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Metal fabricators generally work in manufacturing industries, including automotive, aerospace, and electronics. Metal fabricators make and fit parts together using a variety of tools and machines based on patterns that come from blueprints. Metal fabricators may also assemble components or fully finished products. Metal fabricating is highly detailed work.
Metal fabricator jobs can be easy or incredibly complicated, and require skills such as reading schematics, quality control and technical/mechanical knowhow.
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.
Metal fabricators may also have either a related one-year certificate or technical diploma from a community college or technical school.
- Reading and math skills: need strong reading and math skills.
- Mechanical/Technical Skills
- Blueprint interpretation: Should have knowledge of metallurgy, welding, and the ability to read and interpret blueprints.
- Communication skills and teamwork: Good communication skills are a must, since most metal fabricators work on teams and need to work well with others on their team.
According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, 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. The field of metal fabrication is varied, in that employees may be classified in many different roles, depending on their specific position. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), ironworkers in 2015 can expect to earn median salaries between $41,000 to $50,000 per year, while sheet metal workers will make $45,750. The demand for ironworkers is expected to grow at a faster than average rate of 9% per the BLS; employment of sheet metal workers will grow by 7% from 2014-2024.
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