What Do Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Do

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Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters

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

Salary
$44750
Becoming One
Medium
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

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

  • 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.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Structural Metal Fabricators 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. They study engineering drawings and blueprints to determine materials requirements and task sequences.

A typical day for a Structural Metal Fabricator and Fitter will also include:

  • Verify conformance of workpieces to specifications, using squares, rulers, and measuring tapes.
  • Move parts into position, manually or with hoists or cranes.
  • Layout and examine metal stock or workpieces to be processed to ensure that specifications are met.
  • Smooth workpiece edges and fixes taps, tubes, and valves.
  • Remove high spots and cut bevels, using hand files, portable grinders, and cutting torches.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Structural Metal Fabricators also direct welders to build up low spots or short pieces with weld. They may also set up face blocks, jigs, and fixtures.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Structural Metal Fabricators erect ladders and scaffolding to fit together large assemblies. They might also move parts into position, manually or with hoists or cranes.

In addition, they locate and mark workpiece bending and cutting lines, allowing for stock thickness, machine and welding shrinkage, and other component specifications.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them position or tighten braces, jacks, clamps, ropes, or bolt straps, or bolt parts in position for welding or riveting.

To some Structural Metal Fabricators, it is also their responsibility to align and fit parts according to specifications, using jacks, turnbuckles, wedges, drift pins, pry bars, and hammers.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Average

58% said they were satisfied with their job and 49% said they found their job meaningful.


Rico Algarin
ARCH Production & Design NYC

A typical day starts off with turning on all the light and power to needed machines, then into the office to make coffee and have the morning meeting, going over what’s on the agenda for the day. Then I’ll head to my metal area, where I could either continue on with a project or set up for the next. I’ll begin by reviewing drawings and plans, allocating my materials, and breaking out the tools I’ll need. Then I’ll pop in my headphones and get to work.

Sometimes problems pop up and then I have to figure out how to fix it with what we have, and that’s where it gets interesting. I would also help out in other departments as needed, which includes tasks from painting, carpentry, and logistics of the shop.

Some of my responsibilities include making sure tools and heavy machinery are being used properly, making sure all supplies and consumables are stocked or ordered. As I am usually the last to leave, I’ll make sure the machines are turned off and power down the shop. I make sure the shop is locked properly and is clean ready for the next day.

One of Rico's work, a metal rose

One of Rico’s work, a metal rose

Pros

I’m making something cool and different every project. I enjoy the fact that there’s always a problem or puzzle to solve in order to bring the work to fruition. I work with some of the best people in the industry let alone in the same shop. Most of the people I work with I can consider friends, and it makes communication so much more effortless at times. Every project is unique so it’s awesome to have that variety of the workplace.

Cons

I wish we had more “toys” to work with! As anyone in a shop wants.

Rico Algarin
Rico is a lead metal fabricator for ARCH Production & Design NYC.


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required to get started.

Normal working hours (40 hours per week).

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

Salary is below average.

How much do they make

Average salary

$44750 per year

Average hourly wage

$22 per hour

Entry-level Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $28,750 to $34,480 per year or $14 to $17 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $63,950 $31
Senior (Top 25%) $52,080 $25
Median $41,780 $20
Junior (Bottom 25%) $34,480 $17
No experience (Bottom 10%) $28,750 $14

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Aerospace Product and Parts Manufacturing $77800 $37.40
Natural Gas Distribution $75200 $36.15
Local Government $74690 $35.91
Automotive Parts, Accessories, and Tire Stores $64160 $30.85
Automotive Repair and Maintenance $60910 $29.29
Scientific Research and Development Services $59500 $28.61
Foundries $55220 $26.55
Ship and Boat Building $54220 $26.07
Other Electrical Equipment and Component Manufacturing $51800 $24.91
Utility System Construction $49820 $23.95

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing 28830 $43270 $20.80
Machinery Manufacturing 5990 $44650 $21.47
Foundation, Structure, and Building Exterior Contractors 4010 $44510 $21.40
Ship and Boat Building 3940 $54220 $26.07
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing 3490 $41120 $19.77
Motor Vehicle Body and Trailer Manufacturing 2870 $41570 $19.99
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing 2150 $40750 $19.59
Employment Services 1890 $36150 $17.38
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods 1340 $43080 $20.71
Building Equipment Contractors 1270 $45680 $21.96

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
55%

More than 40 hours
45%

Working schedule

39%

61%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
0%

Every day
24%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
4%

Every day
44%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
28%

Every day
72%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
77%

Once a year
6%

Once a month
6%

Once a week
10%

Every day
1%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
11%

Slightly competitive
9%

Moderately competitive
71%

Highly competitive
9%

Extremely competitive
0%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
44%

Once a year or more
20%

Once a month or more
21%

Once a week or more
2%

Every day
13%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
1%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
26%

Once a week or more
8%

Every day
66%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
23%

Once a year or more
11%

Once a month or more
24%

Once a week or more
29%

Every day
13%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
27%

Once a year or more
50%

Once a month or more
17%

Once a week or more
5%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Medium
You will need previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an Associate’s degree, and one or two years of on-the-job training. Similar careers include Travel Agents, Agricultural Technicians, Court Reports, and Medical Assistants.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
4%

High School Diploma or equivalent
47%

Post-Secondary Certificate
29%

Some College Courses
17%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
3%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Machine Shop Technology/Assistant

A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to fabricate and modify metal parts in support of other manufacturing, repair or design activities, or as an independent business.

Metal Fabricator

A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to further process ferrous and/or non-ferrous metal plates or shapes, and to manufacture and/or install products as interpreted through technical drawings. Includes instruction in trade tools, shop equipment, reading and interpreting blueprints, material handling, welding, thermal cutting, metallurgy, template pattern development, plate and structural fabrication, destructive and non-destructive testing, inspection, shipment preparation and fabrication installation.

Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
1%

1 month
3%

1 to 3 months
6%

3 to 6 months
20%

6 months to 1 year
0%

1 to 2 years
40%

2 to 4 years
21%

4 to 6 years
8%

6 to 8 years
0%

8 to 10 years
0%

Over 10 years
0%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
0%

1 month
9%

1 to 3 months
2%

3 to 6 months
8%

6 months to 1 year
32%

1 to 2 years
47%

2 to 4 years
1%

4 to 10 years
1%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
100%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
43%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
38%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
14%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
24%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
71%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
43%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
48%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
33%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
48%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
71%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
33%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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