For Recent Grads, Iron Workers Offer Top-Notch Apprenticeship Opportunities to Join Workforce

Jun 09, 2015

For graduates, the Iron Workers apprenticeship program is a great way to join the workforce without accruing college student loans.

With high school and college students currently graduating in droves, it is now time for many young people to join the workforce -- but at what cost? The class of 2015 is the most indebted class in American history, according to a new analysis by Mark Kantrowitz, senior vice president and publisher of Edvisors. He reports the average student graduating with a bachelor’s degree will be over $35,000 in debt.

However, the Iron Workers offer an alternative, “earn while you learn” path to a good job with great benefits: apprenticeship. 

“The apprenticeship program is an investment in young people the Iron Workers are eager to make—devoting more than $47 million dollars every year in teaching, instructing and mentoring the next generation of successful ironworkers,” said Iron Workers General President Walter Wise. “It’s about real life and real skills. It’s about learning and training…it’s about preparing young people for a successful future in a career they’ll love.”

“Getting into the workforce earlier, earning on the job and not running up student debt means our apprentices are definitely giving graduates a run for their money,” said IMPACT Management Co-Chair Bill Brown.

“Plenty of college graduates are struggling to find work because of the recent recession,” said Iron Workers Local 5 Apprenticeship Coordinator Kendall Martin. “Our apprentices are earning good pay, good benefits and are joining the workforce more quickly than some of their peers.”

Combining on-the-job training with classroom teaching, the apprenticeship program recruits, trains and delivers the best and safest ironworkers in the world. Training is offered at 157 locations across the U.S. and Canada. Apprenticeships include 6,000 to 8,000 hours of hands-on learning, depending on each training center’s requirements. Apprentices are a reliable and consistent part of the workforce on whom other ironworkers and contractors depend. Experienced ironworkers also mentor apprentices, resulting in a knowledge-transfer mechanism. After three to four years, this mechanism leads to a safe, highly-skilled local workforce.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that careers in 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 commercial and industrial projects. Now is a perfect time for those choosing careers to consider an Iron Workers apprenticeship. A comprehensive list of all apprenticeship training centers is available at Visit for more information.

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