Fabrication Classes, Courses and Training Programs
Fabrication training is useful for those looking to work in manufacturing plants or machine shops. Read descriptions of some of the courses to get a feel for what you can learn in your training.
Fabrication focuses on the assembly of raw materials (typically metal) to build cars, buildings or other industrial structures. Individuals can learn this field by enrolling in diploma, certificate and associate's degree programs in fabrication. But, since fabrication is useful in many fields, the topic may be taught in programs such as automotive technology, metal fabrication welding and fashion (for jewelry fabrication).
List of Fabrication Courses
These classes represent the range of content taught in a fabrication program.
A blueprints course is one of the most basic classes in a fabrication program. Students learn how to read blueprints and technical drawings for structural fabrications and machines. This course explains the different welding symbols used in blueprints. Skills are developed in extracting a materials list, mapping out dimensions and projecting material needs or dimensions. Students also develop skills in computer-aided drafting and design techniques.
Layout and Development
This course is for fabrication students already familiar with reading blueprints. Students learn how to convert information on blueprints into actual works made of metal or other materials. Skills developed include making metal projects to scale (based off of models), forming jigs and constructing shapes. This class is given in part lecture, part lab format. Time is also spent studying quality control topics.
Welding and Fabrication Safety
Welders and fabricators work with metal, heat sources and cutting tools. As such, it is necessary to be aware of safety precautions and the correct way to dispose of materials. A welding and fabrication safety course takes students through OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements. Skills are developed in the safe handling of fabrication materials, equipment and tools. This course also covers protective gear such as eyewear and what to do in case of emergencies.
Punching and Shearing Systems
Punching and shearing machines produce weldment (metal parts) to be used in fabrication or development of structural parts. This course is intended to teach students how to use a power shear and punch. Skills are developed in the set-up and maintenance of fabrication machines, as well as the different methods used to cut metal. A punching and shearing systems course may involve field trips to industrial locations so that students can understand the variety of cutting machines used in the field.
A fabrication tools course introduces students to the various tools used in welding and fabrication careers. Students complete hands-on training using electric and air-powered tools. Skills are developed in assembling, die cutting, grinding and sanding metal parts. Students work with metal chipping, shearing, punching, drilling and polishing tools as well. This course is taught through project assignments. Students learn through practical skill-building.
A typical training program for fabrication is an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Fabrication and Welding. This associate's degree program is designed for students interested in a broad overview of welding and fabrication. It is a 2-year program with equal emphasis on all welding and fabrication processes.
A basic welding certificate requires approximately 17 semester credits. This certificate can be part of an A.A.S. program, though students who wish to earn a basic skills certificate in order to join the workforce promptly may choose to complete this certificate portion only rather than continue on through the full A.A.S. program.
The next level of fabrication certificate training is an advanced welding certificate. Also part of an A.A.S. degree program, this certificate moves from basic welding concepts to more advanced techniques. Most advanced is the pipe welder certificate. Additional courses for a pipe welding certificate amount to approximately 13 semester credits.
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