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Become A Fabricator

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Working As A Fabricator

  • $65,361

    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 Videos

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Fabricator Career Paths

Fabricator
Machinist Computer Numerical Controller Machinist
Computer Numerical Controller Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineer Project Engineer
Construction Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Electrician Foreman
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Press Operator Welder Fitter Welding Supervisor
Fabrication Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Driver Delivery Driver Maintenance Technician
Facilities Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Foreman Machinist Carpenter
General Contractor
6 Yearsyrs
Foreman Delivery Driver Welder
Lead Fabricator
5 Yearsyrs
Operator Numerical Control Operator Machinist
Lead Machinist
6 Yearsyrs
Assembler Forklift Operator Warehouse Manager
Logistics Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Welder Maintenance Technician
Maintenance Director
11 Yearsyrs
Driver Operation Supervisor Production Manager
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Assembler Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Welder Technician Operations Manager
Plant Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Technician Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Production Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technician Specialist Machine Operator
Production Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Operator Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Computer Numerical Controller Machinist Service Technician Diesel Technician
Shop Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Repair Technician Welder
Shop Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Maintenance Manager Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Machinist Mechanic Forklift Operator
Warehouse Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Fabricator Demographics

Gender

Male

88.1%

Female

10.9%

Unknown

1.1%
Ethnicity

White

65.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.8%

Black or African American

10.4%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

62.5%

German

5.0%

French

5.0%

Carrier

5.0%

Polish

5.0%

Hmong

3.8%

Chinese

2.5%

Portuguese

1.3%

Khmer

1.3%

Dutch

1.3%

Japanese

1.3%

Cherokee

1.3%

Mandarin

1.3%

Korean

1.3%

Irish

1.3%

Russian

1.3%
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Fabricator Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.4%

Tulsa Welding School

9.6%

Universal Technical Institute

7.5%

Kirkwood Community College

5.3%

Houston Community College

5.3%

The Academy

4.8%

Trident Technical College

4.3%

Community College of the Air Force

4.3%

Western Technical College

4.3%

A-Technical College

4.3%

Kaplan University

4.3%

Ferris State University

3.7%

Fox Valley Technical College

3.7%

Pima Community College

3.7%

University of Northwestern Ohio

3.7%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.7%

College of Southern Idaho

3.7%

Owens Community College

3.7%

Clark College

3.2%

Lakeshore Technical College

3.2%
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Majors

Precision Metal Working

16.7%

Business

15.1%

Automotive Technology

9.1%

General Studies

6.9%

Criminal Justice

4.6%

Mechanical Engineering

4.6%

Electrical Engineering

4.4%

Industrial Technology

4.4%

Fine Arts

4.4%

Drafting And Design

4.2%

Graphic Design

3.8%

Computer Science

3.7%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.4%

Mechanical Engineering Technology

2.3%

Psychology

2.3%

Education

2.2%

Management

2.1%

Liberal Arts

2.0%

Aviation

2.0%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.0%
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Degrees

Other

45.4%

Bachelors

20.7%

Associate

17.3%

Certificate

10.0%

Masters

3.2%

Diploma

2.7%

License

0.4%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Fabricator Videos

The Fabricator: How To Build A Time Attack Roll Cage Part 1

ARK: Survival Evolved | #029 | Fabricator

What is a Precision Metal Fabricator?

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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

  1. Customer Service
  2. Blueprint Specifications
  3. CNC
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.
  • Fabricated commercial solid surface and commercial fixtures / cabinets, to blueprint specifications.
  • Operated a GFM Multi-Axis CNC ply cutting machine in One Piece Frames clean contamination room as Knife Operator.
  • Cut raw material to product specifications Assembled aluminum door frames and sashes Performed light welding or aluminum components as necessary
  • Utilized various welding processes including MIG for mild steel and aluminum, SMAW.

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Top 10 Best States for Fabricators

  1. Iowa
  2. Alaska
  3. North Dakota
  4. Kentucky
  5. Wyoming
  6. Pennsylvania
  7. Tennessee
  8. Indiana
  9. Maine
  10. Ohio
  • (87 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (18 jobs)
  • (29 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (94 jobs)
  • (47 jobs)
  • (61 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)

Top Fabricator Employers

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Jobs From Top Fabricator Employers

Fabricator Videos

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ARK: Survival Evolved | #029 | Fabricator

What is a Precision Metal Fabricator?

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