Steel erectors put together steel scaffolds and structural components. They are ironworkers, a larger group of construction workers who are essential members of teams working on extremely large structures that require steel framing for safety and integrity. Steel erectors require a high level of training and skill, and the pay can be excellent in some areas, particularly during construction booms. Job prospects vary, and some steel erectors experience slow periods when it is difficult to find work due to construction slowdowns.
Ironworking is a hereditary occupation in many areas, making it difficult for outsiders to break in, but in other areas, trainees without an ironworking background are welcome. Steel erectors frequently work in multiple positions in work crews during their training. This helps them improve their skills while also giving them a better understanding of what each team member does, which is important on large projects.
Steel erectors may arrive on site before construction begins to set up scaffolds, supports, and other materials that the crew will use to access various parts of the job site. They’re also in charge of installing steel structural members as the construction progresses. The pace of the steel erectors determines the rate of construction, and there is sometimes a lot of pressure to work quickly. Other teams trail them, installing decking and other components one one, gradually erecting a structure from the ground up.
Steel erectors must add scaffolds and supports for workers as buildings grow, as well as move and remove other components. They dismantle the various pieces of equipment they brought on site at the end of construction so that they can be transported to another location. Steel erectors may also be called upon in the event of a building collapse or demolition. Their understanding of how steel buildings are constructed can come in handy if the structures fall apart or are purposefully demolished.
To work as a steel erector, you must first complete an apprenticeship in the field. It usually takes four to five years for this to happen. The apprentice has the opportunity to work on increasingly complex projects and tasks under the supervision of an experienced ironworker. He or she will also be trained in worksite safety, steel characteristics, and other topics that may be of interest or useful on the job. Because this work is physically demanding, physical fitness is essential.