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What they do?

Ironworkers perform some or all of the following duties:

A. Install ornamental and other structural metalwork such as curtain walls, metal stairways, railings and power doors

B. Examine structures and equipment for deterioration, defects or non-compliance with specifications

C. Dismantle structures and equipment when required.

D. Read blueprints and specifications to lay out work

E. Unload and position steel units so each piece can be hoisted as needed

F. Erect and install scaffolding, hoisting equipment and rigging

G. Signal crane operator to position steel units according to blueprints

Where they find work?

1. Construction - 52.0%
2. Fabricated metal product manufacturing - 18.0%

What education do I need?

1. Completion of secondary school is usually required.

2. 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.

3. Trade certification is compulsory in Quebec and Alberta and available, but voluntary, in Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and British Columbia.

4. Red Seal, an interprovincial trade certification, is also available to qualified ironworkers.

5. Most recent entrants have a community college diploma.

High School Subject that will help:

1. Math
2. Physics
3. Drafting
4. Industry Arts (Metalworking)

What can you expect to make:

The average hourly wages for Ironworkers is $23.68/HR, which is above average for occupations in the trades, transport and equipment operators sector and above average for all technical, professional, and skilled occupations. These wages grew at an average rate from 2002 to 2004.

Average Wage

Ironworkers wages

Expected Wage by Age

Ironworkers Wage By Age


15% of Ironworkers are unemployed. This rate is close to the average for technical, professional, and skilled occupations.


Ironworkers Unemployment

Trends in Unemployment

Ironworkers Trends in Unemployment

Current Job Outlook:

The job outlook for Ironworkers is considered Average because:

1. Employment grew at an average rate.

2. Hourly wages ($23.68) are close to the average ($18.07), and the rate of wage growth is close to the average.

3. The unemployment rate (15%) is above the 2004 average (7%).

Future Job Prospects:

Your job outlook will continue to be Average because:

1. The employment growth rate will likely be close to the average.

2. Although the retirement rate will likely be average, the number of retiring workers should contribute to job openings.

3. The number of job seekers will likely match the number of job openings.

Highest Concetration:

The highest concentrations are found in Alberta and Prince Edward Island while the lowest concentrations are in New Brunswick and Newfoundland.

Unionization Rate:

The unionization rate (77%) is above the average (32%) for all occupations.

Useful Experience:

1. Construction/manufacturing

2. Diagrams/drawings

3. Physical work

Part Time Workers

Ironworkers Part Time Workers

Part time workers:

3% of Ironworkers are employed only on a part-time basis. There were 10,100 workers employed in these occupations in 2004, an increase of 22% since 1997.

Age Demographics

Ironworkers Age Demographics

Age Demographics:

The retirement rate to 2009 will likely be average reflecting the age/retirement structure of the occupation.

Self Employed

Ironworkers Self Employed

Self Employed:

Roughly 8% of Ironworkers are self-employed. This is considered Average for the industry as a whole.

Men vs Women

Ironworkers Men vs Women

Men vs Women:

2% of the individuals employed as Ironworkers are women. Compared to other industries, this is Below average.