Metal Fabricators mark off and fabricate structural steel and other metal stock to make or repair metal products and structures such as boilers and pressure vessels.
Specialisations: Boilermaker-Welder, Brass Finisher, Metal Fabricator-Welder, Metal Template Maker, Structural Steel Trades Worker.
A certificate III in engineering (fabrication trade) is usually needed to work as a Metal Fabricator.
Studies blueprints, drawings and specifications to determine job requirements.
Selects, cleans and prepares metal stock.
Cuts marked out metal sections and shapes using hand tools, flame cutting torches and metal cutting machines.
Shapes and bends metal sections and pipes using hand and machine tools, and by heating and hammering.
Aligns parts to be joined using hand tools and measuring instrument.
Joins metal sections using various welding techniques, bolting and riveting.
Examines welds for width of bead, penetration and precision.
Cleans and smoothes welds by filing, chiselling and grinding.
Vocational Education and Training (VET)
JSA produces employment projections to show where likely future job opportunities may be. Employment projections data are only produced for occupations at the broad four digit Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) level. While data are not available for this occupation, projections data are available for the parent occupation, Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers, under the outlook section.
Earnings and hours
Around 93% of people employed as Metal Fabricators work full-time hours, in all their jobs combined. This is 27 percentage points above the all jobs average (66%).
Full-time workers work an average of 47 hours per week in their main job. This is 3 hours more than the all jobs average (44 hours per week).
Sources:Full-time share and full-time hours: ABS, 2016 Census, customised report. Compared to the all jobs average.
Metal Fabricators work in industries like:
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report.
Employment across Australia
Employment by State and Territory (% Share)
|State||Metal Fabricators||All Jobs Average|
Around 61% of Metal Fabricators live outside of capital cities, compared with the all jobs average of 38%.
Western Australia and Queensland have a large share of employment relative to their population size.
The regions with the largest share of workers are:
- Perth - South West
- Perth - South East
- Hunter Valley (excluding Newcastle)
- Mackay - Isaac - Whitsunday
- Central Queensland.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian states, territories and regions, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Age and gender
The median age of Metal Fabricators is 37 years. This is similar to the all jobs average of 40 years.
A large share of workers are aged 25 to 34 years.
Females make up 1% of the workforce. This is 47 percentage points below the all jobs average of 48%.
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile and gender share compared to the all jobs average.
Age Profile (% Share)
|Age Bracket||Metal Fabricators||All Jobs Average|
|65 and Over||2.0||4.2|
Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
Education, training and experience
A certificate III in engineering (fabrication trade) is usually needed to work as a Metal Fabricator.
- My Skills to compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes.
- AAPathways website to explore Manufacturing and Metal and Engineering VET training pathways.
Highest Level of Education (% Share)
|Type of Qualification||Metal Fabricators||All Jobs Average|
|Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate||0.2||10.1|
|Year 10 and below||6.2||12.5|
Source: ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
Skills and Knowledge
Employers look for Structural Steel and Welding Trades Workers who are reliable, work well in a team and who have good people skills.
Skills can be improved through training or experience.
Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
37%Coordination with others
Being adaptable and coordinating work with other people.
Keeping track of how well work is progressing so you can make changes or improvements.
Talking to others.
36%Quality control analysis
Doing tests and checking products, services, or processes to make sure they are working properly.
Reading work related information.
34%Judgment and decision making
Figuring out the pros and cons of different options and choosing the best one.
34%Operation and control
Controlling equipment or systems.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Managing your own and other peoples' time to get work done.
Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
Understanding why people react the way they do.
32%Complex problem solving
Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
Talking people into changing their minds or their behaviour.
Figuring out why a machine or system went wrong and working out what to do about it.
29%Management of personnel resources
Motivating, developing, and directing people as they work, and choosing the best people for the job.
Teaching people how to do something.
Looking for ways to help people.
Being able to use what you have learnt to solve problems now and again in the future.
Deciding on the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.
67%Building and construction
Materials, and methods used to construct or repair houses, buildings, or other structures like highways and roads.
Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Design techniques, tools, and principles used to make detailed technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
Arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics.
49%Engineering and technology
Use engineering, science and technology to design and produce goods and services.
48%Production and processing
Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.
English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
42%Administration and management
Business principles involved in strategic planning, leadership, and coordinating people and resources.
42%Education and training
Curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
38%Customer and personal service
Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.
Moving people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road.
The physical laws of matter, motion and energy, and how they interact through space and time.
34%Public safety and security
Use of equipment, rules and ideas to protect people, data, property, and institutions.
28%Personnel and human resources
Recruiting and training people, managing pay and other entitlements (like sick leave), and negotiating pay and conditions.
Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.
27%Computers and electronics
Circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office work.
19%Law and government
How our laws and courts work. Government rules and regulations, and the political system.
Transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
17%Medicine and dentistry
Diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities, including preventive health-care measures.
Workers use these physical and mental abilities..
Imagine how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
Quickly change the controls of a machine, car, truck or boat.
Keep your hand or arm steady.
