What Reinforcing Iron and Rebar Workers Do
Reinforcing iron and rebar workers install wire mesh, steel bars (rebar), or cables to reinforce concrete.
Reinforcing iron and rebar workers typically do the following:
- Use blueprints, sketches, or other instructions for installation
- Determine quantities, sizes, shapes, and locations of reinforcing rods
- Cut mesh and rebar with metal shears, hacksaws, or acetylene torches
- Bend rebar or weld it together to match design specifications
- Position and secure steel bars, rods, cables, or mesh in concrete forms
- Install cables (post-tensioning systems)
- Place blocks under rebar to hold the bars off the deck when reinforcing floors
- Fasten rods together by tying wire around them with pliers
- Bend or place caps on exposed rebar to make it less hazardous
Concrete is often used in construction. To reinforce the concrete, reinforcing iron and rebar workers use one of three different materials:
- Rebar is used to reinforce concrete that forms highways, buildings, bridges, and other structures. These workers are often called rodbusters because they work with rods of rebar.
- Cable is used to reinforce concrete by a technique called post-tensioning. Post-tensioning allows designers to create larger open areas in a building because supports can be placed further apart. As a result, post-tensioning is commonly used for parking garages and arenas.
- Welded wire fabric is also used to reinforce concrete. Workers put the wire fabric into position using hooked rods.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition