what is a steel fixer?

A steel fixer is a construction professional who works with steel mesh and bars to create the reinforcements used in concrete buildings. Working from plans and technical drawings, a steel fixer cuts and bends the reinforcement bars, or rebar, to meet the specification. 

If you enjoy both mental and physical challenges, a career as a steel fixer is a good choice. Steel fixers need technical knowledge and attention to detail. They also need physical strength and stamina to work with steel and concrete in a wide range of outdoor environments. This balance of different requirements makes this a demanding job but also a rewarding one. 

Would working as a steel fixer suit your attention to detail and interest in engineering? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in a steel fixer role.

steel fixer jobs

average salary of a steel fixer

According to the National Careers Service, the starting salary of a steel fixer is around £19,000 per year. As you gain experience, your salary will increase. A more experienced steel fixer earns up to £37,000 a year. This range is in line with other salaries in the construction field, where operatives earn an average of just under £25,500 per year. 

factors influencing salary

Your salary as a steel fixer will vary based on your level of experience, but there are other factors that can influence it. One of these is location: as with many other jobs, steel fixer roles in London and other areas with high living costs are usually higher. Another is work hours. Although your schedule as a steel fixer is usually in line with normal working hours, this can vary. Working evenings, weekends, or long hours from time to time can help to boost your earnings. 



types of steel fixer

As a steel fixer, you use a wide variety of different tools and materials. Unlike some other construction workers, you don't specialise in a single tool or technique. You work with all types of steel reinforcement, from inexpensive mild steel bars to high-tensile-strength prestressing bars. Versatility is an important quality for a steel fixer. 



working as a steel fixer

Interested in finding out what a steel fixer does on a typical working day? Read on to find out more about what your next job could look like. 


education and skills

There are several different ways to acquire the skills you need to be a steel fixer. 

  • you could acquire skills through a college course, working toward a qualification such as a Level 2 Award in Skills for Engineering or an NVQ in Steel Fixing Occupations. Although courses like this are not specifically aimed at becoming a steel fixer, they cover the technical and engineering skills a good steel fixer needs. 
  • if you prefer on-the-job learning, you could pursue an apprenticeship to learn a steel fixer's skills. An intermediate apprenticeship in steel fixing will combine workplace experience with classroom training to give you the needed experience. 
  • although both a college course and an apprenticeship are good ways of progressing toward a career as a steel fixer, they aren't the only ones. If you have previous experience in the construction field, you can apply directly to work as a steel fixer. Because there are no specific qualifications required for the job, experience in related fields can be enough. 

skills and competencies

In addition to training in specific skills, you need good technical and communication skills to be a steel fixer. 

  • at the beginning of a job, you are responsible for examining the plans and technical drawings that describe the tasks. Your understanding of these complex documents is vital to a successful job. You also have to coordinate and communicate with other members of the construction team, making good communication skills important. 
  • a job as a steel fixer also requires physical fitness, stamina and situational awareness. A steel fixer uses heavy tools and materials, requiring strength and stamina. Some parts of the job require working at height, so you need to be comfortable in this environment. Similarly, comfort in enclosed spaces is important for this job. 
  • finally, as a steel fixer, you are responsible for maintaining a safe working environment. You need a thorough knowledge of safety procedures to do the job. This knowledge is reflected by a site safety qualification such as a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card. 



FAQs about working as a steel fixer

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