Nature of the Job:
A steel fabricator creates and assembles metal products that would be used in the construction of buildings, bridges, automobiles, ships and airplanes. The steel fabricator ensures that the metal parts would fit perfectly with each other and conforms to the specified sizes and thicknesses.
The responsibilities for this job vary. While many steel fabricators is focus in the production of small metal components needed in electronic equipments, others specialize in the production of large metal panels and connecting it together with fasteners or welding.
- Operates fabricating machines, such as brakes, rolls, shears, flame cutters, and drill presses.
- Bends and straighten metal by hammering, chipping and grinding it.
- Uses hand torch or furnace to pre-heat workpieces.
- Fits and welds metal parts together.
- Designs and creates templates and fixtures.
- Checks if a workpiece meets the specifications by using square, ruler, and measuring tape.
- May fabricate and assemble sheet metal products.
- May set up and operate machine tools associated with fabricating shops, such as radial drill press, end mill, and edge planer.
Education and Training Requirements:
A steel fabricator has to have skills in welding, soldering and metallurgy. She needs the ability to interpret blueprints and technical drawings to correctly assemble products. Acumen in math is required to calculate temperance and adjust construction angles. Skills in reading complex instructions are required. Oral communication abilities are needed to effectively work with other steel fabricators since much of the manufacturing process involves teamwork.
Skills and Competency Requirements:
Those who want to work as steel fabricators should have mechanical skills as they would operate different plant machineries. As they would often measure thickness and sizes of metals, basic knowledge of trigonometry is also required. A skill in welding, metallurgy and soldering is a must.
A steel fabricator would often assemble metal pieces based on a blueprint so he needs to be able to interpret this technical drawing and understand complex instructions.
A steel fabricator usually works in a manufacturing or production plant. The environment is noisy and the air quality may not be safe without gears because of the petroleum products they used to lubricate equipments.
For safety purposes and to avoid health hazards, this job requires protective eye wear, dust-resistant mouth and nose shields or welding masks.