Is Metal Fabrications A Good Career Path for Graduates

Is metal fabrication a good career path? Yes, but to answer this question, we’ll have to look at the different career options in the field and what they entail.

The reason is that if you’re looking to take up a career path, it is necessary to look at the benefits and job prospects of that field.

This will help you make the right decision that will affect your entire life. So, if you’re considering taking up a job in metal fabrication, then take your time and go through every detail we’ve provided about this career path.

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What is Metal Fabrication?

Metal fabrication is the creation of products or structures by cutting, bending, and/or assembling metal material.

Put another way, metal fabrication is the creation of metal structures through cutting, bending, and assembling processes.

Examples Of Metal Fabrication Processes

1. Cutting

Cutting is one of the most common metal fabrication processes. It involves the splitting of metal sheets into halves, thirds, or smaller sections.

Most times, the metal being cut is brand new and is yet to be shaped into any specific object.
However, pre-shaped metals such as bars and measured panels are submitted for cutting in other instances.

Further, you can make cuts using a variety of machinery, ranging from lasers and plasma torches to more elaborate, high-tech machines.

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2. Casting

Casting is one of the oldest types of metal fabrication. If you want to carry out casting, first, you’ll pour molten metal into a mold and then allow it to solidify into a specific shape.

For example, you get metals like steel, iron, gold, copper, silver, and magnesium through casting.

3. Folding.

Folding is a more complicated fabrication process. This process is usually used to shape sheet metal.

4. Welding

This is another popular metal fabrication method. Welding is the process of joining two separate metal parts. Such metal parts could be sheets, panels, bars, or shapes.

5. Punching

Punching is the process of making unique holes in a piece of metal. For instance, you can punch holes into a panel of metal for the purpose of fastening latches or other foreign parts.

6. Machining

Machining is the process of using a machine to shape metal by removing unwanted material from it.

7. Shearing

Shearing is used to giving metal sheets long cuts. In other words, shearing is often used to trim down the edge of a metal sheet. However, the process may be done anywhere along with the metal

8. Stamping

Stamping is the process of forming certain shapes, letters, or images within a metal sheet or panel.

In effect, metal stamping is similar to relief carving in wood or marble. For example, you can see stamping fabrications on coins, where words, currency amounts, and the faces of presidents are stamped from each surface side.

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Is Metal Fabrications A Good Career Path?

Yes, metal fabrication is an amazing career choice but it’s not for everyone! First, there’s ongoing rapid infrastructure development in technology. As a result, there’s always a high demand for workers in the metal fabrication industry.

Secondly, there are many different paths you can take in the metal fabrication career path. From construction and heavy machinery operation to studying metallurgy, the options are many.

Here’s another good news: many metal fabrication career paths don’t require a college degree. As a result, you can get started on your career path right away without being a graduate.

On the other hand, the downside of a career in metal fabrication is the pay. Since most of the careers in metal fabrication don’t require a college education, typically it’s not well paid as some other fields.

However, jobs like Metallurgical Engineer that require a degree can pay up to $80k per year on average.

Further, metal fabrication is not designed for everyone. It is meant for those who can take up unconventional job roles.

In fact, metal fabricators deal with dangerous things every day. For example, you’ll come in contact with molten metal, sharp grinders, and saws.

Nevertheless, it’s an art that you can master. And once you’ve mastered the art and the safety rules, everything becomes clearer.

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Is Metal Fabrication A Good Career Path
: What are the Benefits of Metal Fabrication?

Exciting Job

Most custom metal fabrication shops deal with multiple products. As a result, you will not perform the same task every day.

Rather, you’ll be working on a variety of projects as they come in. So, there is no such thing as a “typical day” on the shop floor, and each project presents exciting new challenges.

Diverse Field

Most people think that career options in metal fabrication are limited, but that’s not true.

A career path in fabrication can open up a whole world of opportunities for you. For instance, you can find your way into management roles and engineering.

But if you love the innovative aspect of working with specialized welding technology, then you’ll always find a way to keep growing.

Cross-Training Opportunities

Most metal fabrication jobs are found in manufacturing. And manufacturing often takes all hands on deck.

As a result, fabrication companies cross-train employees so they can fit into any production change.

Further, cross-training will help you build skills outside of your job requirements, which can land you better roles.

Creative and Collaborative Work

Metal fabrication gives you the opportunity to collaborate with engineers. This helps everyone understand the design drawings and know-how to get on with their tasks.

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Impact People’s Lives

Many of the things we use in everyday life are made by metal fabrication workers. Without metal fabrication shops, we would not have automobiles or household appliances. The same goes for advanced agricultural equipment, buildings, and city infrastructures.

