If you like working with your hands, machines, and tools, a career as a structural fabricator may be a good fit for you. This is especially true if you get satisfaction from seeing your work in large scale applications. Structural fabricators are essential in shipyards. If you think working with metal and building ships is the career you’ve always wanted, here are some of the things you need to know.
Anyone interested in a career as a structural fabricator must first have a high school diploma or GED. This may be enough for a lot of structural metal fabrication jobs, but some additional education may be necessary for career advancement. Certifications, associate’s degrees, or even bachelor’s degrees are required by some employers.
Apprenticeships or Vocational Training
What you will need is some level of vocational training as a fabricator, which can come from post-secondary education or an apprenticeship. The actual requirements will vary between employers. Finding a program in your area can help you determine the best avenue to obtain the right experience.
License and Certification
In most cases, licenses aren’t required, but they are recommended. This could vary based on the individual employer. There are several organizations to consider talking with, such as the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association International (FMA), or the obtaining Precision Sheet Metal Operator Certification (PSMO).
Soft skills, which are different than the practical knowledge you bring to the table, are always critical for any job. Essential soft skills you should bring to the table include:
- Listening Skills
- Critical Thinking
- Situational Awareness
- Attention to Safety
The practical knowledge and experience you need when considering a career as a structural fabricator can include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Math skills
- An understanding of design
- Mechanical acumen
- Building and construction experience