Working in this occupation can take a toll on one's body due to the physical demands of the job. These construction workers spend a great deal of time bending, moving and stooping as they install rebar, usually at a rapid pace. Falls from ladders and scaffolds, cuts from sharp metal and burns contribute to a rate of injuries that is higher than it is for most other occupations.
Once you get your diploma, you can take one of two paths. You can get informal on-the-job training from experienced workers on a construction site. You will have to do unskilled labor which will include carrying rebar. Your other option is to enter a formal apprenticeship program that a union or contractor association sponsors. It usually takes about three or four years to complete this type of program. You will spend 144 hours or so receiving technical training in both reinforcing and structural iron working and 1,400 to 2,000 hours getting on-the-job training. You must be 18 years old to enter an apprenticeship program.
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A Day in a Reinforcing Iron And Rebar Worker's Life:
On a typical day a reinforcing iron and rebar worker's tasks might include:
- reading blueprints or looking at sketches in order to determine how to install rebar or mesh
- figuring out the quantity, size and shapes of reinforcing rods and determining where to place them
- preparing rebar and mesh for installation using metal shears, hacksaws and torches
- bending or welding rebar together
- installing cables
- using pliers to tie wire around rods in order to fasten them together
- positioning rods, cables, mesh or rebar in concrete forms and then securing it
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Reinforcing Iron And Rebar Worker, on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/ooh/construction-and-extraction/reinforcing-iron-and-rebar-workers.htm (visited August 10, 2012).
Employment and Training Administration, U.S. Department of Labor, O*NET Online, Reinforcing Iron And Rebar Worker, on the Internet at http://www.onetonline.org/link/details/47-2171.00 (visited August 10, 2012).