Shaping steel takes skill and smarts. The apprentice
program of Ironworkers Local 155 prepares
workers for a career that offers good wages and excellent benefits. And while
many in college sink into debt preparing for a career, ironworker apprentices
earn while they learn.
The requirements for the apprenticeship program include:
- Minimum age of 18
- High school diploma or GED certificate
- Good physical condition, agility and sense of balance
Drug and alcohol free
Apprentices get 160 hours of instruction every year, including college-level classes.
Classes such as structural steel, architectural steel and welding are each 50 hours – 30 of those are in the classroom and 20 hours are hands-on in the lab or through shop training.
Classes in structural steel cover topics such as history of structural-steel erection, tools, equipment and plumbing and aligning structural steel, installing metal decking, erecting bridges and erecting wind turbines.
Classes in architectural steel cover topics such as constructing curtain walls,
skylights, storefronts and entranceways.
The starting wage of apprentices in the Ironworkers Local 155 is 50 percent that of an experienced journeyman — $16.75 an hour, plus health insurance and pension benefits.
Wages increase as an apprentice advances in the program.
Employment of ironworkers is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, faster than the average for all
occupations, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.