations. Artistic ability may be an asset.

Job requirements

  • Completion of high school is usually required.
  • Completion of a two- to three-year apprenticeship program or over three years of work experience in the trade and some high school, college or industry courses in ironworking are usually required to be eligible for trade certification.
  • Trade certification for ironworker (generalist), ironworker (reinforcing) and ironworker (structural/ornamental) are available, but voluntary, in Nova Scotia.
  • Red Seal Endorsement (RSE) is also available to qualified ironworkers upon successful completion of the interprovincial Red Seal examination.

Other considerations

There may be exposure to heat, noise, vibration, dust, and odours within the working environment. Employment is moderately seasonal, and self-employment is rare. Progression to supervisory positions is possible with experience.

By the numbers

Quick look

355

employed in 2016

98.9%

employed full-time

0.0%

self employed

2.1%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
97.9%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
40.3

median age

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

57,925

employed in 2016

88.8%

employed full-time

12.7%

self employed

5.3%
Icons/female Created with Sketch.
94.7%
Icons/male Created with Sketch.
46.8

median age

Where will I likely work?

45.3%

Halifax

20.0%

Cape Breton

17.9%

Northern

12.6%

Annapolis Valley

4.2%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

Northern

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

32.4%

Construction

18.3%

Other Transportation Equipment Manufacturing

16.9%

Metal Fabrication and Machinery (excl. electrical)

9.9%

Manufactured Mineral Products

5.6%

Other Services

What is the age of Employment?

29.2%

45-54

22.2%

25-34

17.5%

35-44

14.6%

55-64

10.4%

15-24

4.7%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

34.1%

45-54

33.0%

35-44

18.7%

55-64

13.2%

25-34

Top levels of education

53.2%

Trades certificate

$68,692 median annual income
23.4%

College certificate or diploma

$50,635 median annual income
11.7%

Less than high school

$37,632 median annual income
8.5%

High school

$37,985 median annual income
3.2%

Bachelor's degree

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.4%

Trades certificate

$40,890 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$28,089 median annual income
22.6%

College certificate or diploma

$39,023 median annual income
18.2%

Less than high school

$25,753 median annual income
2.7%

Bachelor's degree

$36,972 median annual income

Education & training

Adult high school/secondary diploma programs

This program is typically offered at the high school level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that defines the prescribed requirements, specified by the appropriate jurisdiction, for the completion of and graduation from a secondary school program of academic subject matter offered for adult learners outside of the regular secondary school program. This does not include adult compensatory education programs resulting in completion of a high school equivalency certificate or diploma.

Institutions providing this program

Universite Sainte-Anne

Siège Social: 1695, Route 1

Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0

(902) 769-2114

Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus

50 Elliott Road

Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0

(902) 825-3491

Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus

PO Box 550, 1 Main Street

Springhill, NS B0M 1X0

(902) 597-3737

Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus

21 Woodlawn Road

Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7

(902) 491-4900

Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus

372 Pleasant Street

Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2

(902) 742-3501

Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus

236 Belcher Street

Kentville, NS B4N 0A6

(902) 678-7341

Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus

75 High Street

Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8

(902) 543-4608

Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus

5685 Leeds Street

Halifax, NS B3K 2T3

(902) 491-6722

Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries

PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue

Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0

(902) 752-2002

Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus

PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road

Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0

(902) 875-8640

Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute

226 Reeves Street

Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2

(902) 625-2380

Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus

PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road

Sydney, NS B1P 6J7

(902) 563-2450

Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus

36 Arthur Street

Truro, NS B2N 1X5

(902) 893-5385

Ironworking/ironworker

This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.

This instructional program class comprises any program that prepares individuals to make and install structural, ornamental, and reinforcing metal structures and supports. These programs include courses in drafting, technical mathematics, blueprint interpretation, welding, riveting, beam placement, ornamental design, structural reinforcement, crane operation, safety, and applicable codes and standards.

Institutions providing this program

Apprenticeship Training

Department of Labour and Advanced Education 2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578

Halifax, NS B3J 2S9

(800) 494-5651

Employment requirements & contacts

Regulations

Ironworker (Generalist)

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
Ironworker (Reinforcing)

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717
Ironworker (Structural/Ornamental)

Certificate of Qualification (Voluntary): This job is a designated trade in Nova Scotia. Employers may require certification, however, a certificate is not needed to legally work in this job.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
2021 Brunswick Street, PO Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
(902) 424-0717

Contacts

Nova Scotia Construction Sector Council
10 Ragged Lake Blvd. Unit 1
Halifax, NS B3S 1C2
Tel: (902) 832-4761
Fax: (902) 832-4763
Red Seal
c/o Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency PO Box 578
Halifax, B3J 2S9
Tel: (902) 424-5651
Fax: (902) 424-0717

Job postings

There are currently no job postings for this occupation.