Metal fabricators cut, shape, position and align different types of metal. They typically work for construction and manufacturing companies while the metals they work with are used to build structures. 1 Here is an overview of the qualifications and skills you need to get a job in this field.
Metal Fabricator Qualifications
While it is possible to get on the job training, many metal fabricators received welding training at a trade school which includes courses on blueprint reading, metal and steel fabrication, various welding techniques, and safety regulations. Welding is one of many skills metal fabricators use in the jobs and those with a certification may have an advantage to those without to become a metal fabricator.
Metal Fabricator Skills
In addition to welding and blue print reading abilities, good dexterity is important. Other important qualities include math, mechanical skills and physical stamina as fabricators stand for long periods of time and use machinery like computers and other devices on factory floors. 2 As with any job of this type, metal fabricators must ensure that the work area is clean and safe and that industry safety standards are followed. As the work environment can be dangerous and noisy, wearing protective clothing and hearing protection is important.
Metal Fabricator Responsibilities
Most people who work in this field work in the manufacturing sector in plants and factories. Metal fabricators may work on cars, aircraft, and electronic devices to name a few. The number of people employed varies on each occupation. Depending on the particular job, metal fabricators need to read and interpret blue prints, cut align and weld metal, perform quality control, etc. As technological advances have been made in manufacturing, they need to be comfortable with and able to use the machinery that have automated many of the processes.
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Metal Fabricators will also need to be able to use a computer and be fluent in software like Microsoft Excel, Computer Aided Design (CAD), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and database. Learning these programs may additional training.
Career Overview of a Metal Fabricator
Metal fabrication can be a fulfilling career in welding if you enjoy working with your hands and are not bothered by noise. The median annual wage stands at $39,040 as of 2015, but earnings can be higher depending on your geographic location, skill level and experience. Most metal fabricators are employed full time and sometimes work in evenings and weekends and has a high percentage of unionized workers. 3
1 – http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes512041.htm
2 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/assemblers-and-fabricators.htm#tab-4
3 – http://www.bls.gov/ooh/production/assemblers-and-fabricators.htm#tab-5