Structural Metal Fabricator/Fitter  What They Do

Just the Facts


Structural Metal Fabricators and Fitters Career Video



Fabricates, positions, aligns, and fits parts of structural metal products.

This career is part of the Architecture and Construction cluster Construction pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Verifies conformance of workpieces to specifications, using squares, rulers, and measuring tapes.
  • Aligns and fits parts according to specifications, using jacks, turnbuckles, wedges, drift pins, pry bars, and hammers.
  • Moves parts into position, manually or with hoists or cranes.
  • Positions, aligns, fits, and welds parts to form complete units or subunits, following blueprints and layout specifications, and using jigs, welding torches, and hand tools.
  • Studies engineering drawings and blueprints to determine materials requirements and task sequences.
  • Sets up and operates 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.
  • Tack-welds fitted parts together.
  • Lays out and examines metal stock or workpieces to be processed to ensure that specifications are met.
  • Lifts or moves materials and finished products, using large cranes.
  • Removes high spots and cuts bevels, using hand files, portable grinders, and cutting torches.

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 50 lbs., sometimes up to 100 lbs. You will need a lot of strength at this level.
  • Work in this occupation involves bending or twisting your body more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Exposure to pollutants, gases, dust, fumes, odors, poor ventilation, etc.
  • Lighting is either extremely bright or inadequate
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to conditions such as high voltage electricity, combustibles, explosives, and chemicals more than once a month
  • Exposed to hazardous equipment such as saws, machinery, or vehicular traffic more than once a month
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Lifting, pushing, pulling, or carrying objects
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Regular working hours and limited travel

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Ship Fitter -- Lays out and fabricates metal structural parts, for example plates, bulkheads, and frames, and braces them in position within hull of ship for riveting or welding.
  • Welder -- Operates welding equipment to weld ferrous and non-ferrous metals.