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Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?

 
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:13 PM   #1
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Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


Is Ironwork one of the most physically demanding jobs out there?



I am applying for a position as an ironworker, and I was curious. A lot of people tell me its one of the most physically demanding construction type labor jobs you can get? Is it really one of the most physically demanding jobs a man can get?

Anybody in this field have any input. Looking for opinions and facts. Thanks I am a brick mason by trade but moving on to bigger things hopefully
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


Welcome to CT.

How about an introduction.

All of the construction trades are physically demanding. Stick at it long enough and any of them will wear you out. Not only daily but long term also.

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Old 03-29-2011, 10:20 PM   #3
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


I think iron work is right up there with lumber jacking and working oil rigs as far as the physically demanding nature of the work goes.

It friggin bites.

Andy.
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Old 03-29-2011, 10:38 PM   #4
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


Could it be considered "one of the most physically demanding jobs", i know masonry is tough but i would not consider it one of the most physically demanding construction type jobs.
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Old 03-30-2011, 08:39 AM   #5
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


I agree that pretty much any trade will eventually use you up and spit you out in the long run.

As for iron and steel it's like this;
Everything is heavy.
Every thing is sharp.
Everything is 3rd degree burn hot or frostbite cold.
Everything you do is loud, hot, heavy, and in some weird place you need to be an acrobat to get to.
Everything is your fault.
Add high iron to the mix and now along with everything else you've got to be a monkey on the steel while hauling around many many lbs of tools.
You're usually down in a nasty pit or up just high enough to be fatal when if you fall.

It's not like being a greeter at Walmart, you don't want to be doing it at 74 years old.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:29 PM   #6
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


It's going to be worse than being a bricklayer, but not as bad as being a laborer/tender.
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Old 03-30-2011, 11:34 PM   #7
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


I don't know think so, I welded I beams together for a couple years and because there so big and heavy it was mostly all crane work. You just did the final postioning and welded them in. I just couldn't get use to the heights.

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Old 04-03-2011, 09:14 AM   #8
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


Ive done welding,steel work,stick frame,masonry,and landscaping.

The steel work is danger,
the stick frame is fast,
the masonry is repetitive,
the landscaping is hard work all day long. all summer.

You can pop a muscle on any type of work if you want to show off or feel like your suppose to do more than you are doing.

Concentration and self confidence is key to any work.
Now get to work or your fired
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Old 05-29-2011, 05:19 PM   #9
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


There is too much variety in the types of work to compare; it depends.

It ALL depends.

I've busted rod, was that hard? Sure, but not as hard as some other jobs.
I've set steel, welded steel. Sometimes you are doing nothing, waiting for the crane. Dangerous, yes but burning zero calories while steel is run down, rigged and brought up to you.

I've demo'ed and poured concrete. Is that harder? In my opinion yes.

The hardest I've probably worked was framing. It was hard on the body and it was probably in terms of the sheer calories burned in a day the "hardest" work. We were expected to run nonstop and we did. I shoulda known; the bosses nickname was "chainsaw".

Busting rod I once "raced" a pair of guys who thought they were fast. I said I could set a course of steel faster solo than the pair of them. Guess who won?
My point is that some jobs are less work due to skill involved. Other jobs are easier now due to technology and material handling.

Even brick tending is probably easier than it used to be.

It depends so much on the type of iron work you will be doing and the type of masonry work you were doing. Physically demanding is even kind of hard to quantify.

What is that?
Is it the amount of work one does? like setting "X" number of block per day?
Or the stress or strain of working high iron in scary positions?
I remember laying on my back welding pipe in the most ungodly, tight, constrained positions while molten steel rained down on me; into my ear, through my clothes and you don't usually stop welding; it's a different kind of demand but still tough, painful, hard work.

Doing concrete once we were below water level preparing a pour of about a 5 foot slab. That night lightning hit the pumps, flooding the entire pit where the slab was to be. When the pumps were turned back on we saw our steel mat covered with mud.

What did we do? We worked on our hands and knees in between about the 4 foot between top and bottom mats and scooped out by hand the sand and mud. It was in mid July southern Illinois, right on the river and it might as well been on the bayou. About 95 degrees, 99% humidity and no breeze.

As soon as the steel was ready......about 24 hours of non-stop work, we started pouring concrete, once again no stop until the slab was poured and finished. 48 hours of non stop work.

