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Become A Fabricator

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Working As A Fabricator

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • $23,421

    Average Salary

What Does A Fabricator Do

Assemblers and fabricators assemble finished products and the parts that go into them. They use tools, machines, and their hands to make engines, computers, aircraft, ships, boats, toys, electronic devices, control panels, and more.

Duties

Assemblers and fabricators typically do the following:

  • Read and understand schematics and blueprints
  • Use hand tools or machines to assemble parts
  • Conduct quality control checks
  • Work closely with designers and engineers in product development

Assemblers and fabricators have an important role in the manufacturing process. They assemble both finished products and the pieces that go into them. The products encompass a full range of manufactured goods, including aircraft, toys, household appliances, automobiles, computers, and electronic devices.

Changes in technology have transformed the manufacturing and assembly process. Modern manufacturing systems use robots, computers, programmable motion-control devices, and various sensing technologies. These technological changes affect the way in which goods are made and the jobs of those who make them. Advanced assemblers must be able to work with these new technologies and use them to manufacture goods.

The job of an assembler or fabricator requires a range of knowledge and skills. Skilled assemblers putting together complex machines, for example, read detailed schematics that show how to assemble the machine. After determining how parts should connect, they use hand or power tools to trim, shim, cut, and make other adjustments to fit components together. Once the parts are properly aligned, they connect them with bolts and screws or weld or solder pieces together.

Quality control is important throughout the assembly process, so assemblers look for faulty components and mistakes in the assembly process. They help fix problems before defective products are made.

Manufacturing techniques are moving away from traditional assembly line systems toward lean manufacturing systems, which use teams of workers to produce entire products or components. Lean manufacturing has changed the nature of the assemblers’ duties.

It has become more common to involve assemblers and fabricators in product development. Designers and engineers consult manufacturing workers during the design stage to improve product reliability and manufacturing efficiency. Some experienced assemblers work with designers and engineers to build prototypes or test products.

Although most assemblers and fabricators are classified as team assemblers, others specialize in producing one type of product or perform the same or similar tasks throughout the assembly process.

The following are examples of types of assemblers and fabricators:

Aircraft structure, surfaces, rigging, and systems assemblers fit, fasten, and install parts of airplanes, space vehicles, or missiles, such as the wings, fuselage, landing gear, rigging and control equipment, and heating and ventilating systems.

Coil winders, tapers, and finishers wind wire coils of electrical components used in a variety of electric and electronic products, including resistors, transformers, generators, and electric motors.

Electrical and electronic equipment assemblers build products such as electric motors, computers, electronic control devices, and sensing equipment. Automated systems have been put in place because many small electronic parts are too small or fragile for human assembly. Much of the remaining work of electrical and electronic assemblers is done by hand during the small-scale production of electronic devices used in all types of aircraft, military systems, and medical equipment. Production by hand requires these workers to use devices such as soldering irons.

Electromechanical equipment assemblers assemble and modify electromechanical devices such as household appliances, computer tomography scanners, or vending machines. The workers use a variety of tools, such as rulers, rivet guns, and soldering irons.

Engine and machine assemblers construct, assemble, and rebuild engines, turbines, and machines used in automobiles, construction and mining equipment, and power generators.

Structural metal fabricators and fitters cut, align, and fit together structural metal parts and may help weld or rivet the parts together.

Fiberglass laminators and fabricators laminate layers of fiberglass on molds to form boat decks and hulls, bodies for golf carts, automobiles, and other products.

Team assemblers work on an assembly line, but they rotate through different tasks, rather than specializing in a single task. The team may decide how the work is assigned and how different tasks are done. Some aspects of lean production, such as rotating tasks and seeking worker input on improving the assembly process, are common to all assembly and fabrication occupations.

Timing device assemblers, adjusters, and calibrators do precision assembling or adjusting of timing devices within very narrow tolerances.

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How To Become A Fabricator

The education level and qualifications needed to enter these jobs vary depending on the industry and employer. Although a high school diploma is enough for most jobs, experience and additional training is needed for more advanced assembly work.

Education

Most employers require a high school diploma or the equivalent for assembler and fabricator positions.

Training

Workers usually receive on-the-job training, sometimes including employer-sponsored technical instruction.

Some employers may require specialized training or an associate’s degree for the most skilled assembly and fabrication jobs. For example, jobs with electrical, electronic, and aircraft and motor vehicle products manufacturers typically require more formal education through technical schools. Apprenticeship programs are also available.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) offers the Precision Sheet Metal Operator Certification (PSMO) and the Precision Press Brake Certification (PPB). Although not required, becoming certified can demonstrate competence and professionalism. It also may help a candidate advance in the profession.

In addition, many employers that hire electrical and electronic assembly workers, especially those in the aerospace and defense industries, require certifications in soldering.

Important Qualities

Color vision. Assemblers and fabricators who make electrical and electronic products must be able to distinguish different colors because the wires they work with often are color coded.

Dexterity. Assemblers and fabricators should have a steady hand and good hand-eye coordination, as they must grasp, manipulate, or assemble parts and components that are often very small.

Math skills. Assemblers and fabricators must know basic math and must be able to use computers, as the manufacturing process continues to advance technologically.

Mechanical skills. Modern production systems require assemblers and fabricators to be able to use programmable motion-control devices, computers, and robots on the factory floor.

