If you like building and fixing things, metal fabrication might be the perfect job for you. Metal fabricators assemble structural metal products such as frameworks or shells for machinery, ovens, tanks, stacks and metal parts for buildings and bridges. They are skilled craftsmen who prepare, cut, shape and weld metal using complex hand tools and equipment such as blowtorches, shears, gauges, nail sets, power saws and workshop presses.
Metal fabricators follow patterns and blueprints. They typically work in factory settings and must use safety equipment, like goggles, gloves and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect them from flying debris and other workplace hazards. Some metal fabricators are trained to program robotic machines and computers.
- Interpret engineering blueprints
- Measure meticulously and plan well to reduce waste
- Mark cutting and bending lines
- Set up metalwork machinery, including rollers, drill presses, flame cutters, brakes and shears
- Fabricate and construct metal components
- Grind and finish completed products
- Perform quality checks on completed products
- Program robotic machines and computers
- Follow all safety regulations
- Maintain records
Employers require a high school diploma or equivalent. Metal fabricators usually earn either a one-year certificate or technical diploma from a community college or technical school. An associate degree in metal fabrication or additional vocational training may be required for more highly skilled metal fabricating work. Study areas include welding and safety procedures, how to produce different metal parts and how to operate machinery and tools.
- Can understand and translate instructions of a technical nature
- Have strong math skills
- Have excellent communication skills
- Have the manual dexterity to operate different tools
- Can troubleshoot equipment
- Can lift in excess of 50 pounds
- Are detail-oriented