what is a fabricator?

A fabricator is a key worker in the manufacturing field. The parts that go into products from cars to card readers need to be produced to exacting specifications. Meeting those specifications is the fabricator's job. 

Although your responsibilities as a fabricator will vary depending on where you work, they all centre around producing the parts that go into a finished product. Fabricators traditionally create metal products by cutting, shaping, joining, and finishing the metal, but many work with other materials as well. 

Fabrication is an extremely detail-oriented task, so if you enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes from getting the fine points right, it might be the job for you. 

fabricators in different industries

Because a fabricator's job is to produce components, fabricators work in a wide range of different industries. Fabricators in the automotive and aerospace industries create parts for vehicles. Meanwhile, fabricators in other fields produce the components that make up buildings, bridges or other infrastructure projects. 

Manufacturing replacement parts for existing items is another part of a fabricator's role. Wherever your career as a fabricator takes you, you'll use a range of technical and engineering skills to produce high-quality components. 

Would working as a fabricator suit your detail-orientated skillset? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a fabricator role. 

fabricator roles

average salary of a fabricator

According to ONS, as a starting fabricator in the UK, you earn around £20,000 per year. Once you've built up some experience, your skills will command a salary of between £25,000 and £30,000. The average salary for welding trades, a category that includes many fabricators, is just over £27,400 per year. 

At the upper end of the range, after some experience, you could earn £34,000 per year, especially if you move into a role that involves supervising other fabricators. 

Fabricator jobs can involve longer or less sociable hours, leading to opportunities for higher earnings if you're able to take on these more challenging schedules. 



types of fabricator

As a fabricator, you use a wide range of skills to create components or finished products. In some cases, you'll use some or all of these techniques, but in a larger work environment, you might specialise in one or more of: 

  • cutting metal or other materials using tools such as laser cutters or plasma arcs
  • forming metal using rollers
  • shearing away excess material
  • punching or stamping to create holes and indentations
  • welding pieces of metal together to create new shapes

working as a fabricator

Working as a fabricator means taking a product from the initial design to finished components ready to be assembled. To achieve this goal, you combine technical skills with coordination and attention to detail. Creating components and products that meet the designer's specifications is the final result.


education and skills

There are many ways for you to train as a fabricator. Depending on your academic and employment background, you could choose from: 

  • a further education qualification such as the Level 3 Diploma in Fabrication and Welding Engineering Technology.
  • an apprenticeship in fabrication or a related field. A qualification like this one combines experience in an actual workplace with classroom training in fabrication skills.
  • on-the-job training after moving from another engineering-related field like welding or product assembly.

fabricator techniques and skillsets

As a fabricator, you'll employ a wide range of different techniques in creating product components:

  • familiarity with product design software and technical diagrams helps you understand the requirements of each component. 
  • since fabrication requires precise measurements, your familiarity with measuring equipment is crucial. 
  • mastery of welding and cutting tools, as well as other techniques for shaping metal, is an important part of success as a fabricator. 
  • quality control and product inspection are the last parts of a fabricator's responsibilities. At the end of the production process, you review your work and that of your team to make sure that everything meets the required standard. 

skills and competencies

In addition to technical skills, a fabricator relies on organisational skills. If you appreciate the challenge of staying on top of a busy work schedule and coordinating a team, you can excel in this role. 

A successful fabricator is involved in all parts of the production process, from sitting in on design meetings to coordinating with other departments. This means developing not only interpersonal skills but also a general technical background.

Even more than proficiency with specific tools and software, your overall knowledge of production processes helps you identify what you need to do and the best tools to accomplish it. The same goes for a knowledge of the materials you work with and their properties. 

workplace safety

Working as a fabricator means working with many different tools and techniques, often in a fast-paced environment. Your knowledge of safety procedures and standards is a key part of keeping both you and your colleagues safe in this setting.




FAQs about working as a fabricator.

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