Physical stamina. Assemblers and fabricators must be able to stand for long periods and perform repetitious work.

Physical strength. Assemblers and fabricators must be strong enough to lift heavy components or pieces of machinery. Some assemblers, such as those in the aerospace industry, must frequently bend or climb ladders when assembling parts.

Technical skills. Assemblers and fabricators must be able to understand technical manuals, blueprints, and schematics for a wide range of products and machines to properly manufacture the final product.

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Fabricator jobs

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Fabricator Career Paths

Fabricator
Truck Driver Equipment Operator Numerical Control Operator
2nd Shift Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Service Manager General Manager
Area Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Computer Numerical Controller Machinist Machine Shop Supervisor
Assembly Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Press Operator Material Handler Welder
Lead Fabricator
5 Yearsyrs
Driver Driver/Owner Operator Operator
Lead Operator
5 Yearsyrs
Truck Driver Welder Fitter Quality Control
Lead Quality Control
5 Yearsyrs
Operator Production Supervisor Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assembler Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Field Service Technician Service Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Maintenance Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Technician Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician
Production Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Project Manager Construction Manager
Quality Control Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Machinist Technician Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Press Operator Shipping Clerk Shipping Supervisor
Shipping Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Computer Numerical Controller Machinist Service Technician Diesel Technician
Shop Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Operator Delivery Driver Welder
Shop Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Machinist Mechanic Forklift Operator
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assembler Forklift Operator Welder
Welding Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
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Fabricator Demographics

Gender

  • Male

    88.0%
  • Female

    11.0%
  • Unknown

    1.0%

Ethnicity

  • White

    81.5%
  • Hispanic or Latino

    10.7%
  • Asian

    6.0%
  • Unknown

    1.3%
  • Black or African American

    0.5%
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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

    59.0%
  • German

    5.1%
  • French

    5.1%
  • Carrier

    5.1%
  • Polish

    5.1%
  • Hmong

    3.8%
  • Chinese

    2.6%
  • Portuguese

    1.3%
  • Khmer

    1.3%
  • Filipino

    1.3%
  • Dutch

    1.3%
  • Japanese

    1.3%
  • Cherokee

    1.3%
  • Mandarin

    1.3%
  • Korean

    1.3%
  • Irish

    1.3%
  • Cebuano

    1.3%
  • Russian

    1.3%
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Real Fabricator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Art Fabricator Carlson Arts, LLC CA May 04, 2015 $56,349
Fabricator Automotosport, Inc. West Chicago, IL Oct 01, 2014 $52,000
Fabricator Art Sign Co., Inc. Fort Lauderdale, FL Jul 19, 2016 $47,000
Fabricator Adam's European Contracting Inc. New York, NY Sep 13, 2016 $46,966
Fabricator Elilacon Company, Inc. LA Jan 01, 2014 $40,571
Fabricator Maxum Industries, LLC. LA May 10, 2013 $39,653
Art Fabricator Art Bronze, Inc. San Fernando, CA Sep 21, 2015 $37,566
Fabricator Eagle Industrial Equipment, Inc. LA Mar 01, 2013 $34,853
Fabricator Blue Point Solutions TX Mar 20, 2014 $34,269
Fabricator Blue Point Solutions Corpus Christi, TX Apr 04, 2016 $34,206
Fabricator PAU Construction TX Jan 24, 2014 $33,705
Fabricator Maxum Industries, LLC. LA Jan 01, 2013 $33,475
Fabricator PAU Construction Denton, TX Jan 01, 2016 $33,037
Fabricator Blue Point Solutions TX Feb 15, 2015 $31,848
Fabricator Blue Point Solutions TX Apr 09, 2015 $31,848
Fabricator PAU Construction TX Jan 01, 2015 $31,284
Fabricator Amtex General Contractors, LLC. TX Apr 17, 2014 $30,971
Fabricator Global Labor Services, LLC. TX Oct 29, 2013 $30,971
Fabricator Tarilas Corporation TX Jan 01, 2014 $30,971
Fabricator Amtex General Contractors, LLC. TX Mar 01, 2013 $26,359
Glass Fabricators Redbud Glass Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Apr 01, 2009 $14,484
Glass Fabricators Redbud Glass Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Dec 10, 2010 $14,484
Glass Fabricators Redbud Glass Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Dec 20, 2010 $14,484
Glass Fabricators Redbud Glass Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Dec 06, 2010 $14,484
Glass Fabricators Redbud Glass Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Mar 27, 2009 $14,484

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Top Skills for A Fabricator

CustomerServiceAluminumMIGSafetyEquipmentCNCHandToolsHeavyMachineryPlasmaCuttersDrillPressTIGLayoutSpecificationsFiberGlassStainlessSteelPressBrakePunchPressLatheArcDeliverySet-UpSand

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Top Fabricator Skills

  1. Customer Service
  2. Aluminum
  3. MIG
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Estimated and invoiced customer work orders, communicated with insurance companies, explained repairs, and provided outstanding customer service.
  • Cut raw material to product specifications Assembled aluminum door frames and sashes Performed light welding or aluminum components as necessary
  • Worked on the shear brake press Safely and effectively operates power equipment MIG/TIG Welding
  • Operate safety equipment and use safe work habits.
  • Use a rollforming machine and CNC Brake.

Top Fabricator Employers

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What is a Precision Metal Fabricator?

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