What does a fabricator do?
Fabricators use different materials to create a variety of products such as buildings and heavy equipment. They cut and shape steel and other metals using tools such as band saws, chop saws, torches, and water jet cutters. They read detailed blueprints on how to construct the product. They are also responsible for improving and repairing machines that are experiencing malfunctions. Fabricators commonly use welding to from products. Most fabricators are metal fabricators who use metals such as formed metal, plate metal, and expanded metal. They also use welding wire, fittings, and castings. Some work with fiberglass and create products such as car parts and boat decks.
What kind of training does a fabricator need?
Fabricators must have at least a high school diploma and many have formal training or an associate degree in fabrication, manufacturing, or other related field. Many aspiring fabricators obtain part time jobs in manufacturing facilities to gain practical experience in the field. Most employers provide on the job training and the intensity of the training depends on the position. Fabricators working with electronic and aircraft products require more intense on the job training and classroom instruction. Most new fabricators start their career completing simple tasks and then move on to more advanced projects as they gain experience.
What are the prospects for a career as a fabricator?
Employment of fabricators is expected to decline slowly, decreasing 4% from 2006 to 2016 (1). The decrease in productivity growth and keen foreign competition in manufacturing will contribute to the job decline.
Job prospects are expected to be good for fabricators with advanced training. Numerous job openings will occur from the need to replace fabricators who retire, transfer, or leave the occupation for other reasons.
How much do fabricators make?
As of November 2009, fabricators with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $11.26 and $15.47. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average hourly rates between $14.58 and $17.62 (2).
A career as a fabricator is an excellent choice for individuals with a strong interest in manufacturing and constructing products. Fabricators must have a mechanical aptitude and a strong understanding of how things work. They must be able to follow instructions carefully and accurately and be able to work quickly. Manual dexterity, motivation, and ability to carry out repetitive and complex tasks in a quick manner are desirable characteristics. Good physical stamina is also desired because fabricators often have to lift heavy objects. Fabricators who work with small parts need to have good vision. They must also have excellent communication and be able to work as part of a team.