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Apprenticeship

Metal Fabricator (Fitter)

Metal fabricators (fitters) lay out, prepare and assemble structural steel and steel vessels, containers and miscellaneous components.

  • Avg. Salary $64,714.00
  • Avg. Wage $30.55
  • Minimum Education Apprenticeship
  • Outlook N/A
Also Known As

Fitter, Steel Worker

NOC & Interest Codes
The Metal Fabricator (Fitter) is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Structural Metal and Platework Fabricators and Fitters
NOC code: 7263
OBJECTIVE

Interest in setting up and operating heavy-duty metalworking machines such as brake presses, shears, cutting torches, grinders and drills, including computer numerical control (CNC) equipment, to bend, cut, form, punch, drill and otherwise form heavy metal components

METHODICAL

Interest in forming heavy metal components using heavy-duty metalworking machines, in assembling components to form subunits and complete units, and in installing fabricated components in final products

INNOVATIVE

Interest in compiling information to determine materials required, and to construct patterns and templates as guides for layouts

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Metal fabricators (fitters) fabricate structural components for buildings, bridges and other load-carrying structures, and plates for tanks, boilers, pressure vessels and similar products.

On a typical project, metal fabricators (fitters):

  • review drawings and discuss them with management or the customer
  • plan the sequence of tasks and decide how to cut steel most efficiently
  • determine the materials required and obtain them from stock
  • develop or mark patterns if required
  • use metal-working machines and cutting torches to cut steel, drill or punch holes, and roll, bend or press steel into desired shapes
  • assemble and fit metal sections and plates together to form complete units or sub-units
  • fasten components together (by mechanical means or tack weld) in preparation for a welder to complete the fabrication process.
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Metal fabricators (fitters) usually work indoors in shops. They work a 40 hour week with some overtime required to meet project deadlines. There is some risk of injury when working with heavy materials and power tools.

Metal fabricators (fitters) may be required to lift and move items that weigh over 25 kilograms.

  • Strength Required Lift over 20 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Metal fabricators (fitters) need the following characteristics:

  • good organizational skills
  • physical strength and stamina
  • good co-ordination and manual dexterity
  • mechanical aptitude
  • the ability to work in close quarters.

They should enjoy work that is physically demanding.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 17, 2017

To work in Alberta, a metal fabricator (fitter) must be ONE of the following:

  • a registered apprentice
  • an Alberta-certified journeyperson
  • someone who holds a recognized related trade certificate  
  • someone who works for an employer who is satisfied that the worker has the skills and knowledge expected of certified journeyperson
  • self-employed. 

To register with Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training, apprentices must:

  • have an Alberta high school transcript with at least English Language Arts 10-2 and Math 10-3, or equivalent, or a pass mark in all 5 GED tests, or pass an entrance exam.
  • find a suitable employer who is willing to hire and train an apprentice. Most employers prefer to hire high school graduates. Courses in math are particularly important.

The term of apprenticeship is 3 years (three 12 month periods) that include a minimum of 1,560 hours of on-the-job training and 8 weeks of technical training each year. High school students can earn credits toward apprenticeship training and a high school diploma at the same time through the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP).

Applicants who have related training or work experience may be eligible for credit or certification.

Metal fabricator (fitter) apprentices may take the interprovincial exam in the final period of their apprenticeship training to earn a Red Seal (certification recognized in most parts of Canada).

Technical training is arranged by Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training and is currently offered at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton.

For more information, visit the Technical Training Centre on the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 17, 2017

This is an Apprenticeship trade. For full details, see the related certification profile

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Metal fabricators (fitters) are employed by manufacturing companies and commercial construction and repair shops in the steel fabrication and oil industries. Employment is year-round, but employment prospects are affected by changes in the oil and construction industries.

Experienced metal fabricators (fitters) may advance to supervisory positions. Alberta certified journeyperson metal fabricators (fitters) who have the supervisory or management skills required by industry may apply for an Achievement in Business Competencies Blue Seal by contacting Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training.

Metal fabricators (fitters) are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7235: Structural Metal and Platework Fabricators and Fitters. In Alberta, 80% of people employed in this classification work in the Manufacturing (PDF) industry.

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the manufacturing industry)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth(work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Journeyperson wage rates vary but generally range from $28 to $40 an hour plus benefits (2014 estimates). Apprentice metal fabricators (fitters) earn at least 60% of the journeyperson wage rate in their place of employment in the first year, 75% in the second and 90% in the third.

Metal fabricators (fitters) are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 7235: Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters. 

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters occupational group earned on average from $25.11 to $35.54 an hour. The overall average wage was $30.55 an hour. For more information, see the Structural metal and platework fabricators and fitters wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Trades, Manufacturing and Transportation
    • Fabrication
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 17, 2017

Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training website: tradesecrets.alberta.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Mar 31, 2015. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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