Ironworkers possess a diverse set of skills that give them the ability to work on many types of projects in the construction industry. Ironworkers can be found working at great heights welding and bolting structural steel for skyscrapers and bridges. They are also needed to install reinforcing bars and steel mesh to strengthen concrete structures and roadways. Ornamental work includes installing stairways, catwalks, gratings, rills, screens, fencing, and decorative ironwork. Finally, ironworkers assemble and install fabricated structural metal products for industrial, commercial, and large residential buildings. This is not a comprehensive list of duties an ironworker may face on the job site but is provided to give you an idea of what you may encounter as an ironworker.

There’s no getting around it – the work is demanding and much of it is outdoors. This means that ironworkers work in all elements of weather Cleveland has to offer. Ironworkers risk injury because they work at great heights, so safety devices such as nets, scaffolding, and safety belts are used. Because of the nature of the work, an ironworker cannot be afraid of working in high places and must also have an acute awareness of the danger to themselves and others.


•    Physical exam confirming good physical condition and ability to perform work
•    Minimum age of 18 years
•    Agility and good sense of balance
•    High school diploma or GED

•    4-year program
•    Must have reliable transportation
•    Must attend classroom instruction, approximately 4 – one week sessions each year.
•    Must pass yearly and random drug test screenings

•    Required to pay yearly book fees and maintain current membership dues

Apprenticeship applications are available to be picked-up at the Local 17 Union Hall (1544 East 23rd St. Cleveland, OH 44114) 

Completed applications may be submitted Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM. When you turn in your application, you will be required to take an approximately 30-minute aptitude test. You must score 80% or higher to be considered for an interview. 


SEPTEMBER 30 - Winter Semester Classes

MARCH 31 - Summer Semester Classes

Through the Local 17 Training Center Apprenticeship Program you will be taught the skills needed to become an ironworker. Apprentices attend classes lead by certified instructors and also log many hours of on-the-job training. Another benefit of our training is that it can be applied toward college credit with Cuyahoga Community College. You can earn as many as 30 credits toward a college degree and gain skills in the most respected of the building and construction trade at the same time! Advantages of being a union member include fair and reasonable wages and fringe benefits such as health and welfare, pension and annuity plans.

The hourly income for a Local 17 ironworker apprentice as of 5/1/15:
•    $15.65 for first-year apprentices; $21.92 for second-year; $25.04 for third-year; and $28.17 for fourth-year
•    All members are required to pay monthly union dues, the apprentice dues rate is $33.25 per month

An Ironworker Apprentice of Local 17 learns various skills necessary for the job success including:
•    Structural steel erection
•    Rigging
•    Blueprint reading
•    Welding, flame cutting and plasma arc welding and cutting
•    Reinforcing steel concrete
•    Architectural and ornamental erection
•    Scaffold use
•    Pre-engineered metal buildings
•    Post-tensioned reinforcing systems
•    Precast safety and erection
•    Forklift operation

Apprentices will also have instruction time on various safety related issues such as:
•    OSHA Sub-Part R
•    OSHA 10-Hour Safety Course
•    Hazardous Material Training
•    Crane Signaling

•    Disaster Response Training for Ironworkers

Lastly, apprentices will learn the history of our union, mathematics for Ironworker and various metrics that set Ironworkers apart from other trades.

•    $100.00 initiation fee
•    4.5% assessment from gross pay
•    $33.25 monthly dues
•    Book fees; approximately $85.00 per semester
•    Ironworking tools cost approximately $500.00-$700.00 (This amount does not include boots and clothing)

Upon completion of apprenticeship requirements, apprentices will advance to journeyman status with completion certificates from the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers and United States Department of Labor.

Thank you for your interest in the Iron Workers Local Union No. 17.  If you would like to learn more about us, please feel free to call us. We are more than glad to talk about our trade and profession.

Iron Workers Local 17 Apprenticeship and Training Center
Phone:  (216) 771-5558
1542 East 23rd Street    Cleveland, OH 44114

Iron Workers Local 17
Union Hall

Phone:  (216) 771-5558
1544 East 23rd Street    Cleveland, OH 44114