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This rigorous Ironworking curriculum prepares learners for a career as skilled ironworkers. It covers ironworking safety, tools, welding, cranes, rigging, forklifts and survey equipment, as well as trade drawings, steel joists and structural steel. The learner will also learn apply practical applications of mathematical principles on the job site.

The three-level Ironworking curriculum complies with the U.S. Department of Labor’s standards for apprenticeship programs.

Craft Snapshot

Journey Level
Assessment Available
237.5, includes Core
2011, 2nd Edition
NCCERconnect Deliver instruction using our pre-loaded content and course management tools, streamline training, and track results through the online gradebook. Students learn using the interactive eTextbook and Media Library with Active Figures that bring the material to life, anytime and anywhere they choose.
Not Available
English, Spanish
Introduction to the Trade
5 Hours

Module ID 30101-11: Discusses the historical development of the ironworking trade. Explains personal qualities that contribute to successful employment. Describes the organization and purpose of apprenticeship training, and the safety obligations of the employer and employee.

Trade Safety
12.5 Hours

Module ID 30102-11: Describes the consequences of on-the-job accidents and the responsibilities of OSHA. Identifies potential ironworker health and safety hazards and safe work practices around cranes. Explains the safe use of personnel lifts. Discusses the safe use and operation of aerial platforms, hoists, and fall protection systems.

Tools and Equipment of the Trade
10 Hours

Module ID 30103-11: Identifies safety tools and equipment. Describes the proper use of hand and power tools. Identifies power sources for ironworking tools.

5 Hours

Module ID 30104-11: Explains how to recognize A-325 and A-490 bolts, washers, and nuts. Describes how to correctly tension bolts and explains procedures for calibrated wrench and turn-of-nut tightening methods.

Mobile Construction Cranes
10 Hours

Module ID 30105-11: Identifies common lifting equipment and construction cranes. Describes how to use crane manuals, perform record keeping, and follow safety requirements. Provides procedures for assembling construction cranes.

Rigging Equipment
10 Hours

Module ID 30106-11: Describes the use and inspection of equipment and hardware used in rigging. Describes slings and explains how to determine sling capacities and angles. Covers the selection and inspection of rigging equipment, including block and tackles, chain hoists, come-alongs, jacks, and tuggers.

Rigging Practices
15 Hours

Module ID 30107-11: Identifies the site and environmental hazards associated with rigging. Explains how to attach rigging hardware for routine lifts and identify the components of a lift plan. Describes how to perform sling tension calculations and determine the weight of beams and basic weight estimation.

Trade Drawings One
12.5 Hours

Module ID 30108-11: Identifies the materials used in steel-framed buildings. Explains how to read basic structural blueprints.

Structural Ironworking One
7.5 Hours

Module ID 30109-11: Identifies the types of construction that utilize structural steel, the components of the structures, and the process involved in erecting a steel structure. Explains the principles of structural stresses and the requirements of bolted connections.

Plumbing, Aligning, and Guying
5 Hours

Module ID 30110-11: Describes the purpose and function of aligning and plumbing steel structures, the tools that are used, and the procedures for performing the plumbing and aligning. Identifies and explains column base and baseplate components and foundation failures.

Oxyfuel Cutting
17.5 Hours

Module ID 29102-09; from Welding Level One, Fourth Edition: Explains the safety requirements for oxyfuel cutting. Identifies oxyfuel cutting equipment and setup requirements. Explains how to light, adjust, and shut down oxyfuel equipment. Trainees will perform cutting techniques that include straight line, piercing, bevels, washing, and gouging.

Introduction to Arc Welding
22.5 Hours

Module ID 30112-11: Identifies welding equipment and processes. Describes safety precautions associated with arc welding. Explains how to identify weld joints, their dimensions, and applications from welding symbols and drawings. Describes how to set up and use SMAW equipment and explains the governing welding codes.

Bar Joists and Girders
5 Hours

Module ID 30113-11: Explains how to recognize types of bar joists and how they are designated. Describes the proper procedures for rigging and storing steel joists. Explains the use of joist girders in steel joist construction systems and the proper erection procedures for bar joists. Includes OSHA Subpart R.

Metal Decking
10 Hours

Module ID 30114-11: Identifies decking types and profiles and how decking is packaged, shipped, and stored. Describes erecting decking and job-site safety. Discusses the effects of deck penetrations and damage. Includes OSHA Subpart R.

Field Fabrication
15 Hours

Module ID 30115-11: Identifies the safety hazards associated with field fabrication. Describes how to use common layout tools. Explains how to fabricate angle iron, channel, T-shapes, and W-shapes to given dimensions.

Trade Math
25 Hours

Module ID 30201-11: Explains fractions and basic math, and includes multiple opportunities for practical applications.

Weld Quality
10 Hours

Module ID 29106-09; from Welding Level One, Fourth Edition: Identifies the codes that govern welding, including marine welds. Identifies and explains weld imperfections and causes. Describes non-destructive testing, visual inspection criteria, welder qualification tests, and the importance of quality workmanship.

Position Arc Welding
20 Hours

Module ID 30202-11: Identifies and explains weld joints, weld positions, and open V-butt welds. Describes how to prepare arc welding equipment and how to make flat welds, horizontal welds, vertical welds, and overhead welds.

17.5 Hours

Module ID 30203-11: Identifies the basic components of forklifts and the corresponding hand signals. Explains safe practices and how to perform inspections. Covers how to read load charts and how to operate forklifts.

