Some manufacturing workers like their jobs super-sized. Structural metal fabricators and fitters construct enormous metal objects, from tanks and water towers, to frames for buildings and bridges. Though the projects can be massive, the work is quite precise. Following blueprints or drawings, they develop patterns to build metal parts. They use a broad array of hand, electric, and hydraulic tools to align and fit parts to specifications. They use special machinery to cut the metal into the required pieces or plates. Other equipment is used to punch, roll, or straighten the pieces before they are fastened together. After determining the sequence of tasks needed to fit all the parts together, they weld, bolt, or rivet the units to assemble parts into a whole. They may operate hoists or cranes to move large parts. Fabricators and fitters often work indoors in huge, noisy environments. Installation at outdoor construction sites may require work in extreme temperatures. Some jobs may also require being away from home for long periods of time. A high school diploma usually meets the requirements to get a job as a helper, or to enter a training program or apprenticeship for this career. Math, construction, and mechanical knowledge are a foundation in this field. You need to be in good physical condition to handle the heavy lifting and climbing this career demands. Many tasks are performed high up on scaffolds or in cramped spaces. Fabricators and fitters need to be able to use their tools and machines steadily and surely at any height. Protective gear is usually required. Metal is a versatile, durable material that can be bent and formed into just about any shape. Fabricators and fitters have the satisfaction of knowing that what they create today will still be in use for generations.
What they do:
Fabricate, position, align, and fit parts of structural metal products.
On the job, you would:
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.
Engineering and Technology
building and construction
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
Hand and Finger Use
keep your arm or hand steady
hold or move items with your hands
quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat
use your arms and/or legs together while sitting, standing, or lying down
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
Concern for Others
You might use software like this on the job:
Computer aided design CAD software
Computer aided design and drafting CADD software
Data base user interface and query software
Data entry software
high school diploma/GED or certificate after high school usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.