What Does a Steel Erector Do?

The primary job function of a steel erector is working to install steel beams, steel girders, and columns to create the frames that our modern buildings are built upon. This work is rigorous and sometimes dangerous, which is why there are many different levels of training required.

Steel Erection Safety Training

What does a steel erector do?

Steel erectors often work on steel building construction sites. Others work in offsite locations, such as steel fabrication shops. They may assist with building new structures or help rehab or repair existing structures.

Common responsibilities for steel erectors may include:

What is a steel erector?

A steel erector, or ironworker, is a construction worker who specializes in working with steel. They are essential in building new steel structures, such as buildings, or improving the integrity of existing ones, such as bridges and highways. They may work in one area, such as in a fabrication shop creating steel components, or in many areas, such as a variety of job sites.

Steel erectors create, install, place, align and reinforce steel structures and frameworks. This involves working with steel beams, steel girders, columns and a variety of tools and heavy machinery. Steel erectors may also assemble scaffold and steel structural components.

Steel erectors often work closely architects to achieve what they designed in blueprints. However, some steel erectors focus on completing ornamental or architectural work. They may create pieces like:

Here are some other things to consider about working as a steel erector:

Steel erector work environment

Steel erectors often complete rigorous, dangerous work. Their work is often physically demanding, and they typically work outside in stressful environments. Steel erectors typically work at great heights, and they occasionally work in uncomfortable or inclement weather. However, steel erectors typically do not work at great heights if there is extreme wet, icy or windy conditions.

A steel erectors typical work environment highlights the need for workplace safety. Its important for each ironworker to be familiar with and practice the best workplace safety standards. Steel erectors may wear additional safety equipment, such as harnesses, and install and use hardware for safety measures, such as decking, netting or hand rails.

Steel erector salary

Steel erector career outlook

Steel erector requirements

Here are some of the requirements for how to become a steel erector:


Becoming a steel erector typically does not require earning a college education. However, interested candidates must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma, GED or other equivalent. Its important for candidates to develop good math and communication skills. Explore opportunities to take courses related to vocational topics, such as:


Completing an apprenticeship is the most important training for those who want to become steel erectors. Apprenticeships often combine technical and classroom instruction with on-the-job learning. This allows apprentices to master the technical aspects of the career while learning directly from journeymen and master steel erectors.

Most apprenticeships last for three to four years with approximately 144 hours of technical instruction and 2,000 hours of paid on-the-job training per year. Apprentices complete basic tasks to help them learn the job and learn more about the physical conditions required to handle different materials and complete the job.

In addition to completing training, individuals must pass a drug test to become a steel erector. While becoming a steel erector does not require earning a license or certification, some individuals choose to earn them to certify their credentials. Others choose to enroll in related courses to develop important related skills. Courses for steel erectors to consider include:


Here are some important skills for steel erectors to develop:


Where does a steel erector usually work?

Steel erectors often work on steel building construction sites. Others work in offsite locations, such as steel fabrication shops. They may assist with building new structures or help rehab or repair existing structures.

What is a structural steel erector?

Steel erectors also referred to as ironworkers, are the people who work with structural steel to create the framework for buildings. Steelworkers spend most of their day on the steel framework. This includes working with steel beams, girders, and columns.

How do you become a steel erector UK?

You’ll usually need:
  1. some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship.
  2. 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship.

What is steel erection plan?

Steel erection involves positioning, aligning, and securing components on equipped foundations to form a complete frame. In addition, the process of steel erection includes the installation of planking and metal decking.

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