Skip to content
Logo Careeronestop
careeronestop
your source for career exploration, training & jobs
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
A proud partner of the american job center network.

Occupation Profile

Learn details about any occupation including what you might do on the job, how much you might earn, and how much education or training you might need.

Get started by entering a keyword for a career, a job title, or a type of work in the box below. Then enter your location and click "Search". Or, click "List of Occupations" to select from a list of careers.

Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters
Show More

Select items to add to your view

Overview


Employment


Wages

Education





Job Details






More Info


= not available for this occupation
Description: what do they do?
Fabricate, position, align, and fit parts of structural metal products.
Also known as:
Fabricator, Fitter, Fitter, Welder, Layout Man, Mill Beam Fitter, Ship Fitter, Structural Steel Fitter, Tack Welder, Weld Technician, Welder-Fabricator

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
    Transcript: 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.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Please note that this does not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different outlooks due to the rapidly changing economy. When new outlook information is developed, it will be reflected here.

    Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings". This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET Bright Outlook occupations and My Next Move career outlook designations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Vermont
40
2018 Employment
40
2028 Employment
0%
Percent change
0
Annual projected job openings
United States
78,500
2019 Employment
66,000
2029 Employment
-16%
Percent change
5,600
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2018 (for states) or 2019 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2028 (for states) or 2029 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    Please note that these projections do not account for the impacts of the current pandemic. Many occupations are likely to have very different projections due to the rapidly changing economy. When revised data are available, they will be published here.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2018-28.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2019-29.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters in Vermont
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationVermontUnited States
10%$29,970$27,530
25%$40,200$33,290
Median$44,740$40,390
75%$48,830$50,130
90%$52,650$61,500


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, May 2019 survey. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2019.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2018.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • 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.
  • Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
  • Operate welding equipment.
  • Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
  • Operate grinding equipment.
  • Operate cutting equipment.
  • Inspect metal, plastic, or composite products.
  • Lay out parts to prepare for assembly.
  • Smooth metal surfaces or edges.
  • Draw guide lines or markings on materials or workpieces using patterns or other references.
  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
  • Assemble temporary equipment or structures.
  • Design templates or patterns.
  • Shape metal workpieces with hammers or other small hand tools.
  • Construct patterns, templates, or other work aids.
  • 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.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • 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.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • 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.
  • Study engineering drawings and blueprints to determine materials requirements and task sequences.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tack-weld fitted parts together.
  • Lay out and examine metal stock or workpieces to be processed to ensure that specifications are met.
  • 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.
  • Erect ladders and scaffolding to fit together large assemblies.
  • Locate and mark workpiece bending and cutting lines, allowing for stock thickness, machine and welding shrinkage, and other component specifications.
  • Design and construct templates and fixtures, using hand tools.
  • Hammer, chip, and grind workpieces to cut, bend, and straighten metal.
  • Install boilers, containers, and other structures.
  • Direct welders to build up low spots or short pieces with weld.
  • 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.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.