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Ornamental Ironworker

Create decorative gates, railings, and other metal ornaments.

What does an Ornamental Ironworker do?

As the name implies, an Ornamental Ironworker creates and installs metalwork that are the decorative features of a building or other structure. This may include aluminum, brass, bronze, and other metals, in addition to iron. In this job, you focus on attractive railings, window casings, and gates, in contrast to Structural Ironworkers, who deal with the inner reinforcing beams and columns. Because of this, Ornamental Ironworkers are among the last members of a construction team to complete their work.

Your job as an Ornamental Ironworker begins once the design phase is complete. You gather information about all the metal design elements, from handrails to lampposts, determining which of these will come prefabricated and which will need to be forged by you and your colleagues. You assemble and attach each piece by bolting or welding according to the design plan. After hoisting each piece into place, you ensure that it is safely and properly aligned before fastening it permanently.

You need to be in good physical condition and able to repeatedly lift a significant amount of weight. Because it often involves working on high-rise buildings and bridges, a fear of heights would not be good with this job. You also need to work well with others and be able to accept direction. Construction plans are notoriously subject to change, so flexibility is key.

You toil in all kinds of weather, at heights that make some people queasy, but your work could be gazed upon by tourists and architecture enthusiasts for years to come.