Are you planning on pursuing a career in the metal industry and the best paying jobs in metal fabrication? If so, this article will guide you through making the right choice.
A metal fabricator’s job is to weld metal pieces, such as steel or iron, and then combine the various parts to make a finished product.
A metal fabricator, also known as a boilermaker, is responsible for creating molds, making metal castings, and applying a finish or coating to the metal before it ships from the shop to its final destination.
It must be able to read technical specifications and blueprints and perform the necessary welding to meet those specifications.
Some fabrications are done with specialized welding equipment and computer programs, while others are done by hand by metal fabricators.
To begin your career as a metal fabricator, you must meet several requirements. Most employers usually require a high school diploma or GED certificate. Completing postsecondary education at a vocational or technical school is also advantageous.
Many metal fabricators participate in an industrial apprenticeship program. They can gain on-the-job skills and experience while receiving specialized technical education, such as how to use computer fabrication software and welding equipment.
You can also get certifications to show off your skills in a specific welding area, such as heavy or machine welding. Understanding how different metals interact is also helpful for this job.
What are the best paying jobs in metal fabrication?
From boilermakers to welders, here is a list of fifteen of the highest-paying jobs in metal fabrication. Each has its skills and challenges, but they are all in high demand now.
Without any recourse to hierarchy, if you’re thinking about a career in metal fabrication, now is the time to start!
1. Sheet metal mechanic
Talking about the best paying jobs in metal fabrication industry, Sheet metal mechanic is one that can’t be left untouched.
A sheet metal mechanic is in charge of cutting, shaping, and installing sheet metal equipment, such as roofing, drainage pipes, air conditioning systems, and ventilation ducts.
They examine an area’s blueprints and shape the sheet metal to fit the space’s exact measurements. Sheet metal mechanics cut and straighten metal, make even seams, and put the finished product together.
National average salary: $64,337 per year
Fabricators make metal parts for products, machines, and equipment. They cut, bend, shape, and file metal pieces to meet project engineering specifications.
They choose the proper tools, such as shears, drills, cutters, and soldering irons, measure completed items, inspect metal pieces for quality and consistency, and prepare pieces for delivery.
National average salary: $58,816 per year
3. Iron worker
An iron worker is in charge of shaping and installing iron and steel structures to form the framework for roads, bridges, and other structures. Iron beams, scaffolding, and rigging are heated, cut, and shaped.
Iron workers join iron pieces, reinforce them with concrete, operate heavy machinery, repair buildings, and adhere to safety regulations.
During construction, iron workers maintain their equipment, clean their tools, and record their progress.
National average salary: $51,453 per year
A millwright works with industrial machinery on a construction site or manufacturing plant. They move, assemble, set up, install, and repair industrial machinery, tools, and equipment.
Their responsibilities include reviewing schematics and blueprints, preparing individual machine parts, filing down pieces to fit into specific machines, and replacing defective pieces.
National average salary: $56,489 per year.
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5. CNC programmer
A CNC programmer is in charge of creating software for CNC machines that cut and manufacture materials such as metal sheeting automatically.
CNC programmers use schematics and program instructions to process materials and produce the required number of items.
They choose which tools to use, create a code database to incorporate into their programs, and enter their designs into CNC modeling software.
National average salary: $65,283 per year
A boilermaker is responsible for assembling and installing boilers and other large containers that transport gases and liquids.
They consult with clients about their industrial needs to determine what type of boiler to design for their building, then create schematics that meet those specifications.
They shape, bend, and seal metal to create an airtight vat that can operate safely in hot, high-pressure environments.
Boilermakers visit job sites to inspect the boiler’s gauge, adjust the pipes, and repair the boiler’s metal body.
National average salary: $65,360 per year
7. CNC machinist
A CNC machinist is in charge of operating CNC machines in industrial manufacturing plants to produce various products, such as metal components and structures.
CNC machinists follow assembly instructions, load metal materials into the CNC machine, weld pieces together, inspect and test the finished products for quality, and so on.
The CNC machinist is also in charge of maintaining the CNC machine and unloading raw materials after a production run is completed.
