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Ironworker (Structural/Ornamental)

Photo/Video Credit

Ironworker (structural/ornamental) tradespeople fabricate, construct and join scaffolding, structural steel buildings, bridges, ornamental ironwork and pre-cast structures.

They erect structural steel components, install conveyors and robotic equipment, and sometimes perform reconstructive work on existing structures.

In general, ironworker (structural/ornamental) tradespeople:

  • 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 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 bolts
  • check the alignments and join steel parts by bolting or tack welding them with an electric arc process
  • assemble and erect pre-fabricated metal structures
  • install ornamental and other structural metalwork such as curtain walls, metal stairways, railings and power doors
  • unload and install pre-cast components.

Trade Updates

An overview of recent changes to ironworker apprenticeship training programs is available here.

Program Information

Program Information & Requirements
  • The term of apprenticeship for an ironworker (structural/ornamental) tradesperson is 3 years (three 12-month periods) including a minimum of 1620 hours of on-the-job training and 6 weeks of technical training each period.
  • Apprentices may attempt the Interprovincial Exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training and, if successful, be granted a Red Seal.
Trade Qualifier
High School Credit

Supporting Resources

Description / Resources
Trade Information Get important information about the duties, working conditions, and skills and abilities needed to work in this trade. (You will be re-directed to the alis website.)
Job Information View job postings in this trade, and learn about the current job market, average wage and resources for finding a job. (You will be re-directed to the alis website.)
Entrance Requirement You must satisfy the educational requirements or pass the entrance exam to start an apprenticeship program. If you are writing the entrance exam, there are entrance-level competencies to help you prepare, as well as an exam counselling sheet and study guide.
Course Outline Get information on all of the program requirements and what you will learn.
Technical Training View a list of currently scheduled technical training classes.
Financial Assistance Student loans, grants, scholarships and other financial assistance may be available. For more information visit our Financial Assistance section, visit an Apprenticeship and Industry Training office or call toll-free to 1-800-248-4823.
Examinations Get exam counselling sheets for your upcoming apprenticeship, interprovincial or qualification exam.
Recognized Credentials A person who holds a valid recognized credential is permitted to work in Alberta, but some employers may require Alberta documentation as proof that the holder is allowed to work in the trade or that the holder's credential is recognized.
Trade Regulation For more information regarding tasks and activities, please review the Trade Regulation.