Use your arms and/or legs at the same time while sitting, standing, or lying down.
See details that are up-close (within a few feet).
Come up with different ways of grouping things.
Use general rules to find answers or solve problems logically.
Put together small parts with your fingers.
Quickly move your hand to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
Listen to and understand what people say.
Communicate by speaking.
Notice when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong, even if you can't solve the problem.
Pay attention to something without being distracted.
43%Sorting or ordering
Order or arrange things in a pattern or sequence (e.g., numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Lift, push, pull, or carry things.
Read and understand written information.
Use lots of detailed information to come up with answers or make general rules.
Use your abdominal and lower back muscles a number of times without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
Speak clearly so others can understand you.
Identify and understand the speech of another person.
These are kinds of activities workers regularly do in this job.
73%Handling and moving objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, moving and manipulating objects.
72%Controlling equipment or machines
Operating machines or processes either directly or using controls (not including computers or vehicles).
56%Monitoring people, processes and things
Checking objects, actions, or events, and keeping an eye out for problems.
54%Doing physically active work
Use your arms, legs and whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling objects.
53%Checking for errors or defects
Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials for errors, problems or defects.
52%Making decisions and solving problems
Using information to work out the best solution and solve problems.
51%Building good relationships
Building good working relationships and keeping them over time.
49%Driving vehicles or equipment
Running, manoeuvring, navigating, or driving things like forklifts, vehicles, aircraft, or water craft.
49%Keeping your knowledge up-to-date
Keeping up-to-date with technology and new ideas.
Using your own ideas for developing, designing, or creating something new.
47%Drafting, laying out, and specifying parts
Detailing and describing how devices, parts or equipment are to be made, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.
46%Researching and investigating
Looking for, getting and understanding different kinds of information.
45%Working with mechanical equipment
Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment.
44%Communicating within a team
Giving information to co-workers by telephone, in writing, or in person.
44%Looking for changes over time
Comparing objects, actions, or events. Looking for differences between them or changes over time.
40%Collecting and organising information
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or checking information or data.
38%Checking compliance with standards
Deciding whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
38%Assessing and evaluating things
Working out the value, importance, or quality of things, services or people.
36%Coordinating the work of a team
Getting members of a group to work together to finish a task.
35%Planning and prioritising work
Deciding on goals and putting together a detailed plan to get the work done.
Interests and demands
Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.
Interests are the style or type of work we prefer to do. All interest areas are shown below.
Practical, hands-on work. Often with plants and animals, or materials like wood, tools, and machinery.
Following set procedures and routines. Working with numbers and details more than with ideas, usually following rules.
Ideas and thinking. Searching for facts and figuring out problems in your head.
Working with forms, designs and patterns. Often need self-expression and can be done without following rules.
Starting up and carrying out projects. Leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes require risk taking and often deal with business.
Working with people. Helping or providing service to others.
Supportive management that stands behind employees. Workers are treated fairly by their company, they are supported by management, and have supervisors who train them well.
Serve and work with others. Workers usually get along well with each other, do things to help other people, and are rarely pressured to do things that go against their sense of right and wrong.
Job security and good working conditions. There is usually a steady flow of interesting work, and the pay and conditions are generally good.
Results oriented. Workers are able to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.
Work alone and make decisions. Workers are able to try out their own ideas, make decisions on their own, and work with little or no supervision.
Advancement and the potential to lead. Workers are recognised for the work that they do, they may give directions and instructions to others, and they are looked up to in their company and their community.
97%Wear common protective or safety equipment
Wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets.
Talk with people face-to-face.
91%Freedom to make decisions
Have freedom to make decision on your own.
90%Loud or uncomfortable sounds
Be exposed to noises and sounds that are distracting or uncomfortable.
Have freedom to decide on tasks, priorities, and goals.
88%Being exact or accurate
Be very exact or highly accurate.
88%Health and safety of others
Take responsibility for the health and safety of others.
88%Indoors, not heat controlled
Work indoors without heating or cooling (e.g., warehouse without heat).
87%Using your hands to handle, control, or feel
Spend time using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls.
84%Contact with people
Have contact with people by telephone, face-to-face, or any other way.
Work to strict deadlines.
83%Impact of decisions
Make decisions that have a large impact on other people.
82%Bright or inadequate lighting
Work in extremely bright or dark lighting conditions.
80%Frequent decision making
Frequently make decisions that impact other people.
80%Responsible for outcomes
Take responsibility for the results of other people's work.
78%Exposure to contaminants
Be exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours.
Work near dangerous equipment like saws, machinery with open moving parts, or moving traffic.
74%Very hot or cold temperatures
Work in very hot or cold temperatures.
Work with people in a group or team.
72%Lead or coordinate a team
Lead others to do work activities.
O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-2041.00 - Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters.
Links and downloads
Research and reports
The Skills Priority List provides a current labour market rating and a future demand rating for nearly 800 occupations nationally. Current labour market ratings are available for occupations at a state and territory level.
Occupation profiles data are available for download.
The Employment Projections are available for download.