careers.novascotia.ca

Ironworkers

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NOC:7236
Occupation:Ironworkers
Category:Trades and Transportation

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 secondary 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.

Labour Market Information

Work Prospects:Fair

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)

OccupationEstimated employment in 2018Estimated change in employment between 2017 and 2019Estimated openings due to growth and retirements, 2017-2019Estimated rate of unemployment in 2018 Estimated hourly earnings in 2015 (learn more)Estimated annual earnings in 2015
Ironworkers355Moderate growth45High
Minimum: $18.50
Median: $33.00
Maximum: $44.00
Minimum: $23,141
Median: $59,017
Maximum: $123,127
Occupations in Trades and Transportation57,925Decline slightly3,400High
Minimum: $13.00
Median: $20.35
Maximum: $34.00
Minimum: $7,580
Median: $37,269
Maximum: $79,787
IronworkersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
Percent employed full-time99%89%
Percent self-employed29%13%
Where will I likely work?
Area of EmploymentIronworkersCompared to: All NS Occupations
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Southern4%x12%$30,581
Northern18%$44,94816%$33,660
Cape Breton20%$58,81313%$32,974
Halifax45%$54,54947%$41,209
Annapolis Valley13%x13%$32,958
What are the workers like?
AgeIronworkersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
15-2410%x
25-3422%13%
35-4417%33%
45-5429%34%
55-6415%19%
65+5%x
Median Age4047
GenderIronworkersCompared to: Occupations in Trades and Transportation
% Employed% Employed
Female2%5%
Male98%95%
EducationIronworkersCompared to: All Trades and Transportation
% EmployedMedian Annual Income% EmployedMedian Annual Income
Less than high school11.7%$37,63218.2%$25,753
High school8.5%$37,98525.5%$28,089
Trades certificate53.2%$68,69229.4%$40,890
College certificate or diploma23.4%$50,63522.6%$39,023
University certificate or diplomaN/Ax1.0%$35,969
Bachelor's degree3.2%x2.7%$36,972
University advanced certificate or diplomaN/Ax0.2%$41,705
Master's degreeN/Ax0.3%x
DoctorateN/Ax0.0%$36,029
Medicine, dentistry, veterinary, optometryN/Ax0.0%$3,714
Total100%100%
Wage Disclaimer

Hourly earnings data are from the Labour Force Survey by Statistics Canada. Data are not available for all occupations. Hourly earnings are calculated based on usual hours worked per week. This is how an annual salary, for instance, gets converted to an hourly rate. The data include full and part-time workers along with new and experienced workers. Self-employed workers are excluded.

Annual employment income data reported in the Work Prospects section, are from the 2011 National Household Survey by Statistics Canada. Much of the data (around 70%) came directly from tax records. The data relates to the year 2010 and includes total wages and salaries and net income from self-employment.

Sources

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

Training Paths & Education

Program Name:Adult high school/secondary diploma programs
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the high school level.
Program Description:
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.
See all institutions providing this program+
Universite Sainte-Anne
Siège Social: 1695, Route 1
Pointe-de-l'Église, NS B0W 1M0
(902) 769-2114
Blanche.Theriault@usainteanne.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Annapolis Valley Campus
50 Elliott Road
Lawrencetown, NS B0S 1M0
(902) 825-3491
avc.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Cumberland Campus
PO Box 550, 1 Main Street
Springhill, NS B0M 1X0
(902) 597-3737
cumberland.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Akerley Campus
21 Woodlawn Road
Dartmouth, NS B2W 2R7
(902) 491-4900
akerley.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Burridge Campus
372 Pleasant Street
Yarmouth, NS B5A 2L2
(902) 742-3501
burridge.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Kingstec Campus
236 Belcher Street
Kentville, NS B4N 0A6
(902) 678-7341
kingstec.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Lunenburg Campus
75 High Street
Bridgewater, NS B4V 1V8
(902) 543-4608
lunenburg.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds Street
Halifax, NS B3K 2T3
(902) 491-6722
it.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Pictou Campus & School of Fisheries
PO Box 820, 39 Acadia Avenue
Stellarton, NS B0K 1S0
(902) 752-2002
pictou.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Shelburne Campus
PO Box 760, 1575 Lake Road
Shelburne, NS B0T 1W0
(902) 875-8640
shelburne.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Strait Area Campus & Nautical Institute
226 Reeves Street
Port Hawkesbury, NS B9A 2A2
(902) 625-2380
strait.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Marconi Campus
PO Box 1042, 1240 Grand Lake Road
Sydney, NS B1P 6J7
(902) 563-2450
marconi.info@nscc.ca
Nova Scotia Community College - Truro Campus
36 Arthur Street
Truro, NS B2N 1X5
(902) 893-5385
truro.info@nscc.ca
Program Name:Ironworking/ironworker
Education Level:This program is typically offered at the trades/college level.
Program Description:
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.
See all 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
Additional resources:

Work Occupation Video(s)

Ironworker