With the construction industry booming around the U.S. and Canada, the demand for qualified welders has shot through the roof. Thankfully, the International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers has the demand covered.
“Recent increases in demand for qualified welders have pushed Iron Workers apprenticeship and training programs into overdrive,” says Lee Worley, executive director of apprenticeship and training.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Texas alone is seeing shortages of 10,000-15,000 welders due to multiple multibillion-dollar projects that are underway in the Gulf Coast. Between March 2015 and February 2016, welders will spend more than 38 million hours working on projects across the U.S., according to projections from Industrial Information Resources, a market intelligence firm based in Texas.
Apprentices earn while they learn, and are invaluable members of the ironworker crew. Iron Workers' apprenticeships generally last three to four years, depending on the training center’s requirements. Combining on-the-job training with classroom teaching and offered at more than 100 American Welding Society accredited locations across the U.S. and Canada, the rigorous program handily readies apprentices to become journeyman ironworkers.
“The Iron Workers apprenticeship program regularly attracts, trains and delivers the best ironworkers in the world,” says Iron Workers General President Walter Wise. “The program’s emphasis on safety and training time-after-time results in top-notch ironworkers who are dedicated to safety and doing the job right, the first time.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that ironworking will grow much faster than average between 2012 and 2022. The need to rehabilitate, maintain and replace an increasing number of roads and bridges is expected to drive growth, as will the ongoing construction of large projects. Now is a perfect time for those thinking about trying their hand in ironworking to start an apprenticeship. A comprehensive list of all apprenticeship training centers is available here.