The median annual wage of structural iron and steel workers was $44,540 in May 2010. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $26,330, and the top 10 percent earned more than $80,030.
The starting pay for apprentices is usually between 30 percent and 50 percent of what fully trained ironworkers make. They get pay increases as they become more skilled.
Most ironworkers work for a wage or salary for an employer; only 4 percent were self-employed in 2010.
Nearly all ironworkers work full time. Those who work at great heights do not work during wet, icy, or extremely windy conditions.
Ironworkers have a higher rate of union membership than many other construction occupations. Although there is no single union that covers all ironworkers, the largest organizer of these workers is the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition