Can’t see yourself sitting at a desk checking email all day? Do you have a natural aptitude for mechanics and like knowing how things work or putting things together? Do you want a career where you can be creative, work with your hands, and collaborate on various projects? If this sounds like you, a metal fabrication or production job might be a great fit! Jobs in custom metal fabrication offer opportunities for skill-building and career advancement.
We Want You: Workers Are in Demand
More than 2.6 million baby boomers are expected to retire in the next decade. As more skilled workers leave the workforce, more jobs are open in fabrication and manufacturing fields. In 2018, a study from Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute found that shifting technologies, retiring workers, and a misconception about manufacturing jobs contribute to unfilled positions.
The Occupational Outlook Handbook made by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that sheet metal working, machinist, and welding jobs are expected to grow in the future. For example, the employment of machinists is expected to grow 3% from 2019 to 2029. This rate of growth is almost the same rate expected for all occupations regardless of industry.
Types of Jobs Available at Metal Fabrication Companies
People who want to work with metal and advanced technology should consider working in a fabrication shop. Most metal fabricators work 40 or more hours a week indoors at a facility. Many companies have opportunities for individuals with specialized degrees and those looking for work immediately after high school.
There are several types of sheet metal fabrication jobs out there. Each job plays a role in producing the final component parts.
- Metal fabricators cut, bend, and form sheet metal using machines and tools. Fabricators need to know how to read engineering drawings and must be able to think creatively.
- Machinists operate mills and lathes. Some machining is done manually, but machinists may also need to be familiar with CNC machines and programming.
- Press operators run press brakes or punch presses on the shop floor.
- Welders join metals through GMAW (MIG), GTAW (TIG), or spot resistance welding techniques.
- Engineers work with clients to develop drawings and blueprints that the team will use to produce the components.
- Estimators help manage client expectations by laying out the project costs and required manufacturing processes.
- General laborers assist with part production and assembly. As part of a general laborer’s job, they may handle materials and use hand and power tools.
A Rewarding Career
A career in metal fabrication can be rewarding. From car parts to outdoor furniture, you will help produce products that people rely on every day. Employees may produce components for kitchen appliances, medical equipment, airplanes, and electronics. What else makes working in a fabrication shop worthwhile?
1. No Monotony—It’s Not the Henry Ford Assembly Line
Many people have a negative perception of manufacturing jobs. According to a 2015 study by Deloitte and The Manufacturing Institute, Americans believe manufacturing is one of our most important industries; however, only 37% said they would encourage their children to get jobs in manufacturing.
When you think about manufacturing, do you picture a Henry Ford-style assembly line? Do you see people performing simple tasks over and over again? Custom metal fabrication shops don’t run like single-product factories. You won’t do the same task every day. Instead, you’ll work on a variety of projects as they come into the shop. There’s no “typical day” on the shop floor, and every project poses exciting new challenges.
2. Cross-training Gives You More Opportunities
Manufacturing often takes all hands on deck. Because of this, fabrication companies cross-train employees so they can pitch in as needed when production schedules change. Cross-training helps employees build skills outside of their job requirements, which can lead to career opportunities.
As your skills grow, you will be able to explore other roles of interest to you within the company. For example, a welder may be interested in the company’s business side and end their career working in sales. What starts as a general laborer job could transform into a full-fledged career at a fabrication company. Or you might simply take a skill home that will benefit you as a hobbyist, such as building a your own lawn furniture, trailer, or racecar.
3. A Chance to Work with Your Hands
Not everyone is cut out for all-day desk jobs. Metal fabrication work gives employees the chance to work with their hands and move around the shop floor. People who work in a fabrication shop should expect to stand for periods of time and lift or move materials when required. As an employee, you’ll produce tangible products each day, which can help you feel more satisfied with your work.
4. Think Creatively & Collaborate with Others
Collaboration is key when creating custom parts. You won’t be siloed at a metal fabrication shop. Engineers and shop floor personnel work as a team, so everyone understands the design drawings and knows how to move forward. Together, employees address challenges and find solutions to produce parts more efficiently or meet a client’s goal.
5. Make An Impact on Everyday Life
Metal fabrication work produces many of the things we take for granted in everyday life. Our world would look very different without metal fabrication shops. We wouldn’t have cars or home appliances. Food supplies and farming techniques would be affected due to less advanced agricultural equipment. Buildings and city infrastructures would change. Even things like silverware and desk lamps wouldn’t be the same!
A job at a metal fabrication shop is more than a paycheck. People who work in metal fabrication help make life happen. You can go home each night knowing you’ve helped produce parts that the world depends on to keep running.
Are you looking for metal fabrication jobs in Lebanon, MO? Are you interested in working at a metal fabrication shop?
Hone your skills at Metaltech Products. We offer competitive wages and benefits, including retirement plans, insurance options, and paid vacation. Visit our Careers page to learn more about working at Metaltech.
Ready to apply? View our job openings in Lebanon, MO to get started.