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The Ironworker apprenticeship is a four-year college-accredited program that equips the apprentice with the knowledge and skills essential to practice Ironwork competently, effectively, and safely. Through apprenticeship training the Ironworker will be exposed to the kinds of work, tools, and techniques practiced by many branches of Ironwork, which include Ornamental, Reinforcing, Rigging, Structural, and Welding. Each job that an Ironworker accepts can include some of each branch of Ironwork. Construction projects quite often require reinforced steel foundations and walls, the use of rigs to lift heavy steel construction members into position, proper fastening of these members through bolts and welds, and the finishing work of installing windows, doors, curtain walls, and some structural ornamentation.

When class is not in session, the apprentice will have a chance to practice, enhance, and expand his or her Ironworking skills through well-paying jobs acquired through the Ironworkers Hall. Apprentices typically begin at 60% of journeyman scale and gain 10% raises through each successive year of the program until achieving journeyman. Through these jobs, the apprentice will be earning toward enrollment in a competitive health insurance program as well as paying into an annuity and accumulating credits in a retirement plan.

At the end of four years, the Ironworker apprentice will have achieved sufficient mastery in the trade to achieve journeyman status. At this time, the Ironworker will earn the full scale paid for Ironwork.

Through several semesters of education the apprentice Ironworker will be exposed to and learn the techniques and tools of the trade. Through apprenticeship training the Ironworker learns not only the trade of Ironwork by the traditions as well. The bonds that the Ironworker forms in the class and on the job with fellow Ironworkers last a lifetime. And like the bonds that are essential to construction itself, the bonds between Ironworkers strengthen their commitments to the each other, to the trade, and to the building projects that they complete competently, effectively, and safely.