When it comes to ironworking, Denzel can definitely teach us a thing or two. Denzel Smith is based in Urbana, IL. Having a creative spirit, he wanted to find a career where he could construct things for a living. When Denzel became an ironworker, he was hooked.


According to stats, the ironworker job market is expected to grow by 12.8% between 2016 and 2026. Denzel has seen this expanding need for ironworkers first-hand.

“The demand for skilled ironworkers remains strong, as infrastructure and construction projects continue to be developed and maintained.”

Although the ironworking skill set comes with a ton of upside and opportunity, Denzel and other ironworkers will be the first to tell you that the job comes with its challenges.

“It can take a toll on your body and require considerable strength and endurance. We often work in extreme weather conditions; heat, cold rain, or wind can make working conditions challenging and uncomfortable.”

Through the rain, snow, or shine - Denzel gets up and gets the job done day in and day out. Through it all, Denzel still feels incredible fulfillment from being the craftsmen behind the next generation of buildings and structures.

“I have a passion for creating and constructing with steel and iron. I enjoy the process of shaping and building structures that will stand the test of time. Ironworking is a physically demanding job that requires strength, agility, and stamina.”


Like most trades, ironworking can be started by joining an apprenticeship. Between real-world on-the-job training and classroom instruction, you’ll feel fully prepared to tackle whatever the job throws at you. Denzel researched his options before deciding on the right program for him.

“I researched and applied to the accredited apprenticeship program offered by Local 380 Union Ironworkers.”


Curious, we asked Denzel what his day looks like on the jobsite. We learned that ironworking requires a strong team, as well as mental and physical grit in order to ensure that structures remain strong.

“I work closely with my crew and develop strong bonds. Ironworkers are skilled tradespeople who work with structural and iron and steel to erect and install metal frameworks or structures for buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure projects. I read blueprints, measure, and cut materials, connect and weld metal pieces, and ensure that the structures are secure and sturdy. Ironworkers play a crucial role in the construction industry by helping create the framework and skeleton upon which various structures are built.”

Denzel also suggested that work boots play a massive role in safety and comfort while at work.

“Thorogood boots enhance an Ironworker’s safety, comfort, and performance on the job, ensuring they can focus on their work without worrying about potential foot-related injuries or discomfort.”

Denzel mentioned that the Thorogood Moc Toe work boots are a great fit for him and his job as an ironworker.


When asked for advice on becoming and advancing as an ironworker, Denzel had some great insight to share. Like us at Thorogood, Denzel believes knowledge is power.

“My advice for someone looking to become an ironworker would be to consider enrolling in a trade school or apprenticeship program that offers ironworking courses. This will provide you with structured training and valuable hands-on experience. ”


Thankfully, we have people like Denzel who still work for a living - helping bring our buildings, bridges, and businesses to life. Without motivated people like him, America would never look or feel the same.

“We build America. I take pride in my workmanship and enjoy seeing the tangible results of my labor.”

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