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Career profile Metal Fabricator

Also known as Fabricator; Fitter; Fitter, Welder; Layout Man; Mill Beam Fitter; Ship Fitter; Structural Steel Fitter; Tack Welder; Weld Technician; Welder-Fabricator

Metal Fabricator

Also known as Fabricator; Fitter; Fitter, Welder; Layout Man; Mill Beam Fitter; Ship Fitter; Structural Steel Fitter; Tack Welder; Weld Technician; Welder-Fabricator

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Investigative
Pay Range
$28,750 - $63,950 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Speaking
Knowledge Areas
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Building and Construction
Core tasks
  • Verify conformance of workpieces to specifications, using squares, rulers, and measuring tapes.
  • Align and fit parts according to specifications, using jacks, turnbuckles, wedges, drift pins, pry bars, and hammers.
  • Move parts into position, manually or with hoists or cranes.
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What does a Metal Fabricator do?

Metal Fabricators fabricate, position, align, and fit parts of structural metal products.

What kind of tasks does a Metal Fabricator perform regularly?

Metal Fabricators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Verify conformance of workpieces to specifications, using squares, rulers, and measuring tapes.
  • Align and fit parts according to specifications, using jacks, turnbuckles, wedges, drift pins, pry bars, and hammers.
  • Move parts into position, manually or with hoists or cranes.
  • 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.
  • Study engineering drawings and blueprints to determine materials requirements and task sequences.
  • 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.
  • Lay out and examine metal stock or workpieces to be processed to ensure that specifications are met.
  • Tack-weld fitted parts together.
  • Lift or move materials and finished products, using large cranes.
  • Remove high spots and cut bevels, using hand files, portable grinders, and cutting torches.
  • Mark reference points onto floors or face blocks and transpose them to workpieces, using measuring devices, squares, chalk, and soapstone.
  • Set up face blocks, jigs, and fixtures.
  • Position or tighten braces, jacks, clamps, ropes, or bolt straps, or bolt parts in position for welding or riveting.
  • Locate and mark workpiece bending and cutting lines, allowing for stock thickness, machine and welding shrinkage, and other component specifications.
  • Erect ladders and scaffolding to fit together large assemblies.
  • Design and construct templates and fixtures, using hand tools.
  • Hammer, chip, and grind workpieces to cut, bend, and straighten metal.
  • Straighten warped or bent parts, using sledges, hand torches, straightening presses, or bulldozers.
  • Smooth workpiece edges and fix taps, tubes, and valves.
  • Preheat workpieces to make them malleable, using hand torches or furnaces.
  • Heat-treat parts, using acetylene torches.

The above responsibilities are specific to Metal Fabricators. More generally, Metal Fabricators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

What is a Metal Fabricator salary?

The median salary for a Metal Fabricator is $41,780, and the average salary is $44,750. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Metal Fabricator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Metal Fabricators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Metal Fabricators earn less than $28,750 per year, 25% earn less than $34,480, 75% earn less than $52,080, and 90% earn less than $63,950.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Metal Fabricators is expected to change by -11.4%, and there should be roughly 5,900 open positions for Metal Fabricators every year.

Median annual salary
$41,780
Typical salary range
$28,750 - $63,950
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
-11.4%

What personality traits are common among Metal Fabricators?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Metal Fabricator are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Metal Fabricators typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Metal Fabricators typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Metal Fabricator tend to value Support, Working Conditions, and Relationships.

Most importantly, Metal Fabricators strongly value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Metal Fabricators moderately value Working Conditions. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions.

Lastly, Metal Fabricators moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Metal Fabricators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, cooperation, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Metal Fabricators, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.

What education and training do Metal Fabricators need?

Metal Fabricators often have training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Metal Fabricators usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Metal Fabricators

  • 13.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 47.3% completed high school or secondary school
  • 24.3% completed some college coursework
  • 9.2% earned a Associate's degree
  • 5.1% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.7% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Metal Fabricators

Metal Fabricators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as mechanical, mathematics, or building and construction knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Metal Fabricators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Mechanical
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Mathematics
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Building and Construction
Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
Design
Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Important Abilities needed by Metal Fabricators

Metal Fabricators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Metal Fabricators need abilities such as arm-hand steadiness, control precision, and multilimb coordination in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Metal Fabricators, ranked by their relative importance.

Arm-Hand Steadiness
The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
Control Precision
The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
Multilimb Coordination
The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Visualization
The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Critical Skills needed by Metal Fabricators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Metal Fabricators frequently use skills like reading comprehension, active listening, and speaking to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Metal Fabricators, ranked by their relative importance.

Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Speaking
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.