Metal fabricators fabricate, position, align, and fit parts of structural metal products. Typical duties include:*
- Position, align, fit, and weld parts to form complete units or subunits, following blueprints and layout specifications, and using jigs, welding torches, and hand tools.
- Verify conformance of work pieces to specifications, using squares, rulers, and measuring tapes.
- Tack-weld fitted parts together.
- Lay out and examine metal stock or work pieces to be processed to ensure that specifications are met.
- Align and fit parts according to specifications, using jacks, turnbuckles, wedges, drift pins, pry bars, and hammers.
- Locate and mark work piece bending and cutting lines, allowing for stock thickness, machine and welding shrinkage, and other component specifications.
- Position or tighten braces, jacks, clamps, ropes, or bolt straps, or bolt parts in position for welding or riveting.
- Study engineering drawings and blueprints to determine materials requirements and task sequences.
- Move parts into position, manually or with hoists or cranes.
- Set up and operate fabricating machines, such as brakes, rolls, shears, flame cutters, grinders, and drill presses, to bend, cut, form, punch, drill, or otherwise form and assemble metal components.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, metal fabricators earned an average salary of $35,750 in 2012. There are expected to be 38,200 job openings through 2022.
Education and Training
Although a high school diploma is enough to get you started in a career, 45% of working metal fabricators have obtained some college education. Learn more about getting your welding certification from Charter College
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Structural metal fabricators and fitters. Retrieved 4/29/13. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/51-2041.00