What Is A Steel Erector?

What do skyscrapers, parking garages, and commercial buildings have in common?

These complex steel structures all utilize steel beams.

Steel beams provide the framework for a tall building, and they are the foundation for most industrial construction projects.

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. Ironworkers need to follow best practices to ensure the steel structure is built safely and to code. 

Structural steel erectors help cut steel to the right size, install steel beams where they need to go, and weld parts together.

Ironworkers play a crucial role in our infrastructure, helping to build new steel structures and rehab older ones.

In the article below, we will go over the various aspects of being an ironworker.

Table of Contents

What's A Steel Erector?

Ironworkers spend most of their time installing steel beams, steel girders, and columns.

These parts are used to create the frames that our modern industrial buildings are built upon.

It's rigorous work, and sometimes it can be dangerous.

That's why there are several different levels of training required to become an ironworker, all the way up to master steel erectors.

Some of the main tasks you will perform as an ironworker are:

  • Unloading prefab pieces of steel to be lifted into place
  • Putting steel components into position with tower cranes and other heavy machinery
  • Position structural members through signals or physically align them into place
  • Verify that steel frames are in proper alignment and put components into position
  • Weld beams, columns, and girders into place
  • Create components for steel frames in a steel fabrication shop offsite

These are the main components of the job, but there are other things job duties worth talking about.

Along with using cranes, operating forklifts and other heavy equipment will be a crucial part of your daily operations.


Steel Erector Skills 

Being an ironworker will require physical fitness and an eye for safety.

Sites for steel buildings can be dangerous, so focus and fitness are key in the job site.

Sometimes you'll have to work outside in bad weather and at great heights (but never at the same time, and safety netting should always be used).

All ironworkers need to wear the proper safety devices at all times and follow safety protocols to minimize their risk of falling and being involved in other accidents.

Depending on where your company is based and the type of work they do, you may do various jobs in one area or travel to various job sites.

If you're considering becoming an ironworker, additional skills that would be helpful are:

  • Knowledge of construction
  • The ability to use a variety of power tools
  • Logical and critical thinking skills
  • Good physical fitness
  • Confidence working at heights
  • Awareness and respect of health and safety guidelines
  • Excellent team working skills

You typically don't need to earn a college degree, so you don't need to worry about paying off student loans.

An apprenticeship with professional organizations takes the place of a college education and is an essential part of the learning process.


How To Become a Steel Erector

Although a college education isn't required, almost 14% of ironworkers have a bachelor's degree.

Just 1.1% have master's degrees.

However, you can become an ironworker with only a high school degree or GED.

Experience in other jobs will help you become a steel erector just as much as earning your degree in many cases.

Many ironworker jobs require experience in a role such as a welder.

Many steel erectors also have previous experience as carpenters or welder fitters.

Previous experience, an apprenticeship, and certifications are the best way to become an advanced steel erector.


Work With The Steel Erectors at STEVENS

The job of a steel erector is both challenging and rewarding.

STEVENS offers high-quality, pre-engineered steel buildings and can work on almost every steel structure. 

The steel erectors at STEVENS will help you customize your facility to suit your exact needs and supply and erect your pre-engineered steel building.

We take pride in the relationships we build with our clients.

The Steel Erection team at STEVENS will ensure that we meet their specific needs and requirements for every steel building project. 

If you're interested in a steel building project with an experienced steel building erector, STEVENS, click the button below to contact them today.



Check out our other steel erection articles:

How To Find The Best Steel Erection Company

What Questions Should You Ask Your Steel Erector?

What Do Structural Steel Erectors Do?


About The Author


I'm Ben Sparhawk, the Content Writer and Marketing Account Manager for the esteemed STEVENS company. As someone passionate about crafting captivating content, I take great pride in creating pieces that highlight STEVENS' capabilities and communicate the depth and breadth of their outstanding work.

In my role, I'm constantly striving to develop messaging that resonates with our clients and effectively showcases the exceptional work that we do here at STEVENS. I believe that communication is the key to success, and I work tirelessly to ensure our marketing efforts are engaging and informative.

When I'm not working, I often spend time with my three wonderful children. Becoming a dad is one of the best things that has happened to me, and I love every moment I get to spend with my wife and kids. You can also find me in the gym, trying to better myself, and I also enjoy spending time outdoors hiking or checking out local parks.