Ironworkers

(NOC 7236)

in All Trades and Transportation

Ironworkers make, 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 work for construction ironwork contractors.

Job Outlook

Average

Read more

  • Estimate Moderate growth employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 30 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate High rate of unemployment in 2019

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

  • Estimate 205 employment change, 2019-2021
  • Estimate 4385 openings due to growth and retirements, 2018-2020
  • Estimate rate of unemployment not available for these occupation.

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 a moderate sized occupation in Nova Scotia so some job opportunities may occur through turnover. 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 moderate percent of workers being 55 years of age and older, retirements are expected to contribute somewhat to employment opportunities over the coming years. Ironworkers most commonly work full-time hours.

The median employment income for 35% 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

$25.28

Minimum

$34.58

Median

$40.00

Maximum

Annual Pay

$23,141

Minimum

$59,017

Median

$123,127

Maximum

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

Hourly Pay

$13.50

Minimum

$27.25

Median

$35.50

Maximum

Annual Pay

$7,580

Minimum

$37,269

Median

$79,787

Maximum

About the job

Nature of work

Ironworkers make, 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 work for construction ironwork contractors.

Job duties

Ironworkers:

  • Read blueprints and specifications to lay out work.
  • Unload and position steel units so each piece can be hoisted as needed.
  • Build 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.
  • Make structural and architectural precast concrete components for buildings, bridges, towers, and other structures.
  • Assemble and build prefabricated metal structures.
  • Position and secure steel bars or metal mesh in concrete forms to reinforce concrete structures.
  • Install ornamental and other structural metalwork like 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

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

  • High school is usually required.
  • 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

475

employed in 2016

96.8%

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

85.9%

employed full-time

11.8%

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%

North Shore

12.6%

Annapolis Valley

4.2%

Southern

Compared to: All NS Occupations

47.0%

Halifax

15.6%

North Shore

12.9%

Annapolis Valley

12.7%

Cape Breton

11.8%

Southern

Top Industries of Employment

47.1%

Manufacturing

33.8%

Construction

5.9%

Other services (except public administration)

4.4%

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

2.9%

Retail trade

What is the age of Employment?

31.0%

25-34

21.0%

35-44

19.0%

45-54

15.0%

55-64

9.0%

15-24

5.0%

65+

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

24.4%

45-54

22.1%

55-64

17.7%

35-44

17.7%

25-34

10.9%

15-24

Top levels of education

52.6%

Apprenticeship

$72,574 median annual income
23.2%

College Diploma

$49,064 median annual income
11.6%

Less than high school

$41,131 median annual income
8.4%

High school

$64,261 median annual income
4.2%

Bachelor

N/A

Compared to: All Trades and Transportation

29.2%

Apprenticeship

$46,494 median annual income
25.5%

High school

$31,260 median annual income
22.3%

College Diploma

$42,050 median annual income
18.7%

Less than high school

$28,319 median annual income
2.8%

Bachelor

$30,527 median annual income

Education & training

Adult High School Siploma or Equivalent

High School Program

The Nova Scotia School for Adult Learning (NSSAL) administers, coordinates, and supports the development and delivery of adult education programs through learning partners in Nova Scotia. Our learning partners include the Nova Scotia Community College, Adult High Schools, Université Sainte-Anne, and community-based learning organizations that offer tuition-free programming across the province. NSSAL offers clear, accessible pathways from adult basic education to a high school credential or GED, empowering Nova Scotians to achieve their learning and employment goals.

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 - Adult Learning

PO Box 220

Halifax, NS B3J 2M4

(866) 679-6722

Adult High Schools

Various, NS

Community Learning Organizations

Various, NS

Ironworking

College or Trades Program

These programs prepare students to make and install structural, ornamental, and reinforcing metal structures and supports. They 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 1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, 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, but a certificate is not needed to legally do this work.

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Ironworker (Reinforcing)

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

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651
Ironworker (Structural/Ornamental)

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

Regulating body:
Nova Scotia Apprenticeship Agency
1256 Barrington Street, 3rd Fl, Box 578
Halifax, NS B3J 2S9
(800) 494-5651

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