Career Definition for a Precision Metal Fitting Technician
The job of a precision metal fitting technician is a highly skilled one where practitioners assemble complex parts or whole items and check the alignment, making fitting adjustments as needed. Precision metal fitting technicians work from blueprints or other printed plans. They are often found in manufacturing industries.
|Education||High school diploma or equivalent required, certificates and associate degrees available|
|Job Skills||Detail-oriented, physical stamina, excellent vision|
|Median Salary (2017)||$31,850 for assemblers and fabricators|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)||-14% for assemblers and fabricators|
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A high school diploma or General Educational Development (GED) equivalent is required before an aspiring precision metal fitting technician can apply for apprenticeship programs or entry-level positions. Some technicians may obtain certificates or associate's degrees through local community colleges or vocational schools. On-the-job training is common; additional training may be required for career advancement.
Precision metal fitting technicians are accurate, fast and detail-oriented workers who know how to read blueprints. Good vision is key, as well as the physical stamina necessary to work under factory conditions.
Wages for precision metal fitting technicians can vary widely based on skills, experience and region, as well as the scope and nature of the work. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the median annual salary for assemblers and fabricators, including precision metal fitting technicians, was $31,850 in May 2017 (www.bls.gov). From 2016-2026, the BLS projected a 14% decrease in employment opportunities for these workers.
Alternate Career Options
Here are a few other ideas for careers in metal fitting:
Machinists and Tool and Die Makers
Machinists use grinders, lathes and milling machines to craft precision components from metal. Their work is similar to that of tool and die makers who make cutting and shaping tools or metal forms. Hiring requirements include a high school diploma or its equivalent; secondary school students may benefit from courses in blueprint reading, drafting, math and metalworking. Certification programs can be found through colleges and state apprenticeship boards.
The BLS reports that machinists earned a median annual wage of $42,600 in May 2017. Tool and die makers earned a median salary of $52,480 during the same month. Opportunities for employment for machinists are projected to grow by 2%, while job openings for tool and die makers will shrink by 7% between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov).
Medical Appliance Technicians
Medical appliance technicians make, fit and fix arch supports, braces, orthotics and prosthetics and other support appliances and devices. According to the Occupational Information Network (ONET), future technicians usually train on the job or pursue an associate degree at a vocational school; a little more than a fourth of technicians had completed some college in 2016. Nationwide, employment prospects are projected to grow faster than average through 2026. As of 2017, medical appliance technicians were paid a median annual salary of $37,190 (www.onetonline.org).