Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters
Fabricate, position, align, and fit parts of structural metal products.
Sample of reported job titles: Fabricator, Fitter, Layout Man, Mill Beam Fitter, Ship Fitter, Structural Steel Fitter, Tack Welder, Weld Technician
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Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- 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.
- Position, align, fit, and weld parts to form complete units or subunits, following blueprints and layout specifications, and using jigs, welding torches, and hand tools.
- Study engineering drawings and blueprints to determine materials requirements and task sequences.
- Set up and operate fabricating machines, such as brakes, rolls, shears, flame cutters, grinders, and drill presses, to bend, cut, form, punch, drill, or otherwise form and assemble metal components.
- Lay out and examine metal stock or workpieces to be processed to ensure that specifications are met.
- Tack-weld fitted parts together.
- Lift or move materials and finished products, using large cranes.
- Remove high spots and cut bevels, using hand files, portable grinders, and cutting torches.
- Mark reference points onto floors or face blocks and transpose them to workpieces, using measuring devices, squares, chalk, and soapstone.
- Set up face blocks, jigs, and fixtures.
- Position or tighten braces, jacks, clamps, ropes, or bolt straps, or bolt parts in position for welding or riveting.
- Locate and mark workpiece bending and cutting lines, allowing for stock thickness, machine and welding shrinkage, and other component specifications.
- Erect ladders and scaffolding to fit together large assemblies.
- Design and construct templates and fixtures, using hand tools.
- Hammer, chip, and grind workpieces to cut, bend, and straighten metal.
- Straighten warped or bent parts, using sledges, hand torches, straightening presses, or bulldozers.
- Smooth workpiece edges and fix taps, tubes, and valves.
- Preheat workpieces to make them malleable, using hand torches or furnaces.
- Heat-treat parts, using acetylene torches.
- Install boilers, containers, and other structures.
- Direct welders to build up low spots or short pieces with weld.
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- Computer aided design CAD software — Computer aided design and drafting CADD software; Dassault Systemes CATIA
- Data base user interface and query software — Data entry software
- Electronic mail software — Microsoft Outlook
- Enterprise resource planning ERP software
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
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- Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
- Mathematics — Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Building and Construction — Knowledge of materials, methods, and the tools involved in the construction or repair of houses, buildings, or other structures such as highways and roads.
- Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
- English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
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- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
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- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Multilimb Coordination — The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Static Strength — The ability to exert maximum muscle force to lift, push, pull, or carry objects.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without “giving out” or fatiguing.
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- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Operating Vehicles, Mechanized Devices, or Equipment — Running, maneuvering, navigating, or driving vehicles or mechanized equipment, such as forklifts, passenger vehicles, aircraft, or watercraft.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Materials — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling materials.
- Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
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Detailed Work Activities
- Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
- Align parts or workpieces to ensure proper assembly.
- Lift materials or workpieces using cranes or other lifting equipment.
- Operate welding equipment.
- Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
- Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
- Operate grinding equipment.
- Operate cutting equipment.
- Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
- Lay out parts to prepare for assembly.
- Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.
- Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
- Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
- Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
- Construct patterns, templates, or other work aids.
- Design templates or patterns.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Shape metal workpieces with hammers or other small hand tools.
- Assemble electromechanical or hydraulic systems.
- Direct operational or production activities.
- Reshape metal workpieces to established specifications.
- Heat material or workpieces to prepare for or complete production.
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- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 95% responded “Every day.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 72% responded “Every day.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 68% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable
- Structured versus Unstructured Work
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 55% responded “Extremely important.”
- Indoors, Not Environmentally Controlled — 66% responded “Every day.”
- Responsible for Others’ Health and Safety — 53% responded “High responsibility.”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 58% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Contact With Others — 40% responded “Contact with others most of the time.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results
- Time Pressure — 40% responded “Every day.”
- Extremely Bright or Inadequate Lighting — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 16% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 46% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Duration of Typical Work Week — 55% responded “40 hours.”
- Exposed to Contaminants — 56% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Equipment — 50% responded “Every day.”
- Very Hot or Cold Temperatures — 28% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 59% responded “Very important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 43% responded “Very important.”
- Spend Time Standing — 15% responded “About half the time.”
- Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 12% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Telephone — 44% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 49% responded “Moderately close (at arm’s length).”
- Deal With External Customers — 37% responded “Important.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 40% responded “Important.”
- In an Open Vehicle or Equipment — 26% responded “Every day.”
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — 49% responded “Never.”
- Outdoors, Exposed to Weather — 29% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
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|Title||Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed|
|Education||Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate’s degree.|
|Related Experience||Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include hydroelectric production managers, travel guides, electricians, agricultural technicians, barbers, court reporters, and medical assistants.|
|SVP Range||(6.0 to < 7.0)|
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Percentage of Respondents
|Education Level Required|
|47||High school diploma or equivalent
|17||Some college, no degree|
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Interest code: RC Want to discover your interests? Take the O*NET Interest Profiler at My Next Move.
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
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- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others’ needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Self-Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
- Independence — Job requires developing one’s own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
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- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
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Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2020)||$20.09 hourly, $41,780 annual|
|Employment (2020)||70,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2020-2030)||Decline (-1% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2020-2030)||5,900|
|Top industries (2020)||
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020 wage data and 2020-2030 employment projections . “Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2020-2030). “Projected job openings” represent openings due to growth and replacement.
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Job Openings on the Web
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Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- American Welding Society
- Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International
- International Association of Bridge, Structural, Ornamental and Reinforcing Iron Workers
- International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
- Metal Treating Institute
- Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs
- Occupational Outlook Handbook: Assemblers and fabricators
- United Steelworkers
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