What is an Ironworker Apprentice?
Apprentices earn while they learn, attending school seven weeks a year for technical and basic hands on training in the trade. While not attending school they are available for work in the field, learning from skilled Journeymen on the job. Apprentices begin earning 60% of Journeyman wages and earn a 5% increase each six months throughout a four year apprenticeship. The cost of the training includes books, which averages $550.
All Apprentices are expected to:
- Present yourself as a professional at all times
- Attend, on time, all school days as attendance is mandatory
- Complete all training requirements and assignments
- Report on time and ready for work every day
- Perform all job tasks diligently and to the best of your ability
- Remain with an assigned contractor until laid off
- Remain drug free and current under the required testing program(s)
- Remain alcohol free during any activities associated with the job or school
- Abide by all provisions of the Standards, Guidelines, and other policies of the program
With Journeyman status comes many benefits including: membership in one of the most respected construction trades Unions, the security of being recognized throughout the U.S. and Canada as a qualified Journeyman Ironworker, having the ability to work anywhere in the country, and Journeymen completing an apprenticeship are eligible for up to 34 College credits. With apprenticeship training, field experience, a degree, and lots of hard work your opportunities are endless.
Who regulates and operates the apprenticeship?
Apprenticeship programs are approved and regulated by the Department of Labor and the Office of Apprenticeship. They monitor approved programs for compliance with Federal regulations, Standards, and equal employment opportunity compliance. The Ironworkers Training Center is set up under a collective bargaining agreement between the contractors and the union. Funding for the program is provided by a contractual hourly contribution to the Training Fund which is administered by a the JAC. The Ironworkers Joint Apprentice Committee is responsible for establishing procedures, rules, regulations, and the Apprenticeship Standards. They also hire a Training Coordinator, Instructors, and staff to run the day to day operations of the training program.
What does an Ironworker do?
While the work is very rewarding, it is not for everyone. It requires a sense of pride,
commitment to quality, good dexterity, and mechanical skills. The work is very physically
demanding and much of it is performed outside, high in the air, on muddy constriction sites
in the heat of summer as well as the dead of winter. When applying you must select one or
more of the following programs that you are interested in, the more programs that you select,
the better your chances of getting in. A brief explanation of each program is shown below:
Journeyman Ironworker (4 year program): The Journeyman Ironworker can perform all types of Ironwork, but the vast majority of the work that is performed by this classification is structural ironwork. This consists of the fabrication, handling, and erection of structural steel columns, beams and other members by welding or bolting. This work is primarily in the industrial and commercial sector on structures such as: towers, bridges, stadiums, high and low rise buildings, steel mills, hospitals, schools, conveyor systems, and other structures.
Reinforcing Ironworker Reinforcing Ironworkers unload, handle, and place reinforcing steel, post tensioning systems and wire mesh by tying and sometimes welding. Reinforced concrete is used in all types of concrete construction including caissons, foundations, bridges, retaining walls, parking structures, wastewater treatment facilities, high and low rise buildings, and many other structures.
Rigger / Machinery Mover Riggers load, unload, move, haul, and set machinery, equipment, and materials using power hoists, cranes, gantries, fork trucks, jacks, and other equipment. They use and have knowledge of fiber line, wire rope, skids, rollers, and proper hand signals.
Metal Building Erector These specialized Ironworkers erect pre-engineered metal buildings. T hese buildings are constructed of standardized components which make them all similar in construction. The scope of work includes erecting the structural framework, installing the insulation, metal siding, metal roof system, gutters and trim.
Architectural Ornamental Ironworker These Ironworkers install curtain wall, window systems, skylights, exterior composite panels, metal siding, metal roofs, louvers, clay tiles, entrance doors, overhead doors, specialty doors, and other architectural finish materials and systems.
Fence Erector Fence Erectors handle, layout and erect many different types of fences and barriers. These include but are not limited to, chain link fence systems, privacy, mesh, security, ornamental, gates, blast fence and sound wall. They also install highway guard rail and signage.
Is steady work available?
Each time a new class of apprentices is indentured it can take a while to get everyone out to work. Work can also be sporadic, especially in the beginning. With a little patience, a great attitude and work ethic, opportunities for work will increase. The most dependable and the hardest working Ironworkers`, who show up on time every day, work the most. It all comes down to survival of the fittest. It's up to you to show that you are better than the rest and deserve to remain employed.
How do I become an apprentice?
ALL applicants for apprenticeship must meet the following minimum requirements
(all documents must be originals):
- Be physically capable of performing essential functions of the job
- Complete and turn in an application with supporting documentation
- Be at least 18 years old at the time of application
- Be a US citizen or legal alien actively seeking naturalization at the time of application
- Present a high school diploma or GED equivalence at the time of application
- Present a valid Drivers License at the time of application
- Present a Social Security card at the time of application
- Pass a drug screen and remain drug free
- Pass aptitude testing
- Pass a physical exam
Applications will be accepted as demand requires. If you pass all of the requirements you
will be placed on our list of eligible applicants. When demand requires that we start a
new class, we will draw those who have selected the available program from the list by
ranking score. Each time testing and ranking new applicants, the list is updated. The new
applicants are added to the list of eligibility, ranked by score. Applicants currently on
the list will move up or down in ranking as names are removed or added.
If you are dedicated, honest, take pride in your work, have a great work ethic, enjoy working hard, and feel you have what it takes to be an Ironworker and want to become an apprentice, then contact us to begin a rewarding new career in the Ironworking Industry.