My point is that it is all relative. There is no one hardest most physical job. It all comes down to circumstance and who you are working for.

IMHO,

Willy
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:00 PM   #10
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


be a sand hog
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:50 AM   #11
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


I am an union ironworker in canada and I have done almost everything to do with the trade. Connecting, rigging, welding, torquing with heavy guns, torquing by hand, running up columns, walking beams, signalling cranes, setting up turfers . Most of the job involves lots of balls and some brute power, but take a good look at the guy carrying the 80 pound pneumatic torque gun and walking the steel with 200 feet of 1" air hose behind him trying not to get snagged on a connection. Every ironworker is used for their specialty. Some guys like to torque, some guys connect (must be in top shape and fast to get hired) , and some weld. Some are just dog $&[email protected] but I usually send them home crying. The job is more intense than anything I've ever done because my boss is a real pusher and we put up steel any way we can to make the moola. My point.... Depending on who you work for it can be the hardest thing you ever done, but its rewarding. If u work for some sack of who doesn't like money, well.... I wouldn't know cuz I don't stick around for that
Work hard, union pride. Garrett Doyle IW 765
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Old 12-23-2012, 10:55 AM   #12
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


Also, until you are a bitch for a steel company or a raising gang, have fun talking about it
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Old 12-25-2012, 08:03 PM   #13
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


I was an iron worker for several years, working mainly as a connector. Yes very physically demanding no doubt about it. Back then (early 90's) there was little in the way of safety so it was dangerous as hell as well. If I had to do it over, I would have picked a different trade, as you dont see too many old iron workers.
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Old 12-25-2012, 10:18 PM   #14
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


Never worked big iron, but building steel boat docks is tough, imo. 2 7/8 drill stem, about 250+ llbs a stick, 4" tubing, and 125 llbs pipe driver. All carried down the hill and set by hand, at a break neck pace. Burning hot or cold as ice. Still have burn marks on my shoulder from carrying drill stem in 105 degree heat.

Concrete forming and placing, or framing is the hardest Ive done. Framing, I got to layout/cut man pretty fast after being the crews bitch through high school. It gets easier as you move up, but its not for p*****s .
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:14 AM   #15
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


I love the names you guys have for certain jobs! I have no idea what you are talking about but it sounds cool. We have boiler makers and then we have labourers, pretty much could be doing anything from the above posts but don't sound any where near as interesting.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:43 PM   #16
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


Construction welding is decent pay, but freakin brutal. At least its consistent.

Repair welding is just crazy. welding in sewage, in man holes, Over head, upside down, hung by a rope.. they want you to weld up freakin steel which is more holes and rust than steel, but they want it to work?

If you do precision tig welding, there's some speciality work out there.. but not really in the construction trade that I know of.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:30 PM   #17
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


Started out in the iron workers as an apprentice,loved it and hated it.
Just depended on the task at hand, from rigging to setting steel, most times drove home at the end of day, muddy,bruised, muscles ached, etc.
But, my mentors, even tho I was their punk/bitch, never gave me any more than what I could take and would have my back in a second.
Safety is job one, I never met a lazy iron worker, or one who was in it for the money only. Yeah, you will cus them for making you get the breakfast order and do repetitive tasks like rebar tying and lugging tools.
But it is rewarding and gave me the ability to earn a decent wage and above all pride in my work.
I'm now a Glazier and even sometimes as these 2 jobs overlap, I remember that being an ironworker with it's many headaches gave me great insight and valuable job skills to be a great Glazier. Hats off to the steel guys what ever trade you decide to try, always give it your best, respect your fellow workers as they WILL become you family.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:01 PM   #18
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


I was a structural steel fabricater for over 10 yrs.
Early on, I wanted to be an iron worker, until I got to do it.
Decided that I liked my feet closer to the floor.
I really liked working with heavy steel, building bridges and buildings, But finished my career with about a 1000 pump jacks.
Tough job but rewarding.
Now if I could just get rid of this ringing in my ears.
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Old 09-26-2014, 01:08 PM   #19
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


yup
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Old 09-27-2014, 12:07 AM   #20
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Re: Is Ironwork One Of The Most Physically Demanding Jobs Out There?


Cranes set steel, Masons set Stone, Block and brick with their bods.

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