Structural Iron and Steel Workers Job Description video

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If ever there was a career that combined specialized skill with job diversity, this is it. Experienced structural iron workers build everything from bridges to highways, office buildings to factories. From the frames that support a building to the railings that surround its stairs, structural metal workers are involved in almost every facet of construction. They may even fabricate and install the lampposts! Cranes and derricks that lift materials to the tops of high-rises are also assembled by structural metal workers. For some metal workers, construction begins in a fabricating shop, where raw steel is bent, cut, welded and drilled to the specifications required for a particular job. Here, and on the site, workers may be required to read blueprints and accurately lay out dimensions. On location, structural metal workers may direct crane operators to lift huge steel beams into position while other workers bolt them together. Whether in the factory or on the site, structural metal workers have to be in good physical condition and have great strength. Because this type of work is frequently done at great heights on narrow beams and girders, agility, balance and good eyesight are essential. These workers use safety devices such as safety belts, scaffolding and nets. Individuals who choose this career should not be afraid of heights or suffer from dizziness. Classroom training is as important as on-the-job training in this career; because apprentices must learn the principles of structural reinforcing, blueprint reading, mathematics and welding. Novices may begin on the job by carrying materials and other simple tasks. They will then work their way up to cutting and parts fitting. With enough experience structural metal workers may eventually become supervisors or go into business for themselves.

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