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Become A Metal Fabricator

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Working As A Metal Fabricator

  • $34,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Metal 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 Metal 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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Metal Fabricator Career Paths

Metal Fabricator
Delivery Driver Warehouse Lead Shipping Supervisor
2nd Shift Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Computer Numerical Controller Machinist Production Supervisor Manufacturing Supervisor
Assembly Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Numerical Control Operator Computer Numerical Controller Machinist
Computer Numerical Controller Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Machinist Electrician Foreman
Construction Superintendent
9 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Engineer Design Engineer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Mechanic Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
Engineering/Maintenance Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Lead Welder Lead Fabricator Fabrication Supervisor
Fabrication Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Fabricator Lead Fabricator
Fabrication Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Assembler Service Technician Maintenance Supervisor
General Contractor
5 Yearsyrs
Forklift Operator Security Officer Operator
Lead Operator
5 Yearsyrs
Technician Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Manufacturing Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Computer Numerical Controller Machinist Manufacturing Engineer Manufacturing Supervisor
Manufacturing Production Supervisor
7 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Service Manager Operations Manager
Plant Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Numerical Control Operator Maintenance Technician Production Supervisor
Planting Supervisor
6 Yearsyrs
Maintenance Technician Engineer Project Engineer
Project Engineering Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Machinist Manufacturing Engineer Project Engineer
Project Superintendent
10 Yearsyrs
Technician Inspector Quality Control Inspector
Quality Control Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Assembler Quality Inspector Quality Control Inspector
Quality Lead
7 Yearsyrs
Delivery Driver Material Handler/Forklift Operator Computer Numerical Controller Machinist
Shop Lead
5 Yearsyrs
Numerical Control Operator Machinist Welder
Shop Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Metal Fabricator?

Metal Fabricator Demographics

Gender

Male

92.5%

Female

6.5%

Unknown

1.0%
Ethnicity

White

64.3%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

10.7%

Asian

6.4%

Unknown

3.3%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

German

12.5%

Polish

8.3%

Chinese

4.2%

Japanese

4.2%

Dakota

4.2%

Carrier

4.2%

Mandarin

4.2%

Korean

4.2%

Russian

4.2%
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Metal Fabricator Education

