WHAT DO METAL FABRICATORS DO?
Are you into metal? Heavy metal, power metal, bendable metal? If this sounds like you, get ready for a great career as a metal fabricator. Metal fabricators are the people who create the components and parts that are made out of metal. They might work on putting together one set of components or work on the finished product. Sometimes this is done by hand, but often this is done with robots and computers and other devices that make the assembly process faster and more precise. Metal fabricator jobs can be easy or incredibly complicated, and require skills such as reading schematics, quality control and technical/mechanical knowhow. Metal fabricators may work with structural metal, which is heavy and load bearing, or sheet metal, which is the thin metal sheeting used in ductwork and similar areas.
HOW MUCH DO METAL FABRICATORS MAKE?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the 2010 median income for sheet metal workers was $20.05 an hour, or $41,710 a year. Structural metal workers earned $16.60 an hour, or $34,530 a year.
WHAT ARE THE EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS?
A high school diploma is required for most starting fabricator jobs, but more training and experience will be needed for advanced work. Getting an associate's degree through a technical school will greatly improve your chances at getting an advanced fabricator job.
Certification is available.
JOB SKILLS AND REQUIREMENTS
- Dexterity: Metal fabricators work with their hands, whether directly manipulating components or using controls on an assembly machine.
- Math: Basic math is needed due to the technological needs of many fabrication plants.
- Mechanical/Technical Skills: Metal fabricators need to be able to read and understand blueprints, manuals, and work with computers, machines and motion-control robots to do their job.
- Strength: Metal fabricators require strength to lift heavy objects during the fabrication/assembly process.
- Stamina: Metal fabricators are on their feet for long periods of time often doing repetitive motions.
THE FUTURE OF METAL FABRICATORS
A lot of fabrication jobs have gone overseas, and improved automation and new team production methods will make fabrication jobs grow slower than average between 2010 and 2020, according to the BLS.