Career summary

Details for Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters


Description

Fabricate, lay out, position, align, and fit parts of structural metal products.

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

Interests

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

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

Knowledge

  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mechanical - Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • 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.

Skills

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