Trade Drawings Two
10 Hours

Module ID 30204-11: Introduces types of structural plans and describes the information included on each type. Presents the sequences of erection plans for each step of construction and identifies the symbols and abbreviations used on drawings.

Intermediate Rigging
10 Hours

Module ID 38201-11; from Intermediate Rigging, First Edition: Describes basic procedures for using various slings in hitches and calculating sling stress. Introduces tools and equipment used for the lateral movement of loads without a crane. Trainees learn how to reeve block and tackle, invert loads with hoists, and drift a load between two hoists.

Structural Ironworking Two
30 Hours

Module ID 30205-11: Describes pre-erection activities for structural steel. Provides procedures for erecting bearing devices, columns, beams, girders, joists, bracing, and bridging.

Steel Joists and Joist Girders
15 Hours

Module ID 30206-11: Identifies the types of joists, methods of end support, and the types of bridging available. Explains how to locate the ironworking information on framing plans and describes steel joist installation procedures. Describes the conditions necessary and the benefits of panelizing bar joist.

Tower Cranes
15 Hours

Module ID 30207-11: Describes safe practices when erecting steel using tower cranes. Explains the difference between erecting steel with a mobile crane versus a tower crane. Describes tower crane hand and verbal signals.
Survey Equipment Use and Care One (10 Hours) ISBN 978-0-13-266457-8 (Module ID 30208-11) Identifies survey equipment and uses. Explains the proper set up and use of a builder’s level and a theodolite. Covers how to shoot elevations, sweep a column for plumb, and set up over a point and back sight to another point.

Applied Trade Math
5 Hours

Module ID 30313-12: Explains the math needed to calculate the size of cribbing or blocking needed for a load; parts of line, maximum load, and line pull for lifting operations; sling capacities; and load distribution for two-crane lifts.

Flux Core for Ironworking
40 Hours

Module ID 30314-12: Describes the equipment and methods used in flux core arc welding (FCAW). Includes proper selection and use of filler metals and shielding gases, as well as techniques for performing fillet and V-groove welding in various positions.

Stud Welding
10 Hours

Module ID 30304-12: Introduces the stud welding process, stud welding safety, and identifies the equipment used to weld studs. Provides step-by-step procedures to set up welding equipment and guidelines to make acceptable stud welds with proper stud placement. Explains testing of stud welds.

Structural Ironworking Three
10 Hours

Module ID 30312-12: Explains the techniques used to plumb, align and guy steel structures, including the associated hazards and risks. Provides information and procedures related to the installation of trusses and curtain walls.

Advanced Rigging
10 Hours

Module ID 38301-11; from Advanced Rigging, First Edition: Explains how load weight and center of gravity affect lifting and crane stability. Load calculations for multi-crane lifts are presented, along with the application of equalizer beams. The movement of loads up an inclined plane and the line pull required are examined in detail. The module concludes with guidance in the rigging and handling of rebar bundles.

Precast/Tilt-Up Erection
12.5 Hours

Module ID 30311-12: Describes the fabrication and uses of precast concrete elements and cast-in-place tilt-up wall systems. Focuses on rigging practices associated with these two distinct construction methods and the role of ironworkers in their installation.

Special Application Hoisting Devices
10 Hours

Module ID 30307-12: Explains techniques for rigging and moving equipment using a variety of hoisting devices, including gin poles, Chicago booms, A-frames, davits, balance beams, pump handles, high lines, caterpillar dollies, rollers. Also covers special cranes, including derricks, gantries, HLDs, trolley cranes, and jacking frames.

Survey Equipment Use and Care Two
15 Hours

Module ID 30315-12: Focuses on the total station and its uses, including setup and controls. It includes information on primary and secondary control points and procedures for turning horizontal angles and plumbing columns and wall panels.

Pre-Engineered Systems
5 Hours

Module ID 30302-12: Identifies the structural components and accessories of metal buildings and describes their installation. Describes the pre-erection and erection procedures that apply to their installation and the safety precautions associated with their installation.

Miscellaneous/Ornamental Ironworking
5 Hours

Module ID 30303-12: Identifies the types of ornamental metal and describes the different types of components used in ornamental ironworking. Explains the skills required to fabricate and install ornamental components safely.

Grating and Checkered Plate
5 Hours

Module ID 30316-12: Provides general information and procedures for the installation and attachment of gratings and checker plate. Describes the rigging methods associated with grating and checkered plate.

Air Carbon Arc Cutting and Gouging
12.5 Hours

Module ID 29104-09; from Welding Level One, Fourth Edition: Introduces air-carbon arc cutting equipment and processes. Identifies the electrodes and safe operation of the equipment. Provides step-by-step instructions for performing air-carbon arc washing and gouging activities.

10 Hours

Module ID 30310-12: Identifies the tools used to remove rivets and explains the demolition skills required to safely remove structural steel beams, steel columns, and steel reinforced concrete columns.

Instructor Resources

Instructor Toolbox

NCCER’s Instructor Toolbox provides easy access to important instructional resources for your training program. You’ll find downloadable course planning tools, examples of classroom activities and projects, and instructor tips and best practices to help you enhance your program.


NCCER’s assessments evaluate the knowledge of an individual in a specific craft area and provide a prescription for upgrade training when needed. All assessments are based upon the NCCER Curriculum and have been developed in conjunction with subject matter experts from the industry. Click the assessment title below to open its specifications.

Industrial Ironworker