Schools

Fox Valley Technical College

8.8%

University of Phoenix

8.8%

Ferris State University

7.4%

Owens Community College

5.9%

Universal Technical Institute

5.9%

The Academy

5.9%

Walla Walla Community College

4.4%

Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

4.4%

Saint Louis Community College

4.4%

University of Maryland - University College

4.4%

Texas Tech University

4.4%

Madison Area Technical College

4.4%

Tulsa Welding School

4.4%

Moraine Park Technical College

4.4%

John Tyler Community College

4.4%

Northern Michigan University

4.4%

Greenville Technical College

4.4%

University of Alabama

2.9%

Tyler Junior College

2.9%

Labette Community College

2.9%
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Majors

Precision Metal Working

14.1%

Business

13.0%

Automotive Technology

8.9%

Criminal Justice

5.8%

Industrial Technology

5.5%

General Studies

5.5%

Electrical Engineering

5.5%

Mechanical Engineering

5.3%

Computer Science

5.0%

Graphic Design

4.2%

Apparel And Textiles

3.9%

Electrical Engineering Technology

3.0%

Education

3.0%

Psychology

2.8%

Environmental Control Technologies/Technicians

2.8%

Engineering

2.8%

Drafting And Design

2.5%

Fine Arts

2.2%

Aviation

2.2%

Management

1.9%
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Degrees

Other

47.2%

Associate

18.8%

Bachelors

16.9%

Certificate

10.7%

Diploma

3.3%

Masters

2.2%

Doctorate

0.9%
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Real Metal Fabricator Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Structural Metal Fabricator Les Metalliers Champenois Corp. Paterson, NJ Jun 10, 2008 $83,480
Structural Metal Fabricator/Fitter Promet Marine Services Corp. Providence, RI Aug 15, 2008 $57,393
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Malone Industrial MacHine, Ltd. Pasadena, TX Oct 06, 2010 $50,088
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Liberty Iron Works, Inc. Southampton, NY May 08, 2012 $50,066
Artisan Metal Fabricator Imperium Construction, Inc. New York, NY Oct 08, 2016 $46,966
Metal Fabricator/Fitter Thomas & Sons Builders, LLC, (D/B/A T& S Builders) New Milford, NJ Aug 02, 2016 $46,030
Structural Metal Fabricator and Fitter M & S Sanitation Corp. Florida, NY Jun 21, 2011 $43,597
Structural Metal Fabricators & Fitters County Glass & Metal Installers, Inc. Hackensack, NJ Oct 19, 2010 $42,846
Metal Fabricators, Structural Metal Products Cooper Tank & Welding Corp. New York, NY Nov 17, 2010 $42,702
Structural Metal Fabricator and Fitters Hutco, Inc. Moss Point, MS Feb 15, 2015 $42,617
Structural Metal Fabricator AJAY Metal Fabricators, Inc. Linden, NJ Oct 15, 2007 $41,740
Structural Metal Fabricators & Fitters Misivike Contractors, Inc. Cockeysville, MD May 10, 2011 $41,135 -
$41,740
Structural & Metal Fabricators & Fitters KJP Enterprises Inc. Paterson, NJ Mar 19, 2010 $40,780
Metal Fabricator King-Penberthy Enterprises Inc. Bell Gardens, CA Apr 13, 2015 $32,635
Metal Fabricator AIW, Inc. Hyattsville, MD Apr 30, 2009 $32,578
Metal Fabricator AIW, Inc. Hyattsville, MD May 22, 2009 $32,578
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Erection & Welding Contractors LLC New Milford, CT Nov 20, 2007 $32,578
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters F & C Professional Aluminum Railings Corp. Plainfield, NJ Oct 22, 2012 $32,536
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters American Building LLC Trumbull, CT Jul 07, 2008 $32,515
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Caldwell Industries, Inc. Lorton, VA May 14, 2010 $32,286
Strctural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Caldwell Industries, Inc. Lorton, VA Dec 10, 2010 $32,286
Metal Fabricator Americas Welding Corp. TX Feb 06, 2014 $30,971
Metal Fabricators CVC Construction, Inc. TX Mar 06, 2014 $30,846
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Crystal Window & Door Systems, Ltd. NY Oct 26, 2009 $30,800
Metal Fabricators All American Metal Fabricators Inc. Tenafly, NJ Feb 18, 2011 $30,721
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Wide Flange, Incorporated New York, NY Mar 16, 2010 $30,700
Structural Metal Fabricators and FI CCR Sheet Metal Inc. New York, NY Apr 15, 2011 $30,700
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Lupama New York, NY Mar 29, 2010 $30,700
Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Anthonys Roofing & Maint., Inc. DBA A.R.M Roofing Elmsford, NY Jan 07, 2010 $30,700

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AVERAGE SALARY FOR A Metal Fabricator

Average Yearly Salary
$34,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$21,000
Min 10%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$34,000
Median 50%
$56,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
GE
Highest Paying City
Livermore, CA
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does a Metal Fabricator make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Metal Fabricator in the United States is $34,706 per year or $17 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $21,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $56,000.

How Would You Rate The Salary Of a Metal Fabricator?

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Top Skills for A Metal Fabricator

  1. Customer Service
  2. Aluminum
  3. MIG
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Fabricated metal beams, sorted various metals, various shop up-keeping/organizing, customer service
  • Manufactured extruded aluminum evaporator coils, condenser coils, and other products for heat transfer applications.
  • Work with all ferrous and non-ferrous materials utilizing various procedures including; MIG, TIG, and stick welding.
  • Press sheet Metal, assembled, used small hand tools, cut metal, trim insulation, read blue prints
  • Fabricate custom design door frames using band saw, drill press, miter saw, grinder, and sliding table saw.

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Top 10 Best States for Metal Fabricators

  1. Maine
  2. Connecticut
  3. Wyoming
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Washington
  6. Louisiana
  7. Alaska
  8. Nevada
  9. Delaware
  10. District of Columbia
  • (9 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Top Metal Fabricator Employers

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Jobs From Top Metal Fabricator Employers

Metal Fabricator Videos

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