If there is structural iron at a work site, you can thank an Ironworker. They are involved in almost every part of construction in the oil and gas industry working on projects ranging from LNG export facilities to natural gas processing plants to offshore rigs.

What a typical day looks like:

There are two types of Ironworkers: Generalist Ironworkers who live on the edge, working at the highest points of structural ironwork, and Reinforcing Ironworkers who reinforce the structural integrity at the very foundation of a building or plant.

Generalist Ironworkers need muscles, guts, brains and a thick skin. They often work in high places, balancing on huge steel beams while bolting them together. They hoist, fasten, cut, bend, weld and erect components for giant storage tanks, towers and other oil and gas structures. They assemble columns, beams and girders before they are riveted, bolted or welded permanently into place. They bring blueprints to life.

Ever wonder how multi-story concrete buildings, bridges or stadiums stay up? That’s the job of a Reinforcing Ironworker. They unload fabricated reinforcing materials and get them ready to be hoisted to where they are needed. Sometimes, they pre-assemble reinforcing material by laying the material out and connecting sub-assemblies on the ground prior to final placement. They cut, bend, lay out, install and weld rebar and wire fabric to increase the tension and reinforce structures.

The kinds of problems Ironworkers solve at work:

Ironworkers take the time to examine structures and equipment such as safety ropes, harnesses and tools for any defects or non-compliance with specifications. They work with supervisors, engineers and other trades when troubleshooting issues that arise with structures and materials.

Skills used most on the job:

This is a physically demanding role that requires muscle, agility, balance and good eyesight. Mentally, an Ironworker’s sense of judgment is ironclad as they encounter numerous scenarios with potential safety implications. They can think through everything, from day-to-day project planning to inspections to problem solving. Numeracy is key as they measure dimensions and angles of various components, calculate distances and estimate quantities of supplies required for projects.

Structures across oil and gas facilities are standing today because of the great work that Ironworkers have done on site. If it is structurally sound, thank an Ironworker.

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