Career Options Involving Metal Work
There are a number of career options for individuals who have a desire to work with metal. The majority of these jobs involve some sort of construction or building, as metalworkers often are responsible for building parts and systems out of different types of metal and performing maintenance and repairs as necessary. We will look at five different career options, below, that involve working with metal.
|Job Title||Average Salary (2016)*||Job Growth (2014-2024)*|
|Welder, Cutter, Solderer, and Brazer||$39,390||4%|
|Metal and Plastic Machine Worker||$34,840||-13%|
|Sheet Metal Worker||$46,940||7%|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
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Career Information for Jobs Involving Metal Work
Welder, Cutter, Solderer, and Brazer
Welders, cutters, solderers, and brazers all work with metal parts in various ways, either by cutting them, joining them together, or repairing them. These professionals work in a variety of different fields, from automotive manufacturing to construction and engineering. To become one of these professionals, you will need a high school diploma along with on-the-job training. You could also attend a vocational school to receive specific technical training in welding and other types of metalworking.
Metal and Plastic Machine Worker
Metal and plastic machine workers are responsible for operating different types of machines that form and cut pieces of metal, as well as plastic. They read blueprints that specify the designs, set up machines to cut metal to the correct specifications, and then supervise the process to make sure everything is running smoothly. Although growth in this career, overall, is expected to decline, those who know how to operate CNC (computer numerically controlled) machines can still expect good job prospects. To become a metal and plastic machine worker, you will need a high school diploma and must complete on-the-job training.
Boilermakers are in charge of assembling and repairing different types of boilers and other containers that hold gases and liquids. Because these containers are typically made of metal, boilermakers must be able to work with metal to know how to join it together or repair it if necessary. They have to know how to operate various types of metalworking machinery and usually need welding knowledge. Boilermakers learn their trade through an apprenticeship program, which generally takes about 4 or 5 years to complete.
Assemblers and fabricators may work with a number of different materials, including metal, depending on what they are assembling. Some of their responsibilities include reading blueprints to understand how to put a part or product together, using different tools and machines to facilitate the assembly process, and performing quality control checks. Some of these workers primarily handle metal, like structural metal fabricators and fitters. To become an assembler or fabricator, you will need at least a high school diploma, along with on-the-job training, and those with certification and technical vocational training will have the most opportunities, especially in high-tech industries.
Sheet Metal Worker
Sheet metal workers use thin metal sheets to build and install different types of products. This may include ducts in heating systems, parts for different types of medical equipment, and roofing systems. Sheet metal workers must be able to operate machinery and hand tools to cut metal down to size, oversee the installation process, and conduct repairs as necessary. To become a sheet metal worker, you normally need to complete an apprenticeship program or receive training at a trade school.