Therefore, a job at a metal fabrication shop is beyond the money. Metal fabricators play an important role in building important life utilities.

So, you can go home each night with the satisfaction that you have contributed to the production of parts that the world relies on to function.

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What are the Job Prospects for Metal Fabrication?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the overall employment of assemblers and fabricators is projected to decline by 5% from 2020 to 2030.

However, the BLS projects about 174,200 openings for assemblers and fabricators each year, on average, over the decade.

Further, all of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to other occupations. Or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

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Is Metal Fabrications a Good Career Path: How Much Can You Make From Metal Fabrication?

The average salary for a metal fabricator is $21.43 per hour in the United States. This is based on 4.5k salaries reported on indeed.com.

Further, material scientists can make average salaries of $83,000 per year. Also, Metallurgist can make an average salary of $87,000 per year.

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7 Highly Paid Metal Fabrication Career Paths for Graduates

1. Materials Scientist

Average Annual Salary: $83,000

This is one of the jobs in Metal Fabrication that requires a high school diploma. In addition, this position demands a high degree of creativity and precision.

While materials science isn’t specific to metals, they do focus on various materials used in construction and manufacturing.

Materials scientists investigate why things work the way they do and strive to improve them.

2. Metallurgist

Average Annual Salary: $87,000

Metallurgists investigate various metals and how they react in various situations and mixtures.

Certainly, metal research has practical applications, but metallurgists strive to improve on current materials and practices through research and experimentation.

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3. Metallurgical Engineer

Average Annual Salary: $83,000

You’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree to become a Metallurgical engineer. As a metallurgical engineer, you’ll work with metals, ore, and forging.

In addition, you work in doing studies to help with ease and efficiency of extraction of ore from mines. Also, you’ll help in determining what types of metals to use in what situation.

4. Millwright

Average Annual Salary: $50,000

A millwright is also called an industrial mechanic. He is a skilled tradesperson who works with industrial machinery for power plants or factories.

Your job also includes setting up, repairing, and sometimes moving complex machines. This also includes aligning the equipment with the power source, which could be a motor or even a turbine.

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5. Tool and Die Maker

Average Annual Salary: $51,000

This is a specialized machining job. Tool and die makers make tools and design dies to specifications.

Further, this requires knowledge of both machinery, tools, and materials. However, this may or may not be specialized to a specific industry or project.

6. Metal Stud Framer

Average Annual Salary: $41,000

A metal stud framer constructs houses and other structures. You’ll also be involved in sizing and cutting metal studs to specification. In addition, you’ll be involved in the construction of the wall framework and installation.

7. Mechanist

Mechanists can either make specialized items for prototypes or sensitive equipment. In addition, you can make specialized items for prototypes or sensitive equipment.

Also, you are expected to understand the limitations of their machines and the materials with which they work.

Finally, mechanists spend a good number of their time on computers.

Education Requirments for a Career in Metal Fabrication

In pursuing a career in metal fabrication, a college degree isn’t required, but it won’t hurt. Although vocational schools will provide the essential skills, the bulk of entry points into this field will be through apprenticeship programs.

However, for the highly skilled profession, a college degree can be an added advantage. Here are some college degree options for those interested in metallurgy.

  • Metallurgy: A bachelor’s degree in this field can be obtained from a suitable school, but advanced degrees aren’t usually needed.
  • Chemistry: This is useful as a metallurgical engineer, metallurgist, or materials scientist.
  • Physics: The majority of metallurgy is involved with how metals react to various forces, which is simply physics in a nutshell.

Read more: Machinist Salary in the US | How Much Does a Machinist Make in 2022?

FAQs

Is welding and fabrication a good course?

Metal fabrication is an amazing career choice but it’s not for everyone! The good part is that there’s ongoing rapid infrastructure development in technology. As a result, there’s always a high demand for workers in the metal fabrication industry.

Is welding a good career?

Many companies are looking for skilled welders, and it is one of the more secure jobs available. Aiming for safety awards and improving your skills should also be high on your priority list. Welding is not for everyone, but for those who are interested, it can be a lucrative and rewarding career.

What is the future outlook for a sheet metal worker?

Employment of sheet metal workers is projected to grow 4% from 2020 to 2030, slower than the average for all occupations. Despite limited employment growth, about 13,100 openings for sheet metal workers are projected each year, on average, over the decade.


Conclusion

The work of a metal fabricator is unconventional. It is exciting, challenging, and time-consuming. However, the end results are undeniably rewarding.

So in conclusion, metal fabrication is a good career path because of its vast employment opportunities.

Also, here’s another good news: many metal fabrication career paths don’t require a college degree. As a result, you can get started on your career path right away without being a graduate.

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