Architecture and Construction > Ironworkers > Working Conditions
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Ironworkers - Working Conditions

In a typical work setting, structural metal workers:

Interpersonal Relationships

  • Are somewhat responsible for the health and safety of other workers.
  • Have a low level of job-required social contact. Many metal workers work alone most of the time. However, structural metal workers who erect structures have a medium level of social contact with coworkers.
  • Are somewhat responsible for the work done by other metal workers.
  • Communicate mostly in person, but also talk to others on the telephone.
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  • Usually work as part of a team.

Physical Work Conditions

  • Work both outdoors and indoors. Workers at construction sites often work outdoors. Fabrication workers usually work indoors in shops.
  • Often use safety devices such as safety belts, scaffolding, and nets to reduce their risk.
  • Are regularly exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable.
  • Are often exposed to contaminants.
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  • Are often exposed to very hot or very cold weather while working outdoors. Indoor locations may not have heating or air conditioning.
  • Are sometimes exposed to hazardous equipment, especially those who work in fabrication shops.
  • Are sometimes exposed to hazardous situations that can produce cuts or minor burns.
  • Are sometimes exposed to high places, especially structural metal workers at construction sites.
  • Are sometimes exposed to extremely bright or dim lighting conditions.
  • May sometimes work in cramped work places that require getting into awkward positions. This is more likely for reinforcing metal workers.
  • May work physically near other workers.

Work Performance

  • Must be sure that all details of the job are done and their work is very exact. Errors or omissions could seriously endanger the safety of workers. Errors could also make structures unsafe to use.
  • Repeat the same physical activities.
  • Usually determine their daily tasks and goals with some input from a supervisor first, but sometimes are able to act independently.
  • Must meet weekly and monthly deadlines.


  • Usually work a regular 40-hour week.
Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.