National average salary: $67,360 per year
8. Industrial engineer
Industrial engineers are in charge of evaluating manufacturing operations and developing efficient manufacturing systems.
Industrial engineers in the metal fabrication industry review the best way to develop metal products, including acquiring raw materials, developing production schedules, training metal fabrication employees, and reducing waste.
Industrial engineers are also in charge of improving quality control methods and increasing the productivity and efficiency of each manufacturer on the manufacturing floor.
National average salary: $74,344 per year
9. Manufacturing manager
In an industrial setting, a manufacturing manager is in charge of supervising production activities. They oversee the manufacturing team’s planning, scheduling, and inventory management activities to maximize efficiency and meet production targets.
Manufacturing managers educate employees on the proper processes and techniques for completing their specific manufacturing responsibilities.
They also provide safety training and ensure that all employees meet safety and industry compliance expectations.
National average salary: $84,931 per year
10. Construction Superintendent
Construction superintendents supervise the entire construction process for a client, including demolition, construction, and inspection.
Steel girders, scaffolding, concrete, lumber, and sheet metal are among the supplies and raw materials they obtain.
Construction managers hire and train specialists to shape and cut metal infrastructure for their buildings, and then they schedule inspectors to ensure the structural integrity of their structures.
They are also in charge of the project’s budget and timeline.
National average salary: $80,920 per year
11. Chief metallurgist
In the United States, most Chief Metallurgist salaries currently range between $66,000 (25th percentile) and $112,000 (75th percentile) per year making it one of the best paying metal fabrication jobs.
This wide range of salary potential suggests that, depending on skill level, location, and years of experience, there may be numerous opportunities for advancement and increased pay.
According to a recent ZipRecruiter job posting, the Chief Metallurgist job market in the United States is not very active, as few companies are currently hiring for this role.
You can look for jobs with more active opportunities by researching related titles.
Salary range: $66,000-$112,000 per year
12. Metallurgical engineer
A metallurgical engineer is one of the best paying jobs in metal fabrications that devises more efficient methods of extracting metal materials and producing metal products.
As a metallurgical engineer, you could work in the mining industry or for a company that uses metal products, such as automotive, aerospace, electronics, or large equipment manufacturers.
You could work in the mining industry to find environmentally friendly methods of extracting minerals from mines.
Those in the manufacturing industry may develop techniques for separating metals from other materials or converting raw metals into new alloys and metal types.
Salary range: $73,000-$91,500 per year
13. Metal analyst
Metals Analyst salaries in the United States range from $39,500 (25th percentile) to $65,000 (75th percentile) per year. Hence, as a qualified metal fabricators working as a metal analyst will fetch you a good payment.
This moderate salary range implies that pay in this role will be consistent regardless of skill level, location, or years of experience, though some advancement is possible.
According to recent ZipRecruiter job postings, the Metals Analyst job market in the United States is very active, with many companies hiring.
Salary range: $39,500-$65,000 per year
14. Rebar fabricator
As a rebar fabricator, you will be responsible for producing steel rebar for use in building construction projects by cutting, bending, tying, and performing other processes to meet project material specifications.
In this job, you read technical drawings to determine the requested rebar size, cut pieces with a rebar cutter, bend to the specified angles and dimensions using rebar bender machinery, and remeasure pieces to ensure they meet quality control standards.
Other responsibilities include adhering to and reinforcing established operational safety procedures and guidelines, delivering finished parts to production areas, and cleaning workspaces.
Salary range: $27,500-$36,000 per year
With an average salary of $80,000, welder is one of the top jobs in metal industry. Metals are joined together using heat and welding torches. You must be able to read blueprints and understand metallurgy to work as a welder.
It’s a demanding, rewarding field with numerous opportunities for advancement. However, it may be the best option for you out of this long list.
Salary range: $75,500-$80,000 per year
As the field of metal fabrication expands, so will the number of opportunities for skilled professionals and qualified metal fabricators. The above discussed are, without any doubt, the best paying jobs in metal fabrication.
Each job has challenges and rewards, so take your time and find the right one. You can have a successful and fulfilling career in metal fabrication if you have the right skills and training.
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