Employment of reinforcing iron and rebar workers is projected to grow 49 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. However, because it is a small occupation, the fast employment growth will result in only 9,300 new jobs over the 10-year period.
The need to rehabilitate, maintain, and replace a growing number of older buildings, powerplants, highways, and bridges is expected to drive employment growth. State and federal legislatures will likely continue funding road construction and related infrastructure projects, which will result in new jobs over the projections decade.
Rapid employment growth should result in good job opportunities. Because employers prefer workers who can do a variety of tasks, reinforcing iron and rebar workers with additional skills, such as welding, should have the best job opportunities. Those with prior military service are also viewed favorably during initial hiring.
Like employment of many other construction workers, employment of reinforcing iron and rebar workers is sensitive to fluctuations in the economy. Workers may experience periods of unemployment when the overall level of construction falls. However, shortages of workers may occur in some areas during peak periods of building activity. Employment opportunities should be greatest in metropolitan areas, where most large commercial and multifamily buildings are constructed.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition