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Steel erector

Steel erectors create the strong skeleton of a building or temporary structure by installing and fixing together steel girders, pipework and beams.

Average salary*




How to become a steel erector

There are no formal requirements to enter training as a steel erector but it helps when looking for work to have GCSEs (grades A-E) or equivalent in subjects such as maths, English, science and technology. Employers often look for people with some on-site experience, so if you haven’t worked in construction before you could work as an assistant to start with. Then your employer might train you in steel erection.

Construction apprenticeships are a common way into this career. Getting on to an apprenticeship scheme usually involves taking a selection test. As an apprentice, you study towards NVQ/SVQ Level 2 and 3, including:

  • NVQ in Steel Erecting Level 2
  • NVQ in Constructing Capital Plant Steel Structures (Erecting) Level 3
  • NVQ in Constructional Steelwork Site Operations Level 2 (with options in Erecting Structural Steelwork and Installing Metal Floor Decking).
  • Controlling Lifting Operations L2 Slinger Signaller and L3 Supervising Lifting Operations

Apprentices learn a range of techniques and procedures relating to steel erecting, ranging from cutting and shaping steel; installing in-situ and/or prefabricated steel; using power tools; operating powered access equipment (mobile platforms and cherry pickers); and safe working practices. They work towards Functional Skills Level 1 (application of numbers and communication) and the ConstructionSkills Health and Safety Test.

A Powered Access Licence (PAL) is useful for this kind of work. Contractors recognise it as proof that you can operate mobile elevated work platforms on site. Most construction and engineering firms now insist that site workers have a CSCS card or are part of a related scheme. The card is proof of your skills and competence. Getting a card means passing a health and safety assessment and having a relevant NVQ (or equivalent qualification).

If you’re working without qualifications, you might be able to do On-Site Assessment and Training (OSAT) or Experienced Worker Practical Assessment (EWPA) to get your NVQ and card.

What does a steel erector do?

  • Planning the layout of the structure using the drawings of construction engineering professionals prior to assembly
  • Working at increasingly high levels using elevated work platforms and scissor lifts
  • Aligning the steel components with tower cranes
  • Laying metal decking
  • Fixing safety netting and edge rails
  • Working out how to fit the steelwork together following engineers' instructions
  • Lifting and guiding components into position with tower cranes
  • Lining up and levelling steelwork before bolting it in place


  • Newly trained steel erectors can earn in the region of £19,000 - £25,000
  • Trained with experience steel erectors can earn in the region of £25,000 - £35,000
  • Senior or master craft steel erectors can earn in the region of £35,000 - £45,000

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Check out the latest Steel erector vacancies: 

As these are external websites, the number of job vacancies related to your preferred job role may vary. 

Check daily to see new opportunities as they are posted!

Progression Opportunities

Explore the progression opportunities below

  • Current role Steel erector Steel erectors create the strong and mighty skeleton of a building or temporary ...
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  • Current role Instructor / assessor / tutor Further Education (FE) instructors, assessors and tutors teach construction skil...
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