Is Metal Fabrication Your Next Career Move?

When you were growing up, did you enjoy taking apart objects and putting them back together? Did you like making things from cardboard, plastic, and metal offcuts? Do you want the pride you felt from assembling parts into a finished product to translate to your work? If so, a career in metal fabrication may interest you.

Discover some advantages of having a career in metal fabrication and the types of jobs that may interest you.

High Career Satisfaction

A career as a pipefitter, fabricator, or welder can provide a high level of satisfaction.

  • Create things that last and impact others’ lives.
  • Work with robots, computer numerical control (CNC) machine tools, and other advanced technology.
  • Think creatively, solve problems, and collaborate with team members.

Increasing Job Opportunities

The growing skills shortage means there are a variety of job openings in metal fabrication.

  • Not enough workers are entering the metal fabrication field to replace the workers who retire.
  • A growing economy and advancing technology mean more metal fabrication work with fewer employees to handle it.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects steady growth in in welding and sheet metal careers.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor anticipates a significant increase in fabrication job opportunities over the next decade.

Metal Fabrication Careers

Fabrication shops vary in the types of machinery they have and the fabrication they perform. The following are some available jobs and their duties:

  • Metal fabricator: Use tools to cut, bend, and form metal to the required shapes. Must be able to read engineering drawings and visualize objects in three dimensions.
  • Machinist: Operate a lathe, milling machine, or other metal-cutting machine. Must be able to read engineering drawings.
  • Press operator: Run a press brake or punch press. Must quickly produce quality work.
  • CNC machine operator: Run a laser, water jet, or plasma cutter or another machine. Must understand how the machine is programmed and how to maximize the volume of work that comes off it.
  • Welder: Prep and set up pieces in fixtures as needed. May make the fixture, use metal inert gas (MIG), tungsten inert gas (TIG), or resistance welding to join pieces. Perform post-weld clean up.
  • Robot programmer: Understand robots and know how to use programming software. May need welding experience.
  • CNC machine programmer: Produce the programs that CNC machines use.
  • Computer-aided design (CAD) engineer or designer: Take initial concepts and sketches to create drawings for the team to use on the shop floor.
  • Estimator: Determine what it will take to produce each project or job. May need substantial fabrication experience.

Find a Metal Fabrication Job

Partner with Connectology to find your first or next metal fabrication job. Visit our job board today.