Iron/Steel Contractor (General/Commercial)

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing

License to Work: A National Study of Burdens from Occupational Licensing


License required in 31 states
21st most burdensome licensing requirements
24th most heavily regulated occupation

(Last updated April 24, 2012)


Iron and steel workers, also known as steel fabricators or welders, raise, place and unite iron or steel girders, columns and other structural members to form completed structures or structural frameworks. They may also erect metal storage tanks and assemble prefabricated metal buildings.

Typically, only contractors require licenses, not iron/steel workers who work for them. Licensing requirements differ based on the scope of the work. Those with a residential license may work only on residential properties, while those with a commercial license may work on commercial properties. In some states, work on commercial properties requires a general contractor's license that is not specific to iron steel workers; the requirements are generally the same as a commercial license, and they are treated the same here.


Thirty states and the District of Columbia require a general contractor or commercial license for iron/steel contractors -- the 24th most widely and onerously licensed occupation of those studied. The requirements vary widely across the states, with 13 states imposing only a fee and sometimes a minimum age and an additional seven states imposing a fee and an exam or two. However, 11 states impose experience requirements that take two to five years to satisfy. On average, states require a $329 fee, 459 days of experience and one exam -- the 21st most burdensome licensing requirements.

(Last updated May 1, 2012)

State Licensing Requirements

Burden RankStateFeesEducation/Experience (Days)ExamsMinimum GradeMinimum Age

Sign up to receive IJ's biweekly digital magazine, Liberty & Law along with breaking updates about our fight to protect the rights of all Americans.