steel worker


The economy of the United States heavily relies on steel. Steel producing establishments such as steel mills and industries such as the construction industry need a lot of steel workers. 80 per cent of steel workers working in various industries such as construction, or for building contractors, while the rest work in steel producing plants as steel mill workers. Structural steel workers are in charge of constructing bridges, bank vaults, elevators, stairwells, frameworks for buildings and much more. Steel workers usually work as part of a team, where each team member specializes in one area. Steel workers can easily change jobs within the industry. Some of the jobs related to steel workers include construction supervisors, metal workers and cement supervisors. They work in the construction industry and usually spend 40 hours per week on the job with overtime being paid for.


Since steel workers need hands on skills, apprenticeship is the best way to train as a steel worker. A steel worker should have a minimum of a high school diploma and be at least 18 years old. Classroom apprentices take at least 144 hours of classroom teaching and 3 to 4 years of practical training. Apprentices are taught blue print reading; installation and riveting of metal structures. Steel mill workers need at least a high school diploma, pass a drug test and have some degree of mechanical aptitude. Having a driver's license would be an advantage. Steel mill workers also undergo on the job training according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Responsibilities and Duties

A steel worker is able to read and interpret drawings and blue prints. He is in charge of preparing the required work such as materials needed by determining quality and quantity of material. He also assembles steel mash and steel bars. He connects beams, girders and footings. He cuts or saws steel bars according to the requirements and hoists steel bars and wire mesh into place. In addition, he raises, unites and places girders, columns and structural components to come up with completed structures. Steel mill workers are largely involved in the production and processing of steel. Steel mill workers are required to operate blast furnaces and steel cylinders, turn iron ore into steel and come up with finished steel products.

Desirable Qualities

He should know the proper use of various equipment in the industry. He should be able to read blue prints. He should have good hand-eye coordination and have physical strength and dexterity, stamina and balance. He should be able to work at extreme heights under different weather conditions. Steel mill workers should have physical strength and stamina as they will be working in extremely demanding conditions such as high temperatures and noise.


The pay for structural steel workers largely depends on the level of experience and location. According to Payscale, steel workers who have more than 20 years of experience make $ 38,184 to $ 81,350 per year. Steel workers who have less than five years experience make from $ 35,000 to $ 55,676. Steel workers who have 10 to 19 years experience make $ 42,729 to $ 68,047. The pay for steel mill workers is $ 1,117 per week according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Outlook

Steel worker jobs both for steel mill workers and structural steel workers will increase by 12 per cent through to 2018 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This is due to increase in the number of jobs in the construction industry as a result of new buildings being put up and more structures requiring rehabilitation and replacement. Experienced and hardworking steel workers can climb up the career ladder to become supervisors