Metal fabricators cut, shape, join and finish metal to make, maintain or repair metal products and structures. They may produce moulds or patterns for metal castings, apply coatings and work with a variety of materials.
What do Metal Fabricators do?
A metal fabricator may perform the following tasks:
- examine detailed drawings or specifications to find out job, material and equipment requirements
- cut, roll, shape, bend, mould, spin, heat or hammer metal products to fabricate parts or sub-assemblies
- heat treat metal parts and components
- set up and/or operate hand and machine tools, welding equipment or computer numerically controlled (CNC) machines
- assemble parts and structures by lining up and joining them by welding, bolting or riveting
- finish products by cleaning, polishing, filing or bathing them in acid solutions, or by applying protective or decorative coatings
With experience and further study, competent tradespeople can upgrade their qualifications to technician, associate, technologist or engineer level.
How do I become a Metal Fabricator?
To become a Metal Fabricator you usually have to complete an Apprenticeship in Engineering – Fabrication Trade. Entry requirements may vary but employers generally require a minimum of Year 10. Training is usually both on and off the job. The off-the-job training is provided through Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s), including Group Training Companies. Details of the training may vary depending on the needs of the employer and are finalised as part of the training agreement.
Qualifying as a Metal Fabricator involves:
- Three to Four years commitment
- Attending paid work with a “host employer” for the duration of the apprenticeship
- Attending off-the-job training at an RTO
Ideal Personal Requirements to be a Metal Fabricator include:
- Enjoy technical activities
- Interested in computer programmable machinery
- Strength to handle materials, tools and machines
- Good hand-eye coordination
- Patient and safety conscious