The job of a metal fabricator involves cutting and welding metals into designs outlined in blueprints and technical drawings. To become a metal fabricator, it is important to be able to read and interpret drawings. Would-be metal fabricators should have a welding certificate, as this is the qualification that employers usually require. Between one and five years of work experience is required, and trainees are encouraged to work with experienced welders. Although certification is not strictly necessary, taking classes at workshops and achieving certification through exams is likely to increase the earnings of someone who wants to become a metal fabricator.
A metal fabricator uses a number of techniques, such as welding and blacksmithing, to form metal. To become a metal fabricator, it is necessary to possess a variety of skills, including reading and deciphering blueprints and engineering drawings. Other talents include the ability to cut metal into precise shapes and weld it to the exact specifications of the blueprints.
A minimum of a high school diploma or GED equivalent is usually required to become a metal fabricator. Aspiring metal fabricators should pursue a welding certification program instead of college. The purpose of the welding certificate is to prepare students to work as a metal fabricators with any of a number of manufacturing companies. The certificate covers topics such as shielded metal arc welding, blueprints and designs in welding, and gas metal arc welding. Health and safety courses are also an important part of this program.
To become a metal fabricator, it is important to have at least one year, and preferably five years, experience in metal fabrication and welding. The welding certificate program offers this experience. It is also possible to receive on-the-job training from a company as an entry-level employee. There are companies that allow trainees to work alongside experienced metal fabricators who teach them important aspects of the job.
In most nations, welding certification is not a legal requirement for becoming a metal fabricator. There are organizations that offer certification, however, and qualifications like this are looked upon favorably by employers. Some qualifications involve examinations, and successful completion may result in a credential, such as certified welding inspector, being issued. A qualification such as this increases earning potential.
It is a good idea for those hoping to become a metal fabricator to attend workshops on assembling and welding. Technical and vocational schools host these workshops, which can provide aspiring metal fabricators with valuable knowledge. Areas such as quality control and crew management are also among the topics covered.