A high school diploma or equivalent is required. Coursework in mathematics, industrial arts, plan reading, and welding can be particularly useful.
Being an ironworker is considered to be trade career that generally requires an apprenticeship. Although the chief requirement to commence an apprenticeship is a high school diploma or equivalent, many aspiring ironworkers attend technical school. These schools offer programs that may provide specific certifications and training that can even count as credit toward completing an apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships usually last 3–4 years before a journeyman’s license is awarded, which allows an ironworker to work without supervision. Many ironworkers go on to become master certified, which requires continued education and experience.
Although not required, some ironworkers become certified welders by the American Welding Society. Certifications in welding, rigging, and crane signaling may increase a worker’s value and result in higher pay.
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